When I think about my Fibro I go through what is essentially the stages of grief.
1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance. Anyone with chronic pain can tell you from day to day there are a wide range of mental emotional an physical challenges. I equate it to the Saw movies. You start with one problem which leads you to another, a doorway opens. Behind that door is another problem, and when you think you have a way to solve it, yet another door opens and you find yourself trapped. You wonder if you chose correctly. What was behind door #2? WAIT! Did you take one wrong turn or were they all wrong turns? Don’t I get a do over?! And is there a lesson in here at all or is someone playing a cruel and sadistic joke?
I have long cursed this body I am in but now finally being in the acceptance phase I have realized that maybe it isn’t a bad as I once thought. “Every cloud has a silver lining” really used to burn by butt!. Are you kidding!? Some things in life are just bad any way you cut it. Really bad. But I have realized what I tell others to do and think about a terrible situation is the very advice I should be taking myself. Of course if I could go back I would wish not to have it. I’d “bibbity bobbity boo” that sh*t right out of here! But I can’t. Not accepting it causes more stress..hence..more pain. I never would have decided to to get as involved with fitness and nutrition and as I have if it were not for Fibro. I had a fitness/running background, but strayed a bit. Even if I found way back without having chronic pain, it would merely be to feel good and get skinny, and that’s about as far as it would have gone I’m sure. I was pretty closed minded about fitness. Either you work out and you look good or you don’t and you get fat. If you don’t take care of yourself you deserve what you get. It pains me to say this but I am being honest.
Now that I look at nutrition and exercise as valuable partners in the fight against pain , a critical step to a healthier life, I have grown more understanding, more compassion, and feel like everyday is a new chance to learn and teach. I truly believe if you clean up your environment that is riddled with toxins you can feel better. I truly believe that if you clean up your diet you can feel better. I know for a fact although it seems counter intuitive AND counter productive exercise really can make you feel better. I have seen these results over and over and I implore you to keep trying and don’t give up. One minute, one mile, one marathon..even from the house to the corner is a stp in the right direction! As long as you are moving forward that’s what we are all about. Accepting no limits!
We have runners with CFS, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Epilepsy, Exercise induced asthma, Lupus, bulging discs, COPD, Crohns disease, as well as many others. They all have accepted that exercise is part of maintenance for chronic pain and although it is not easy they have committed to themselves and they are seeing the results.
So yes I have to say to a certainly large degree I am thankful for Fibro. Crazy I know. But if not for my Fibro, I never would have met my wonderful doctor, got certified as a trainer, or met many of the friends I have along the way. I never would have know the gratification of never giving up, or not accepting less. I would have never decided to take so many classes in nutrition, fitness, wellness or learned the impact of organics and the environment on our bodies. I have been compelled to put myself out there on Facebook pages and groups, Google+, Myfitnesspal, Twitter and even this created this organization which I am hoping will turn into something larger than it is right now. Thank you Alysha at WickedMuddy for the encouragement!! It moved me to share my experience, take classes and spread the hope that there can be some quality of life in these bodies we have. We do have a choice. Please choose wisely.
I will leave you with this from Patti Cockell Kaeding, a member on the Facebook page. I asked a few questions of many people to gain a better prospective and she was one of the people kind enough to respond.
“1. Yes,I have always been active – with walking my dog, cycling, sports, dance, etc.
2. I have always maintained whatever level of activity my body would allow – since I have always had a level of chronic pain, the diagnosis didn’t change it.
3. I accept what is….some days I can do more, others less…
4. I have been fortunate to have friends who also have Fibromyalgia who are still active – this has given me a great support network. I met them through ballroom dance, which is a wonderful way to maintain the activity levels, as it doesn’t feel like exercise!
6. For newly diagnosed, or those afraid of making their pain worse…. start slowly, but keep trying - I have found that the less I do, the less I can do! As long as I stay somewhat active, I can better manage the pain, because then I am not only focused on it…. a strong social network is really important, & face-to-face contact is better than remote connections…. it allows me to feel more that I matter, and more human. I am then “better” than my illness.
Please feel free to use my name – if I can help even one person, it is worthwhile!”
Thank you Patti “Nuff said”!