Friday, November 7, 2014


So, there's this pain thing.  You know the one that consumes you and makes you feel so sick to your stomach that you long for the days of "morning" sickness (ahem....all day sickness).  Yeah, that.  The kind of unrelenting pain that you're just trying to focus on how to breathe never mind how you're going to get dinner or pick up the kids from school or buy that birthday gift for the party this weekend.  That's the pain that I'm talkin' about.  So, here's the thing.  Please don't stop reading my blog but.... you need to laugh.  We all do. 

Feel free to yell obscenities at the screen now.  Tell me off.  That's okay.  But hear me out.  I never said that laughing was going to remove the pain.  A few minutes of laughter is not going to change your diagnosis.  Laughing every day is not going to make me able to take dance class again or jeez, even vacuum.  Oooh.........imagine that!  Vacuuming is making the same sentence as taking dance class.  Watch out everyone!  Maureen is getting wild!!!

What I AM saying is that we DESERVE a break.  I deserve a small piece of joy each day.  Anyone living with chronic pain is worthy of happiness. Where can we find that sweet spot of intense euphoria?  Laughter, my friends.  There is a reason for that old adage, "Laughter is the Best Medicine".  Now, don't get me wrong.  I think we need to do a lot more than laugh.  But, if times are tough and life is dark, as it has been lately for me, please do yourself the kindness of enjoying a good belly laugh.  

Anyone who knows me is well aware of my love of a good joke.  I have a loud, hearty guffaw that has certainly caused hearing damage to my sweet husband.  However, I have been told I am a fantastic audience member at the theatre by my actor friends.  I am at peace with my laugh.  It is a big part of who I am.  It is vibrant, happy and yes, loud.  

The saddest thing to me was when I noticed recently how little I had been laughing.  I remember when Nicholas, my 14 year old, was small he was asked in kindergarten to write about his family.  He wrote, "Daddy works at TV.  Mommy plays and laughs"  I always thought that was the highest of compliments.  However, I began to worry a lot that my second son would have a very different description of his mom.

So, I began to seek out laughter. I started with DVR-ing The Ellen Show every day last year.  I'd be in horrible pain and within minutes of watching, the house would be filled with screams and snorts of laughter.  When the boys were at school, I would go to YouTube and watch Jimmy Fallon skits from his late night show.  My husband introduced me to a crazy, funny sketch called "Between Two Ferns" online.  I binge watched that one day while bedridden and cried.  This time, the tears were not from pain.  They were from hysterical comedy that took my breath away.

What a gift.  Laughter is a gift.  It is free and it is accessible to us all.  

Please use it. Comedic books, Lucille Ball, Jerry Seinfeld, The Three Stooges, NPR's "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" or whatever it is that cracks you up.  It doesn't matter.  Just find it and spend 10 minutes a day listening, reading or watching it.  

I know it seems like a small thing and I admit that it is.  However, laughter keeps us in the light.  Even if it is for ten minutes a day.  And, my friends, without that light we will get swallowed by the darkness.  

So, fight to stay in the light.  Fight with the 1% of energy you have in you and find the laughter. If you listen hard enough, you will probably hear me. If you get a migraine, you may live too close to my home.  :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Ugly Truth

This is an angry and sad post.  I'm not feeling uplifting or particularly positive so if you are uncomfortable with a potentially harsh look at chronic pain and the realities therein, I suggest you skip this post.  

People who know me well and who are close to me usually describe me as compassionate, caring and a good listener.  I try to be positive and though I get very down at times about my illnesses and pain, I continue to read, research and look at new possibilities for treatment.

After 19 years of pain and illness, I feel like I have a right to have a meltdown and I'm having one.  A gigantic, ugly, messy, angry meltdown.  I'm furious and want to punch a wall.  If only I could raise my arm without shooting pain.  And do you know how enraging that is to want, no to NEED, to punch something but to be unable to because it hurts too much?

If you do, then likely you, also, have suffered from chronic intense pain.  I'm very sorry that you know this feeling. 

Today I hate the world.  I am so angry that I can feel the red fire inside me and I can see red.  I haven't slept well in weeks due to pain and frankly, I'm sick of thinking positively, "Giving it to God", "being the change" and any other little tidbit of wisdom out there that I myself have already chanted into my brain.  Please don't start with me.  I've had it.

I walk around in unrelenting pain day in and day out.  I smile and laugh. I bring my kids to school and pick them up.  I ask about their days and encourage them and praise them about their work.  I get snacks and drinks and stay on top of homework. Laundry gets done and hugs are given. I email teachers and rally family and friends to purchase things for the latest fundraisers.  I organize music lessons and bring my younger one to Cub Scouts.  I get gas in the car, fold laundry and play outside with my kids. At night, I fall apart and fall into bed praying for sleep and relief. 

I have mums that have not been planted because when I did plant one, it sent me into the worst kind of pain spell that took me days to recover from. During which time, I still had to maintain my normal schedule. One weekend recently, I got really wild and cleaned our tiny upstairs bathroom AND did laundry.  That set me up for several days of muscle spasms and pain that left me in tears. My husband knew and my kids knew to an extent.  I shared with my online support group.  Otherwise, I continued to smile and wave.  Smile and wave.

Look, I don't rant and wail on Facebook about how much my life sucks and how hard it is to be in pain.  I post things about Fibromyalgia Awareness and Chronic Pain Awareness from time to time and I write this blog.  I haven't even written here in over a month because this past month has been horrible. I felt that I shouldn't write until things started to look up.  Until I realized that things may not look up for a while.  This is my life.  This is reality.  It may also be other people's reality. So, I'm writing.

Today, as the alarm went off tears streamed down my face. I had been kept up most of the night by pain.  The medicine that works for me in these intense situations, I get in limited quantities.  Therefore, I could not take anything all night.  I tried visualization, said my rosary three times, and used my heat pack and applied Tiger Balm cream.  It was the longest night and the shortest night all at the same time.  Getting out of bed was excruciating as my hips, knees and legs were taut bands of muscles bound together and on fire.  I took a deep breath and slid them to the side of the bed.  That's when my lower back decided to join in the fun and begin to spasm.  I gasped in pain.  I woke my 7 year old for school and half walked, half crawled down the stairs.  

My husband was already in action working on getting our older son ready.  My husband is a team player.  Actually, he's more like a solo act most of the time.  He does far more than he should and this was never in his contract.  It makes me deeply sad and I realize how fortunate I am.  Guilt has made a comfortable home in my heart like unwelcome vines of bittersweet twisting and wrapping around it making it difficult to feel much else.  

I put my sneakers on so that I can have a bit of support.  This elicits looks of confusion from both boys who ask where I am going.  I just tell them my legs hurt and feel better if I'm wearing my sneakers. They seem to accept this until my younger son excitedly asks if we can walk to school.  I tell him if he gets ready in time, immediately cursing myself knowing that this will be an impossibility for me.  But, why shouldn't my seven year old be allowed to walk to school with his mother?  Damn it!!!! I'm so tired of saying no to everything!

My husband leaves with our oldest son whom I wish a good day and an 'I love you'.  I receive a grunt, but he's 14 so, hey.  Fortunately for me, my little guy has some time management to learn so we drive. We chat happily in the car and I send him off with a big smile and an "I love you".  I wave and as I drive out of the parking lot I burst into tears.  I need to make a stop at the store for a couple of things.  I get there and sit in the parking lot with sunglasses on trying to pull it together.  The seat warmer is on and it soothes my spasms in my back and sitting feels good on my legs.  It is 8:10 a.m.   I have another 13 hours of my day to go.  

I force myself out of the car and walk slowly into the store.  I keep my sunglasses on because I can't handle fluorescent lighting and this is no day for a migraine.  I pick up the two things I need and head to the register. Thank God there is no line.  I get back in the car and turn the seat heater on and sit for another 10 minutes before I can bear to drive the less than five minutes home.  

However, this is the day that I am calling the pain clinic that I have promised my husband I would try.  I have not tried a new doctor since the last fiasco in January.  Yet, with my Myofascial Pain getting more intense and the change of season I have made a promise to my family that I would try, yet again.  This is a place where my husband has done some freelance video work and was impressed by the patient testimonials.  He has been after me for over a year and a half to go.  I have finally agreed.  

I get home, and make the call. This is huge for me, you see, because in 19 years I have found two, yes two, doctors who have been knowledgeable and compassionate about Fibromyalgia.  I have seen many more than that.  I have been to Boston twice.  I have been to a reputable hospital here in NH that is the "best" only to be treated like the dirt on this man's shoes.  I have been to approximately twelve different places and each time come away in tears, disgust and/or with a complaint form in my hand.  So, you see making this call was a big deal.  I called the number of the clinic with, much to my dismay, hope in my heart.  According to the website, what makes this medical facility stand out is the compassion and individual care from the moment a person walks in the door.  So, I call and guess what?  I get a recording.  If I am a new patient I need to press 2 and leave my information including my insurance information.  I hang up.  I'm not in the mood to be treated like a number today.  Just to be clear, I check the website to see what their hours are but they are listed nowhere.  I call back to see if I can find them on their voicemail menu but alas, I cannot.  

I'm nauseous from the pain, there is laundry to be folded, dishes to be done, errands to be run, dinner to be prepared, a chiropractor appointment to be made, and dead mums outside that I never finished planting.  All around me screams failure.   I crawl up the stairs and fall into a heap in bed and sob.   

I give the hell up.  Yes.  That is right.  Today I friggin give up and you know what?  I am allowed that.  I have a right to say that and until you have lived in my shoes day after day, don't you dare  judge me.  Today is my day and today I am not looking on the bright side, trying something new, meditating or anything.  Today I am sad, angry, grieving, exhausted beyond belief, my pain is a ten and it's only ten o'clock in the damn morning.  

I want to scream, cry and throw things.  I want to feel peaceful and happy again.  I want to be able to go outside and plant my mums.  I would like to just do the dishes and make dinner AND take a shower without feeling like I've run a marathon and need pain medication and a three hour nap.  

Self pity is an ugly thing.  It is not something I am proud of nor do I like to dwell here.  But, isn't it also important to be honest?  Isn't it crucial to know what really goes on behind the faces of people living in chronic daily pain?  I know it is uncomfortable to look at.  Believe me, I feel pretty darn awkward writing this.  However, I feel like I owe it to myself and to everyone else who struggles to maintain a "normal" life while living with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Myofascial Pain, Chronic Migraines and any other type of chronic pain disorder to tell the truth.  

The truth is that we have really bad days.  Even those of us with the best husbands, beautiful kids, faith and positive outlooks.  Bad days and bad weeks happen.  We want relief. We want to be understood. We need compassion.  We want doctors to stop looking at us like we are crazy or drug addicts.  

In the midst of trying to be courageous, sometimes we need to fall apart, too.  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Peace in the Midst of Pain

Peace in the Midst of Pain

For many years I have read articles, blogs, and books about the phenomenon of people suffering from terrible pain who were able to separate from their pain and find inner peace despite their afflictions.  I read of meditation, and even tried it.  Sadly, my ADD mind never seemed to cooperate.  Typically, this is how it would go: "I am still.  I am peaceful.  My pain is here but I am at peace.  I am, oh man I HAVE to remember to make that dentist appointment for the kids.  Oh!  And, I have GOT to remember to pay that parking ticket.  Why can I never get anything done?!  Oh no! My breathing!  Okay, start over.  Deep breath in, and out.  Damn, how did I miss that gigantic cobweb over there?  I wonder how long THAT has been there? Okay, seriously?  This is not working.  I feel more stressed than before and I have things to do! " 
In 2005, a friend of mine died of cancer.  I've lost a few really special loved ones to cancer now and each time it has been, well, awful.  Cindy, in particular, taught me a lot about being sick.  I watched her and she was real.  She cried, she motored through, she lived, she got angry, she continued trying.  In the midst of it all, her faith got stronger.  Cindy was the first person who taught me how suffering can be a gift.

I knew her cancer was spreading and when she first spoke of how suffering could be a gift, my assumption was that the disease was affecting her mental capacity.  I listened to her, nonetheless, and over time found myself drawn to her words.  In suffering and pain, she would say, we can find an inner peace and calm that is unavailable to us when we are well.  We also have more time to think of others.  We can pray more, and give more of our time to others.  True, we may not be able to cook, clean; shop but we can give the gift of time. 

How often do we Fibro Warriors get our self worth entangled in what we do for a career, how much we have "done" around the house, how organized our kids' rooms are, how many home cooked meals we have prepared each week, and how we should look? 

What happens when we fatigued, pain filled and teary eyed women, instead, stop for a few moments and look inside ourselves and listen to what is going on in there?  It is hard to do. I know!   We are living in a modern society that is not very encouraging of women to slow down.  Just Be.  We are the multi-taskers, the super moms, the "pretend it is all great with a smile on our faces and collapse behind closed doors sobbing women". We are supposed to be the independent women who say, "Oh, no. I'm fine. I've got this".  But, really, do we?   Of course not!  Certainly not every day.   Even women who do not have chronic illness and pain, need support and help. 

So, when we sit down and put our feet up or are lying on the couch or in bed, we have a choice.  We can take a few minutes to turn off the TV, unplug, and just breathe and close our eyes and listen.  If you are like me, you will have a bunch of random thoughts fly through your head similar to the ones from the earlier paragraph.  Smile and notice those thoughts and instead of criticizing yourself, you can smile at that part of you but continue to breathe.  Imagine what your insides look like or what texture they feel like.  Are they rough and red?  Angry?  Empty?  Do you feel knotted up in your stomach?  Do you feel just nothing? 

There is no right or wrong answer.  Just take the time to be aware of them.  Then notice your pain.  Where is it?  Sometimes when I do this, it is easier to find where my pain is not.  Well, let's ear lobes don't hurt.  My pinky toe is feeling just ducky today.  Keep taking deep breaths.  This is not magic or rocket science.  This is not a cure or a way to make pain disappear. 

I am going to take a quick break here to say that in the past, these kinds of articles annoyed me.  Actually, that is an understatement.  They made me very angry.  When someone would suggest an exercise such as the one I am suggesting above, it felt condescending and seemed to diminish the pain and fatigue I experience daily.  I would equate it to someone telling me that the pain of childbirth is not really pain but a beautiful "sensation".  Um, yeah.  So, please stay with me.  I am on your side

However, I have had a recent breakthrough in therapy and I am learning how to separate my physical pain from my emotional being.  For example, I can be in a high amount of pain.  I close my eyes and I can feel my pain throbbing in my shoulders, neck, hips, knees, elbows, you name it. 
While I am still, I swear I can feel the vibrations of the pain ripple through my body.  It feels swollen, red and angry.  I am very aware of the pain.  I then look inwards and see what I see and feel there.  Where in the past I have had a constant large knotted ball in my stomach, I instead feel space.  I see light and openness.  I feel peace and calm.  For the first time, in probably the 17 years since my diagnosis, I feel no anxiety or depression.  What????  How is this possible?  How can I be in terrible pain but at the same time feel peaceful and calm?

My therapist specializes in working with people with chronic pain which is why I sought him out.  He has been trained in Somatic Experiencing & Somatic Psychology which is pretty fascinating stuff.  Not that I cared a speck about it when I first went to him.  I was in a depression so deep, I couldn't read a short fiction book for fun, never mind read about Somatic Experiencing and understand what I was reading.

In any case, after all of these years of reading about people with chronic pain, watching my friend cope with the pain of cancer, and not being able to wrap my head around how one can be in agony and still find inner peace, I think I am beginning to get it.
It is possible.  Just knowing we have another option as chronic pain sufferers is freeing!  So often we feel trapped, stuck in a corner, misunderstood. 

I am not saying this is THE answer to all of our issues.  However, it may very well be a valuable piece to the intricate enigma that accompanies our daily lives.  Obviously, we need to continue to trudge on as advocates for ourselves with the medical world, and strive for optimum self care.  Clearly, neither of these ideas is new to any of us.

The next time your body is screaming in agony and you feel like you are drowning in a sea of fatigue, just as you feel yourself falling prey to the shadows of anxiety or depression remember this.  Even if it is for a short period of time, you are worthy of happiness and a break from the darkness. 

Then maybe, just maybe, you can take ten minutes to sit and close your eyes and listen to what is going on in your body.  No judgments.  Just listen.  Observe and acknowledge it.  Look for any open space inside.  Envision light anywhere in your body, even if it is in the tiniest area. Imagine yourself at a time in your life when you felt giddy or in a place that made you feel safe and focus on that memory.  With a little bit of time, that miniscule area of light in your body will expand.  Keep a journal, if writing helps you.  Watch how your body stays the same and how it changes.  Most of all, remember; everyone deserves joy and peace.   They are attainable even in the midst of pain.

You may surprise yourself.  After all, you have made it this far.  You clearly are a warrior.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Courage Happens

Red is not really my color.  It doesn't look good with my skin or my eyes.  It's a great color, just not on me.  At least that is what I have always thought.  But, lately I've been trying on my red a lot more.  Not really wearing it, necessarily, although I do have some rockin' red flats that I love.  What I mean is that I have adopted a new mantra, if you will.  Instead of approaching my life from a place of fear, I have decided to switch the fear with courage.  Sounds simple enough, no?  No.  Not really, anyway.  It has taken me a lot of hard work, determination and, well, courage, to shift my thinking. 

Now, I realize that what takes courage for me is very different from what it may mean to others.  Here is an example of what it's like from my eyes.  I wake up in the morning feeling like I could easily sleep another three hours, head aching, allergies raging, pain and fatigue assaulting my body and I yell, "NO!", in my head.  I want to hide under the covers and pretend that I did not hear that alarm or my husbands' gentle but persistent voice to wake up.  I immediately tell myself, "I can't do this".  This is pretty much how I feel every day.  HOWEVER, for the past month or so I have been challenged by my ever so amazing Integrated Awareness Practitioner to replace the fear behind those statements with a calm sense of courage.  So, now when I say "I can't do it!", I correct myself and  say, "Yes, I can.  I did it yesterday and the day before and I can do it again today". 

What is "it" you may ask?  Well, getting out of bed for one thing.  Then there is showering, eating breakfast, taking my meds and supplements, getting my little one up and fed and clothed for school.  Making his lunch.  Driving him to school.  Taking my walk and then picking both of my kiddos from their schools, the occasional play date, bringing them to karate, making dinner, playing with them, helping with homework, and if I can muster up the strength; bedtime routines.   Overwhelmed?  I was. 

It amazes me that moms without chronic pain and illness do all of the above and much more in a day.  I do not clean my house during the week.  I do laundry and try to keep up with the dishes and trash. On good days, I make dinner. May not sound like much to some, but that's what I do.  My husband does the vacuuming, and pretty much picks up the rest of the pieces that complete the puzzle of our life together. 

At first, I was really jazzed about this new idea of replacing the word and feeling of fear with courage. It was exhilarating and empowering.  My revised mantra seemed easy enough. Until the day when it rained for the fifth day in a row, insomnia had been taking over my nights and the bags under my eyes could hold $250 worth of clothes from Kohl's.  That morning I said, "The hell with this.  I CAN'T do this.  I don't WANT to do this.  I give u........", and then a voice, a very small voice, in my soul, said "Yes, you can".  I decided to begin with the Serenity Prayer.  Then I slowly slid to the edge of my bed and took an enormous breath and got up.  Nothing magical here.  It was not fun. It was not invigorating.  I still looked like death warmed over.  But, I got up.  I went downstairs.  I began my day.  I did not make dinner that night.  I could not exercise.  My courage that day was getting out of bed.  Washing my face, brushing my teeth and getting dressed took courage.  Every step I took felt like I was sloughing through molasses.  It was a very hard day but I smiled for my kids and hugged my husband when he got home from work.  When the day finally ended I even smiled at myself.  I wore my red that day.  My red badge of courage.  Going to bed that night, I thought, "That wasn't too, too bad". 

I am proud to say that I am getting used to this power color.  I'm diggin' it a lot more these days,  That right there is progress, my friends. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Traumas and Fibromaylgia; a personal account

I am often asked to share my "story" with others whom I meet who also have Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  I am happy to do this, as I have found great comfort, solidarity, and compassion when others offer to share their story with me.  My blog tends to be more situational, and philosophically based.  However, I would like to try to introduce how my world was turned upside down by these illnesses, so as to be able to understand why I am where I am at this time.

I first began symptoms when I was 24 and living in VT with my boyfriend (ultimately my husband).  I was working 2 jobs, taking dance classes, and performing in theater.  I was aware of the importance of exercise and eating "right" in terms of keeping thin but not so much in terms of living a healthy lifestyle.  I was young and like most at that age, felt invincible. 

However, I did notice that I needed a lot more sleep than most, especially towards the winter and spring of 1994.  My primary job was extremely stressful and I worked under a boss who seemed impossible to please.  I was walking on eggshells and had not matured enough to speak up for myself and set boundaries.  Oh, no.  That came much later.  So, I was often pretty miserable at work but forced a smile on my face and worked my butt off to try to please those I was working for.  Not an easy task.

My second job, was working part time at a mall in customer service.  I loved this job.  I loved interacting with people and the more relaxed atmosphere that it provided.  I made good friends with a couple of stand up guys who worked the security there.  I was certainly tired working so much, but most everyone I knew at that time was working 2 jobs, so it didn't seem to be out of the norm.

One horrific night, 2 days before Christmas, I was working at the mall.  I was happy because I was looking forward to going home to NH to celebrate Christmas with my family and have some time off.  My boyfriend, Todd, had left that day to go home to see his family and we would meet up later in the week.  I went to work with homemade fudge for my friends the security guards and was full of Christmas cheer.   I was buying dinner for the 3 of us (I should mention that I worked alone in my shifts) to be delivered much to their surprise and appreciation.  They came by and we joked and chatted it up before they had to go do their rounds throughout the rest of the mall. 

Customer Service at that time was in a room.  There were glass doors leading into the room, and a large counter behind which I worked.  The doors leading into Customer Service were also the only doors leading out of Customer Service.  Behind me were floor to ceiling glass windows. 

My job entailed wrapping gifts for people, assisting them in finding their way into the mall, suggesting stores for certain items, and at this time of year, selling First Night Buttons.  The First Night Buttons were selling like mad and everyone coming in was exhausted, cheerful and excited about the upcoming holidays.

After my buddies left to go do their rounds, a young guy came in and inquired about the first night buttons.  He wanted to know if I had been selling a lot of them.  I smiled and told him yes, I had and would he like to purchase one. 

Whenever I go into my brain to remember this, it all is all in slow motion terror.  He took out a gun and began to threaten me and curse me.  He wanted all the money and he wanted it now.  He kept snarling at me to not look at him and if I did look at him he would kill me.  He said that a lot.  I got a good look at him, all the same, which seems miraculous to me now.  I gave him the money and he ordered me to get down on the floor all the while aiming his gun at me. 

The next thing I remember was reaching for the walkie talkie (my only means to alert my security guards).  Then I remember them coming in and calling for me and ultimately finding me on the floor in a fetal position and the sounds coming from my throat sounded distant and scary. 

Needless to say those security guards (their names have sadly escaped me after all this time) felt horrible and looked like they, too, were going to cry.  One of them gave me his coat to put on, as I guess I was shivering.  

At some point, the police arrived and just when I thought it couldn't get worse, it did.  They had a lead from an informant at the mall that this guy was at a local club.  I was brought to the police station and had to change my clothes, put on a baseball hat, leather jacket and go undercover into this club and point out the guy who had done this to me.

I couldn't do it.  I mean, I went.  I actually went into this club with another female officer, but the light show and the music and everything made my already nauseous stomach lurch even more.  There were so many guys.  My mind was spinning and ultimately, I could not make the guy. 

After that, I was unable to go to my apt and sleep alone.  I mean, this guy knew what I looked like.  He even knew my name.  I was terrified, paranoid and unable to barely make a sentence.  I was brought to a friends' house and spent the night there where I kept the light on the whole time and read all night. 

I know this is one of the many traumas that has welcomed Fibromyalgia into my body.  Others include car accidents, and still others I am not ready to write about. 

One trauma at a time, they all built up walls inside of me until a house was  made for my Fibromyalgia to live in. 

And one at a time, I am breaking those walls down.  One trauma at a time.  One wall at a time.

The pain is real.  The symptoms exist.  But, so do my determination and my belief in a better life. 

There's got to be a way out.  I will keep bashing those walls down until someday I will find a window.  That window will be my way out.


Saturday, December 31, 2011

thoughts for the new year............

Thoughts for a new year..............This year I want to have more fun, more laughs and more time with my husband.  I want to be more patient and less critical.  I want to take a Zumba class outside the confines of my living room!  I will audition more.  I will be more courageous.  I will ski with my boys, build snowmen, and be in the moment with them.  I will muddle through flare ups and...remember that I am still me even when I am sick.  I will look for the worth in others, as well as in myself.  I want to paint, dance, act, write and strive to be the mother I was meant to be.  I will be my own best friend and consequently will have more to give to others.  I will pray more and worry less.  I will keep on walking, stumbling, crawling even when I feel I have lost my way.  I will be cheerful.  I will remember that we are all just human beings doing our best in this world.  I will know that I am enough. 


Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Honest Truth

This has to be one of the worst flares I've had.  Maybe not.  My memory doesn't seem to be cooperating with me very well lately.  I haven't written in a long time due to the pain and fatigue.  You know what?  That's not even the real reason.  Truthfully, I have been afraid to write.  I'm very aware that everything I write is read by people.  This can be a detriment to honesty.  Then again, how much honesty are people ready for?  How much am I ready to admit?  I like to consider myself a patient, optimistic, determined person.  Here's the thing, though.  Lately, I don't feel like any of these things.  I am trying.  But, sometimes I don't feel like trying.  I feel like all I can do is survive the day.  And surviving a day or two is one thing.  But when you begin to string days to weeks and weeks to months of surviving, life becomes just that; survival. 

I am fed up.  Anger has erupted in me like never before in these past several weeks.  Sadness has overcome me in a very deep way.  For a person who has often had trouble crying, tears have been drowning me.  I feel alone, lost and (here comes the truth none of us want to hear) shrouded in hopelessness.  My children need me.  My husband is working in overdrive.  My house is a mess.  Christmas is fast approaching.  Everything is spiraling out of control and I'm in too much pain and too exhausted to so anything about it.  I want to make cookies, decorate and play with my children.  I want to make my husband a nice meal for his birthday.  I want to dust and do laundry like a normal person.  Forgive me, but I do not think I am asking for too much.  I just want more of a life than existing until bedtime when I crumble into the sheets and hope and pray for relief. 

Of course I am grateful for a home, my healthy happy children, a wonderful husband and that I do not have a fatal illness.  But, does that mean that I also am not allowed to want more?  We Fibromyalgia folks are too often criticized for complaining, malingering, exaggerating, and being attention seekers. 

The hell with it.  I am complaining.  I am angry and sad and feeling desperate.  I'm exhausted.  Like I have the flu 24/7 exhausted.  Like walking to the kitchen and back and shaking from over exertion exhausted.  I hurt.  Pain like knives are being stabbed into my neck and back.  The kind of pain that literally takes my breath away and leaves me nauseous. 

This is what I wake up to and deal with day in and out. I pray for sleep to give me respite.  This is the only escape I have.  Some nights are not as kind as others. 

So there.  I threw up all over the page and onto you, my readers.  I'm sorry.  I'm sorry this is not an entry with some kind of positive message.  I'm sorry I cannot be a role model today.  I'm sorry I cannot inspire anyone. 

Today I just can't.  I'm just trying to get through the day.  Again.  Trying to muster up a little speck of hope for tomorrow. 

This is real.  My illness is real.  My pain is real.  This entry is real. 

Honest and true.