On many occasions, I talked about the inconvenience of attending family reunions and social events. (Blame it on #Fibromyalgia, Girls! They wanna have fun or Here comes the bride … ) Okay let’s face it; it represents 90% of what I’m talking about or should I say, complaining about. It is hard to confront the people you love the most (and probably hide the most from too), when your energy level is at a new low and your tolerance definitely compares to a behavior I couldn’t even say in a politically correct manner! However, like any other thing in life, I must admit that meeting with family and old friends has its advantages on a totally different level. Talking to people who have known you forever and sometimes even before you were self-aware, can prove to be very edifying and constructive. Maybe not all the time, especially when there are things you wish to never remember, but most of it, it takes you back to a period of your life when everything was easier, better, bigger.
During one of these revealing and sometimes humiliating moments, I realized that most of my surroundings could agree on at least one thing; I have always been sick or tired. Even a family friend who I have been very close to during high-school years, immediately asked me about my « little health issues » the moment we had the opportunity to catch-up.
These reminiscences of my past made me realize that being tired, anxious and somehow sick has always been part of my life. Apparently to a point where it was unnecessary to put medical labels on it, it was just part of my inherent personality!
My mom remembers the endless trips to the doctor and the stressful bed days more than I could. My sisters remembered perfectly the anxiety I was going through when going back to school after a one-week recovery break. Even my friends remember the time I tried to escalade the school’s wall to avoid sitting around while others were playing sport and ending getting caught by MY father who was just passing by (The perks of living too close to your school). I didn’t play sport at the time because my health wouldn’t allow it. And at that time, I was only fifteen and already tired of sitting and watching others live their normal lives.
All this time I have been thinking that they did not care about me struggling with a chronic condition while in fact they were just so familiar with me not feeling too well, way before I could put complicated medical terms on it. There is no need to make it a thing, now that it has a name.
These revelations made me realize that the problem was not about how they perceived me but how I started perceiving myself. Is it possible that knowing that my condition is chronic, had made me revolt against something I have been doing all my life?
I was angry about me having fibromyalgia and my family not caring much while in fact it is just very similar to « The Shepherd and the wolf » story. I have always been tired and yet I managed to live a somehow- normal life. I have always been sick and yet my body is not badly damaged and I look perfectly fine. For years I complained so much about how unbearable pain was and I ended up bearing it in silence, on a daily basis. And now that I can put a name on all theses symptoms and prove that being sick is not just part of my personality, no one would listen.
All this thinking brought me to a completely different level of wondering. Is it possible that while this condition has proven to change peoples’ lives and habits tremendously, it has driven me to a way of living that better suits me ?
Overthinking this question made me realize a crucial thing : That I am truly blessed and lucky (If there is such thing as luck !) Why ? Why would I be lucky to have been diagnosed with a chronic/invisible illness before turning 30? Well simply because at the very least, my condition didn’t totally swipe who I was before. In fact, it might have helped me to accept the life I already had and everything that came along with it. I have never been an outgoing person so I can’t really blame it on Fibromyalgia. I have never dreamed of a big corporate career and here I am trying to write my first book. When I thought that I had lost all passion and interest, here I am unveiling myself on a blog 🙂
I am definitely not saying that living with Fibromyalgia was the life that I wanted or that it could have been the same for me if I didn’t have it. Definitely not. But what I am saying is that I know many people who are probably more affected than me and that Fibromyalgia has taken a lot from them, leaving them only memories of the people they were before.
So yes, I’m okay living with Fibromyalgia and this is definitely a blessing. It is the bright side and I am holding on to it. And if there is was one thing I could say to people who eligibly do not feel the same about it it’s : » if there is any place where your old self can meet your new self, please go there and maybe you’ll start perceiving the good that can come from the bad.