I know that each of our journeys is different; not just for the fact that some have other ailments, but that fibromyalgia presents, seemingly, significantly different. I still, however, find myself asking how can they still do that. Some of my lovely fibro friends including my bestie who also suffers with lupus, continue to work full-time schedules. I know my bestie has bad days and we never compare who has more, but I do know that somehow she pushes through while I have gone to less than… read more
I try to not compare myself to other (it's really hard some days!), and remember instead that everyone has different limitations and trying not to judge people for what theirs may be. I've felt like a failure most of my life and only in the last three years started to understand why I have struggled so much more than many others I know, and especially my brother. Three years ago I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I got on meds and into therapy and it changed my life. Based on my symptoms, my psychiatrist thinks I developed it when I was 11, so I've gone undiagnosed and untreated for 19 years! I've had to accept the limitations that illness puts on my life and with my recent fibromyalgia diagnosis, I'm having to accept new physical limitations. I hate it. I struggle against it. Someday I cry about it. But I keep having to come back to the phrase, "From each according to his ability. To each according to his needs." Finding what works for you, focusing on strengths and celebrating those and trying to not compare your path to anyone else's, well, I think that's the key to being successful and finding happiness and fulfillment.
I hear the emotional dilemma you are in right now. I still work full time in a high stress high demand job, and at times the fact that I am still able ("able" but not necessarily "well" able, I have noticed my considerable decline in talent and skill!) to work full time makes me question just how badly affected I am by this compared to someone who has stopped working - causing me to feel that I wasn't worthy of help. It's almost the opposite to your problem but yet still a bit the same, if that makes sense? What helped me was to understand firstly that there is a spectrum to this disorder, and secondly where on the spectrum I fell. I have a huge range of symptoms, but none are so severe that I am significantly disabled, .....yet. Many people I have encountered through this site have far fewer symptoms to deal with but the symptoms they do have are greater in severity, causing greater disability.
Your friend may have a larger spectrum of symptoms and issues, but individually none of these are so severe yet that they have prevented her from working, whereas your fewer symptoms may be individually more severe. There is also the roll-on effect of depression and pain making fatigue worse, so being in chronic pain will cause fatigue, as well as depression from being in chronic pain which then further causes more fatigue. Add all of the other issues that you may have, it all takes a toll on your emotional, psychological and physical available energy.
It's all relative, but only to ourselves. Fibro is as individual to each of us as our own fingerprints: no two of us will be the same.
For me, I have tried to imagine the future I want to have and work out what I need to do now to ensure that I can be in that future, not just a bystander to it. It's a long slow process, but for me to have a quality of life I think it's worth my time and pain now to ensure I have time and LESS pain later.
I was diagnosed in 2000 and still work full-time as a conference interpreter. It's not a 9-5 Monday- Friday job. It's very feast or famine and super high stress. I love it though. Will continue for another 10 years (age 70) if I can. I really have learned to pace myself and avoid my stressors ( emotionally and psychologically abusive people).
I agree with you. I have had days when I feel I can conquer the world but my husband puts a stop to that very quickly. The first time I had a pain free day and felt awesome I started cleaning house like crazy!! That evening I was in the ER with extreme pain throughout my body. The ER Dr. (Male) doesn't believe I. FIBROMYALGIA so he just gave me Tylenol and sent me home. I couldn't sleep because of the pain and I was back at the ER the next day. Thankfully it was a female Dr. That saw me and was able to understand since she also has it. She prescribed NORCO and IBU, plus an injection of norco before I left. It all worked but now my RA will not prescribe Norco because it's a narcotic and he doesn't prescribed narcotics. Needless to say I've been in pain.