You obviously don’t suffer as much as me.
You obviously don’t have FM/CFS/etc. since you can exercise.
You’re taking advantage of the system.
You’re not that sick!
These are all said to me over the past week (mostly by the same person.) Let me tell you, this has nothing to do with who I (or you) am. This has everything to do with the person who spoke these hurtful words. For years I allowed myself to live an unhealthy lifestyle because I falsely believed that my condition was to blame for this. After all, every time I tried to go for a walk I would end up in pain. If exercise causes you to flare, you obviously can’t do it, right? Therefore, since I exercise, I must not be in pain or it must not be that bad.
Wrong. DEAD wrong. I decided to do an experiment on myself. I decided that attempting to live healthily was a good goal to try and achieve. I never expected to exercise without pain. I knew from the onset that this would be a long, painful and difficult journey. When I first began to workout, I was often in a lot of pain afterwards. I kept my head up and hoped that as time went on, it would pass and the flares would diminish. Well, they didn’t.. not really. What did happen, however, was that my “normal” periods, my non flare periods, became wonderful. I began to feel normal for small amounts of time. The healthier I become in terms of weight, diet (the food I eat, not the calorie deficit) and muscle tone, the happier and better I feel. This makes it so much easier to mentally deal with the pain and sorrow of a pain flare. This helps me remember that, despite how crappy I might feel in the moment, I KNOW that it will get better and I CAN wait it out.
Fibromyalgia does not make a healthy lifestyle impossible. It does make it more difficult, but life with FM is already difficult, so what’s the point in not trying? You’re already in pain. You’re already suffering. Don’t you think you deserve to be happy and pain free when you’re not flaring? Don’t you think you deserve some hope, to know that when you finally come out of the flare, you feel fantastic? Don’t lie to yourself and tell yourself you can’t do it, that it hurts too much or that you don’t have the willpower. You absolutely do, you just have to believe it.
Love your body. Yes, it hurts, and fibromyalgia has taken from you not only your ability to move normally, but to do it pain free. I get it because I’ve been there and, in times of flare, I still am. I still walk into walls, bang into corners and cry in agony as the pain shoots up and down my body. I still drop things, I still have trouble getting up from a sitting position and I still hurt every single morning getting out of bed. I love myself enough to take care of me and the vessel I live in, despite its obvious flaws. I have learned to take care of me, even when nobody else would. You owe it to yourself to make some positive changes in your life.
The words said to me this past weekend hurt. They hurt because they had come from a person I once considered a friend. Yet I know deep down that these words have nothing to do with who I am, and everything to do with the person’s own denial. They have the power to change their life but refuse to, and my success causes them to face their own lies.
I am not successful because I’m not sick, I am successful because I fucking worked for it!