Its 2:24am and I’m writing my first ever chronic pain post from my bed, unable to sleep or to even sit comfortably because Fibromyalgia won’t let me. It seems to find humour in watching me squirm, attempting to rest my aching body with every minute that passes. This has been my life for the past 7 years. I can’t remember what life is like without pain. Fibro took that away from me. It took away my curiosity, my longing for adventure, my lust for life, and in a way, my personality. I don’t feel like me anymore, I haven’t in a very long time. Everything I do has to be carefully planned. Orchestrated. I have to consider rest times, recovery times for even the simplest of tasks.
What is spontaneity? To me, it’s a fantasy. Being able to decide on a whim to go for a walk on the beach or a hike up the mountains is a distant possibility. Do I have enough time to sleep an unusually long amount of hours afterwards to recover before having to function as a normal human being again? What combination of painkillers and anti inflammatories suit this situation the best? Will I be able to make it home without assistance from my friends or family if I leave my house today? Will I have to cancel my plans to venture into the outside world after having a shower because I used up all my energy trying to wash my hair?
Some days are better than others. Most days, I have enough energy to go to work and to make it home again. But there are also days where I can’t even make it down the stairs. Those days are the hardest to deal with. It’s so hard to explain Fibromyalgia to people who haven’t experienced an invisible illness, because I look fine. I don’t have a broken arm to show you, or a swollen ankle. I don’t have bruises where I feel I’ve been punched, I don’t have wounds where I feel I’ve been stabbed. I wish with all my heart that I didn’t have this condition. At 24 years old, I should be living my best life, not calling into work sick for the millionth time or cancelling plans with my friends who I rarely get to see anyway, all because I’m too sore to walk or because my body didn’t hold onto the little bit of energy it had left to get my through another day.
Please, be kind to those around you. Everybody has their struggles and even though you may not see them, I can assure you it doesn’t mean they’re not there.
– S.G. x