First off, I made it onto Groupthink!
And I'm super excited about it, so thanks for having me.
So everyone has been offering up amazing insight from their various niches, and I thought I'd toss my expertise in, such as it is.
Since many people deal with people with invisible illnesses daily but don't always understand what that is like, I'm happy to answer anyone's questions about anything dealing with invisible illness, particularly fibromyalgia. If you don't have it, congrats! But you've probably seen it on TV in pharmaceutical ads, or perhaps you've heard about someone's sister's aunt who never sees the sun anymore because she hasn't stirred from her bed since her diagnosis.
There are a ton of facets to fibromyalgia, and it can be tough to relate to if you can't grasp what it feels like. But never fear! I am here with my visual aids.
Frankly, when I was diagnosed at 16, I was rather worried. What do you do when you hear you have developed a lifelong pain disorder ?
After the freak-out is over, you learn to deal with the basics: constant aches, stabbing pains, insomnia, energy fluctuations, and exhaustion.
I was a teen, so of course, my coping mechanism was to pretend it all wasn't happening and just push myself harder. Unsurprisingly, I had a good deal of anger and frustration. I felt like I should be able to push past all of this, and when I couldn't, well...
Over the years, I've been on tons of meds, tried several therapies, some that worked, some that didn't. I've learned that the important thing, however, is not to let it wear at you. Which is hard, because after a bad week (and they happen often!) I'm tempted to arrive at a single conclusion.
Very often, I struggle with the desire to be asleep more than I am awake. I forget everything. I need my naps and I need them often. And mornings? (Or even energy, at any time?)
Ultimately, the best thing you can do for a fibro-mite is be positive, and understanding, and very forgiving when they forget things all the time, like I'm not saying I've been doing all month.
Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts/questions, feel free to share! I'm happy to answer.