Monday, 28 November 2016

Fibromyalgia – Feeling so alone.

Having a close companion on the quest to learn about fibromyalgia can be a wonderful psychological boost. "It helps the person not to feel so alone," says says John Fry, a Newport Beach, California-based psychologist whose wife Elizabeth was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about four years ago. He recommends learning about how depression and anxiety — and on the flip side, positive thoughts and gratitude — can impact the disease and color the experiences of daily life. "Counting your blessings in the midst of difficulty" is one way to nurture a positive attitude, he says.
I can’t agree more with Fry. Having my daughter and close friends supporting me has really boasted my desire to fight this illness!

I used to be this person who felt that showing my emotions, fear or asking for help made me vulnerable. I mastered the act of smiling even when all I wanted to do was crawl and cry. I saw myself as a giver, the strong one and the shoulder for others to cry on. This was one of the many reasons why I hide my illness for many years from friends and family.
Unbeknownst to me my daughter knew something was wrong with mama and she heard me cry at night when I thought she was asleep.

I felt so alone.
I felt nobody would understand.
I felt ashamed to ask for help.
I did not want anyone to see me as a weak person.

Sometimes I would work myself up emotionally with these thought which triggered my illness.
Then, things changed. I could not hide it anymore and I began to open up. I lost some friends and family who were used to seeing me as the strong one, and could not deal with me being weak.
But the few who stayed have really helped and encouraged me on my bad days. Another big change is my daughter. She overheard me telling her dad that I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and she rushed to Google to find out what it was. She spent the evening asking me where I felt pain most and asked me a lot of questions to put me at ease. She told me she knew I was ill and felt better now she knew what was wrong with me and how she could help.

It dawned on me that it is more frustrating and confusing when we shut our loved ones out. We are not helping them by hiding our illness from them, because they know something is not right. We are sometimes alone because we want to be, because we shut the world out.

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