The butterfly is embraced as a symbol of Fibromyalgia awareness. Soft as breath, nearly weightless, it is an excellent allegory to the impact even the lightest touch has on a Fibromyalgia patient. When a fellow Fibrate states hugging their child hurts too bad they can't do it, it breaks my heart. A major symptom of Fibromyalgia is sensory sensitivity. Not only touch, but sound, sight, smell, taste and feelings at times can all become extremely oversensitive. This is a real symptom, but is often discounted. When my husband says something unoffensive in a short tone and I burst into tears, I know that whatever Fibromyalgia neurologically does to exacerbate sensitivity, well, it's happening to me. Same with five people talking to me at once, music I don't like playing way too loud and the immediately necessary removal of the bra I am certain is cutting and burning into my flesh, making my skin crawl.
But our little butterfly suits us, friends, and in more ways than just a symbol of sensory sensitivity. There are four stages that complete the total life cycle of the butterfly. First, mom lays the egg. The egg grows into a caterpillar that looks like a colorful worm. As it grows it sheds it's skin a minimum of four times to accommodate the new growth of its increasing size. Then the caterpillar forms itself into a pupa, a fuzzy sack of rapidly forming growth not visible from the outside. But a metamorphosis is happening still the same. As the adult butterfly emerges from the chrysalis a miraculous transformation has occurred. A winged beauty flies away, off to pollinate flowers, mate and lay it's own eggs, continuing the circle of life.
I can tell you I was not a very pretty picture when I got sick. A tiny egg with a huge job ahead of it. There were certainly four sheddings of my former skin required to strip me of the garbage from my past, at least. And there was a time of retreat, where the world was shut off and internal mountains were moved. Eventually that day came when I too was ready to fly away and find life again. We live in an instant society. Many are fortunate to have what they want before they even know they want it. But Fibromyalgia is at direct odds with this on-demand lifestyle. Modern medicine can hardly treat the symptoms, let alone have knowledge of the cause or a possible cure. But I believe, based on my experience, I would not have emerged strong and victorious from my Fibromyalgia journey if I did not allow the life cycle of being sick, losing everything, standing up on wobbly legs and putting one foot in front of the other until I was running again, ready to fly into my infinite unknown. I have done nothing harder in life, but can tell you beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt I would not be who I am today if I had not gone through this painful metamorphosis. Life is richer, less complex and far more precious than I ever imagined.
Thanks for joining,