Last summer I was hanging out with some friends. I told them a story about my dog. See, a fly had landed on her head and she felt it, no matter how lightly it touched down. Because the top of my head is so numb from fibro I was amazed at her ability to feel the fly. After the telling, everyone looked at me really strangely. They explained that they can feel flies on their heads as well. I realized on that day that I was starting to forget what normal felt like.
To think that I didn’t appreciate every single second of having a healthy body. I don’t remember a time that I could use my hands as they were meant to be used. I don’t remember a time that I could take a walk in the woods without wanting to sit down and die.
I don’t remember what it was like to ride a bike, or walk for any real distance, or go up stairs. I can’t go up the stairs in my friends house because they are spiral stairs and I get really dizzy when I try to use them.
Sometimes my arms and hands feel like there is a force coming out of the earth trying to pull me in using my arms. They get so heavy and dense and throbby that I want to cry, but I carry on.
To think that I didn’t even think about it the last time I was able to run. I don’t remember the last time I was able to dance. I had a lot of lasts and I wasn’t even aware they were happening.
There are days that I break. In the breaking I realize how fucking strong I am. I remember that I can go in public and put on a happy face while my body feels like it is walking through hell and breaking apart.
I make a point to never show how much it hurts. This can backfire, as most people think that I am “just fine” because I choose to have a positive attitude about my condition.
There are days that it wins. There are days that I cry because the anguish and the pain is too much. I don’t like anyone to see me cry and I totally used to be The One That Cries. Not that I don’t shed a rare tear over a show or a movie but real tears, those are rare and when it happens I am about as low as I get.
I have found that wishing for the past does not help me. Feeling sorry for myself does not help me at all. Concentrating on the pain, instead of staying positive is a huge mistake. There are a million things trying to drag you down. You have the choice whether you drown or swim as hard as you fucking can into a better mindset.
You absolutely can train your brain to deal with fibromyalgia. So far, there are no medications to make you better. From what I have found.. the right attitude and hard work on yourself can help make this condition something that just is.. most of the time.
Maybe we can’t remember what normal felt like, but I am pretty sure that is because we are supposed to get used to our new normal.