I did something when I created the protagonist and mentor characters in my novel, something I just gained incredible insight into. I gave you a woman who has triumphed over unfathomable hardship and prevailed, and a girl who thinks the worst is behind her but has no clue how hard life can get. And it was while walking my dogs this morning that I realized this illness is precisely how I was able to accomplish that. See right now I'm the girl--only I'm midway through my journey into "how hard life can get." So how I was able to create a character who's triumphed over jack squat is a total mystery to me, considering I feel as successful as a cyclone in keeping my life together.
That's when I thanked fibro. See those brief moments of triumph I spent years working toward fueled my mentor character into existence. Would I have truly grasped her sacrifice, her dedicated efforts to keep going on her own terms, and her relentless determination to succeed, if I myself hadn't been successful? At least a little bit? With something? On the other hand, without those endless years of unending misery, could I have even remotely captured what it's like to have your life smashed to smithereens over and over and over again? I think not.
I'm laughing my ass off right about now. See, back when I was doing really well--exercising four days a week and sleeping every night--I worried I wasn't going to do my protagonist justice. Life had been a nightmare for a really long while, but that time had passed, thank God, and I was feeling so capable and confident. The better I did, the more of a distant memory my own personal hell became. Of course the infamous fibromyalgia flare-up gave me little tidbits of a reminder every so often. But as we all know, being sick for a few weeks and a few years are completely different states of being.
The silver linings of life are hard to find sometimes. Right now I'm really struggling. But I've been really struggling for so long now, seems like I would just accept it as status quo and move on. Clearly that ain't gonna happen. So onward and forward we go. Still believing one day I will stop being the flippin' protagonist, and once and for all become the woman who has triumphed over unfathomable hardship--and prevailed.
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