by Mara Rose. Mara has been living with chronic pain and fibromyalgia for the last 15 years.
Hear me out…
Life is often unpredictable with fibromyalgia. Some days can really be frustrating. We struggle to stay awake during the day, fight off the pain all day long, and cannot find rest very easily at night.
Our bodies live in a perpetual state of discomfort – all the while we are doing everything possible to make ourselves COMFORTABLE.
So, it’s time to get uncomfortable.
Sometimes it requires getting uncomfortable with our current routine in order to pursue a more comfortable life going forward.
I have found myself stuck in an unhealthy mindset several times since my diagnosis of fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses. It becomes easy to take a pill, not exercise, and live in negative state of mind. I remember thinking, “What is the point in trying?”
Several months ago, I hit my “rock bottom” with chronic illness. There is no other way to put it. I had only two options at that point: Continue in a downward spiral of depression and pity, or get healthy, exercise and live in the positive light.
I chose to pull myself out of that dark hole and live. I chose to live for myself, my husband, my son, and my family.
There is only blackness in that dark hole. I buried myself under an unhealthy amount of comfort and negative thoughts. And I wasn’t happy there. If you can relate – I have some tips for you!
As I began to ascend into the light, I sought help wherever possible. I saw a chronic pain counselor who taught me how to “retrain my brain.” I went off unnecessary medications. My doctor also recommended that I start physical therapy and retrain core muscles to build a stronger body.
My life changed, and I am grateful.
As I learned to retrain my brain, my outlook on life as a chronic pain sufferer also changed. It is a documented fact that as we shift our focus from pain to something positive, we can stop catastrophizing our levels of pain and begin to heal.
Remember when I said that your fibromyalgia pain comes from the brain? Well, it does. But so do the negative thoughts that feed and add to your pain. And I can say this because I have been there.
My chronic pain counselor taught me how to shift my focus off the pain and dedicate some time for myself. I am a new mom, so I understand that it can be difficult to find time for yourself. But if you want to come out of that dark hole… you NEED to try!
Here are some ways to shift your negative thoughts to positive thoughts…
Negative – “My neck still hurts today, I will never feel better!”
Positive – “My neck has less pain than yesterday and a lot more movement.”
Do you see the difference? Honestly, just a small shift in your thought process can have such a HUGE impact on your daily life.
Negative – “I always get headaches when I’m at work.”
Positive – “My headaches have really improved since dimming the lights.”
Negative – “No one understands my pain, and I am all alone.”
Positive – “This pain is difficult, but I am not alone in my suffering.”
Remember, this takes work and things do not change immediately overnight.
Get involved in some conversations on MyFibroTeam, and find the support you need from fellow pain sufferers. You are never alone!
Try implementing these small changes into your life. I encourage you to make small improvements and to break away from the comfort. You will be amazed how enjoyable life can be when you’re standing in the light.
Hang in there and remember… no one should ever suffer in silence! Be well.
This guest post was written by Mara Rose of WordsByMara.com and is posted here with permission.
Mara Rose is a writer living with fibromyalgia, endometriosis, adenomyosis, and degenerative disc “disease.” She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and son, Micah. She’s active in the fibromyalgia and chronic pain online communities, and she’s currently working to develop local patient mentor programs in her area.