Monday, November 19, 2012

A New Leaf

Ever since I admitted some hard core truths to myself and set about to stop living with guilt boulders burdening both shoulders I have been feeling loads better. It's amazing how many things there are to get stressed about in life. It's even more amazing to realize I don't have to feel responsible for fixing every single one of them. It's not like I could anyway, but the expectation was sending me, via a very expensive one way ticket, on a slow boat to crazy. This paradigm shift has been huge, and not just for me but my entire household. I am present. I am productive. I am happy. And I've been physically feeling pretty darn good too. This means things are getting done. Instead of sitting around feeling awful because my life is my life I am actually living my life. The more I do this the more my previous years of misery start to make sense. It's positively astounding how many little things I was unwittingly allowing to disturb my progress to health. 

Sadly my latest lilac run once again came to an end. I woke up Friday morning crying. So sore, I felt like I'd slept on a pillow of rocks, if you could even call it sleep. There was a burning coal of fire sitting on top of my right shoulder. Nerve pain zipped up and down my right side and the mass of my cells felt too big to fit in my skin. Every inch ached and throbbed. Initially I got mad, then I calmed down and realized I had an opportunity to change some patterns here, the way I react to a flare. Using my three questions that got me to lilac in the first place I assessed the situation. 1) Do I deserve this pain? No, I didn't do anything to warrant such punishment. So I set my immediate goal to work towards feeling better. 2) Is there anything I can do about it? Yes, I can work towards feeling better by taking care of myself. In the past I would flog myself for about a day for getting the flare in the first place, only serving to exacerbate it, which really makes absolutely no sense at all. This time I was determined to be different. Because number three is the kicker. 3) Can I calmly and rationally set about trying to feel better, from something I didn't inflict purposefully and maliciously on myself, by taking care of myself without feeling guilty? And that, my friends, was the million dollar question.

Somehow I was actually able to pull it off. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks after all! But the next best came on Saturday. My husband and I are driving to Costco and I feel awful. He starts to set about all the ways he knows how to try and "fix" me. I know this illness is as frustrating for him as it is for me but didn't realize we have our own pattern of how we deal with a flare as a couple. But on Saturday I saw it, clear as Christmas on December 25th. So I took his hand in mine and said, "Lookit, I am sick. You can't change that right now and I can't either. But we can stop the madness we have been existing in. I feel like crap, I just do. If I get bitchy tell me and I will reign it in, but it is what it is. This is life. So let's break the cycle of me feeling guilty and you trying to fix it. It's wasted energy. Let's just go to Costco!" And the best thing of all, what I am so excited to report, is we actually did. 

Thanks for joining,


  1. super posting. Yes, I agree that we all benefit from just working with what we have and letting go of what we can't change or are not responsible for.

    We have what we have. That may never, ever change. But, as you have so eloquently shared- we can work with our reality.

    And, on we go...

  2. I have fibromyalgia too but, aside from the pain all over, fatigue bugs me. I am always tired, I get up feeling tired and I'm tired throughout the day. They recommend exercise but I cannot stand up long enough to do a single exercise, I do lots of stretching on the floor mat though. Shopping is a problem because I cannot carry anything, if I do then I have back pain for a week.

  3. I have been treating fibro patients for the last 18 years. In my experience, the patients who own up to the fact that they have a chronic condition that needs to be managed through consistent lifestyle changes and care are the ones who fare better overall and have better quality of life. I use a 3 point approach with my patients that stresses rest, low impact exercise, and supplementation. I know in the beginning it seems like a cruel trap - If you can get some regular low impact exercise, then getting proper rest is easier, but the exercise hurts so bad in the beginning that it is hard to get started. If you can push through those first couple of weeks it will be worth it. Pick exercise that uses low impact with full body movements (Yoga & Pilates are good examples). Set a strict bedtime for yourself so your body gets used to going to sleep at that time every night. Get a good chiropractor that you can go to for relief during those fibro days that you can't avoid (like when a weather front comes in). I hope that this information is helpful.

  4. I totally relate on the part about your husband trying to fix you. I used to get so frustrated by my hubby's constant, gluten free diet, get back on meds, more stretching, hot baths. It used to drive me nuts & make me feel even more guilty & like he was never going to understand. But I understand now...that he feels helpless too. He hates that he cant make it better for me. He hates to see me cry when I cant take the pain...and cry when I get so frustrated and feeling betrayed by my own body. So all he can do is offer words...words of hope, encouragement, and suggestion. I get it now...and so does he.