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Monday, January 17, 2011

I want to but I can't.

That is the story of me, me with fibromyalgia. The title of this blog just says it all. It happens often, on the worst days imaginable in my mind. I miss church, outings with friends, concerts, dates with my husband, birthday parties and antique/flea markets. These are all things I used to do. I used to go out more. I used to not have pain. I used to have energy. I used to . . . . .

A prime example of missing out was yesterday. I awoke with the worst fatigue I have had for a long time. I was exhausted, in pain and ached all over. Fogginess griped my brain. I sat in front of the TV and zoned. I did not make it to church where I would have seen friends and praised the Lord. I ate lunch, not really interested, but ate anyway. About 2:30 p.m. my cell phone rang. I picked up the phone and looked at the caller ID. My sister was calling. I answered to hear my sister say "where are you?". I was confused. Where was I supposed to be? Then, in the foggy state my brain was in came the thought of my two nieces birthday party. Oh, again I am missing out. I could hear the laughter of my twin nephews on the other end of the phone. A wave of sadness came over me. I choked it back and explained to Dana that I was ill and had just forgotten to call. I felt terrible and, well, guilty. Guilty for being sick, for not taking better care of myself, for not trying hard enough. It was not a pleasant moment.

A few hours later I was pouring over notes I had taken from a book I am currently reading called "How to be Sick" by Toni Bernhard. In my notes I noticed an activity I could do. It is a turnaround of the statement I never do anything anymore because I am sick. I did the exercise as follows:

I can pace myself because my days are not scheduled
I can manage to take care of my house with some help from my husband.
I still cook for my husband most of the time.
I do get out of the house to do activities like shopping with my sister.
I have time to read, pray and think.
I can spend time in the Word of God.
I can visit on the phone with my daughter and sister.
I can visit my mother on good days.

This list is not exhaustive. The actual list is much longer than I could have imagined. I am going to rewrite it and frame it. I need the reminder on those bad days, which happen more than I would like, but that is what it is, it's fibromyalgia. I highly recommend Toni's book. No, it is not a cure, but it is a tool to use. Fibromyalgia has no cure but I refuse to give in to the depression of being part of the sick community.

What would be on your list?

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