Friday, October 19, 2018

If You're Not First, You're Last

I'm stupid competitive. The need to succeed and be the best is deeply ingrained in me. So deep, I have a terrible time accepting when I'm not. Perhaps this is part of the reason this illness is so difficult for me to live with. I know plenty of patients who, by year thirteen, have accepted their limitations and gone on to create meaningful existences where they are reasonably happy. They have filled their lives with loving, supportive people and respect themselves despite the struggles living with chronic illness puts them through. As much as I wish I was one of them, I most decidedly am not.

I seem to exist in one of two states. Either I'm beating this beast into submission, or I'm writhing around on the ground throwing a tantrum because I'm not winning, fibro is. There's no middle ground with me. It's almost like every time I relapse, just like when I got sick in the first place, I take it beyond personally. A shining example of how bad I'm failing. I can spend years twirling in the question vortex of "How could I let this happen?" Which is a really pointless question to ask myself after the fact, when my focus should be on loving myself so I can stand back up as quickly as possible.

No, instead I spend years adulating my anger at what is. Furthermore, it's only when I've stabilized enough to climb about halfway up that I can stop my foolishness. Luckily, for the first time since 2015, I'm here. Stabilized. Starting to live life again. About half as sick half as much as the time as I was those first two years. Finally. For a while there, I didn't know if I'd ever reach this place again. I'd done it before so knew it was possible, but couldn't stop bathing in my fury long enough to have faith.

But this is nothing if not a slow climb. As much as I'd give anything for life to be as simple as a decision for me, it's not. I'm starting to exercise again with a modicum of regularity and it's no longer sending me into major flares, but of course it's not nearly as frequent as I'd like. I'm getting out more and starting to be able to keep commitments again. But it feels small and pathetic considering what I've done in the past and what I aim to do in the future. There's still a tremendous gap between the me I am and the me I need to be.

Yet being able to do a little has calmed me down a lot. While I constantly have to remind myself that there are many other roles to play in life other than winner or loser, I find I'm generally getting a grip. A productive day followed by a down day isn't the worst thing anymore. After all, it's worlds away from being too sick to turn off the TV and get up off the sofa for months on end.

Thanks for joining,


  1. Fibromyalgia is a chronic (long-term) disorder defined by pain and tenderness throughout your body, as well as fatigue. People with fibromyalgia tend to have a heightened sense of pain. This feeling is sometimes described as a constant muscle ache. Formerly known as fibrositis, fibromyalgia is often considered a rheumatic, or “arthritis-like,” disorder. But unlike arthritis and certain related conditions, it doesn't cause damage to joints, muscles, or other tissues. There's no cure for fibromyalgia, but treatments are available that may help relieve symptoms and improve your quality of life. You can also refer to this article which states all the necessary details about fibromyalgia

  2. This is exactly what I needed to see today! It’s like I wrote this post myself. Thanks so much for sharing your story and your heart. It helps fellow warriors to remember that they are not alone in the fight, and to pull us out of the self pity spiral that we all sometimes fall into.