I am used to being very active and being able to accomplish my goals quickly. Also have a big case of OCD! Now I can't get pass the extreme exhaustion that happens almost daily. I feel like a failure when I can't even get my house cleaned in a day. Maybe what I'm asking is how did you accept your new normal. Also, how did you get your friends and family to accept your limitations? I am prone to depression and I feel it coming on. Thanks. Wishing you one of your… read more
For me it was very hard in the first 15 years to accept the limitations with fibro. Always had been very active and worked in a very physically demanding job. Well, I had to come to my senses and pace myself in all activities. Very hard for my husband, family and friends to believe that the former person didn't exist anymore. It took persistence and patience on my side to finally have everybody on the same page. The family members and friends who still don't believe me that it's not all in my head I kinda had to exclude from my life. With fibro you don't need more negativity in your life. It's hard enough to keep on going every day and not have also somebody rain on your parade. You have to make yourself the most important person in your life!
I can argue against reality and lose. But only 100% of the time. It took me a long time to come to a point of acceptance that this is what it is. That comparing my situation to a preferred situation was just creating mental suffering for myself for no good reason. It's not like my resistance, my resentment and my anger were going to make my fibromyalgia go away. They just made matters worse. So I learned patience, to take pleasure in the things I used to just blithely miss and to treat all the negative emotions as my wounds in need of healing rather than enemies out to get me.
I am forcing myself to get dressed (not just sweats) and put on my eyebrows and mascara every morning. I used to think why bother when I can't do anything productive anyways!
But just doing those things make a difference!!!
Everyone knows what forgiveness is. Yet, when pressed for a specific definition of the word, we may find ourselves repeating platitudes that we, ourselves, may not be convinced by. The Greek for forgiveness is 'apethis' meaning to release, to let go.
Let go of what? In my case, to let go of all the resentment, anger and despair I could otherwise hold against this illness and the situations it lands me in.
Easier said than done, but I find that if I strip away the mental image I have of the illness, how it affects me, how long I have had it, how people misunderstand it, how it impacts me etc I'm just left with the feelings. And they ain't pretty. But they are capable of being seen as wounds, not enemies.
That last point is germane to the entire gig, so worth repeating. Those feelings are not enemies, they are wounds.
So I approach these wounds with complete acceptance of them, and shine the light of compassion and love upon them. I repeat as needed; because this isn't a one-shot deal. Over time, the compassion becomes the prevalent experience because whatever we experience, the relationship we have with it will be our primary experience of it. And that is how I cope with the emotional side of both CPTSD and Fibromyalgia.
Adjusting to a new normal takes awhile and is different for each person. If you were once a perfectionist that may be hard to let go of. It's surprising how many woman are perfectionists. I can definitely relate. We have this view of ourselves of how we ought to be, and we always fall short. Maybe a chronic illness is fate's way of telling us we are good enough the way we were created. It took me awhile to get that message. Life will never be easy but it will be better.
God bless you,