Escaping the destructive dark days of Fibromyalgia.





I have held back on sharing this blog until my mind and body was in a better place. Sharing true emotions is something I promised to always do within my blog. 

If I fabricate my life and sugarcoat it then what is the point in writing? 
If I do not share my true emotions then how can my readers understand me as a person?

Sharing illness can be raw sometimes but so necessary to ensure that other women can identify with you as a real person with the same illness they have. 

Now in a happier place, I feel confident to share my darkness and painful days. 

After many years of listening to my body and mind, I knew a dark day was coming,  a disturbance in the force was felt so I guided my soul to the self-love cocoon in my mind. 

Often life can get a little bit hectic and my brain just needs some time out to catch up. My kind of hectic would seem so trivial to a "normal person" as it can be just a build up of small simple jobs or having a backlog of blogs.  I used to just carry on regardless and push myself beyond this, then crash but Fibromyalgia came as a gift to advise me to stop and recharge. 

To think of a person with depression we often visualise a sad person curled in a ball with a frown. I am not this person at all, I am a happy person with a big smile. I know who I am and the limitations of my illness and my mind. 

Many people never truly know themselves until they become unwell, this is very true for me. I know that the push and pull of life does get me down and so I live in a little bubble, my force field. Inside I hold the things close to me that I need such as my sons, my safety net of home.   

I am happy and content but I live differently to a lot of functioning people. If I was placed in a hectic setting my mind would overload fast and I would possibly be found in a ball crying with my knickers on my head. My boys see me happy and content because I know my own mind and body so well now since fibromyalgia, I knew I had to stop and balance my day, my thoughts, my sleep so well that I stay happy. I am very much a hermit but a happy one, if that makes sense. 

Happiness is something I work at daily. 
Escaping the destructive dark days of Fibromyalgia is essential even though the journey is difficult. 

The past few days I have dwelled on the past and worried about the future. 
Hugely destructive to a woman like me!

I wanted old me back, (read the previous blog I am only human) also I have been having recurring dreams of the past, it all just got to me. PTSD can be cruel like that. Re-experiencing the past through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares.

This and the weather sent Fibromyalgia symptoms into overload and so I stopped. I am not sure what came first the high pain levels or the dark cloud but together they were feeding each other. Being sad intensifies every pain within my body. Being in pain makes me sad. This is a deep pit so many people struggle to get out of daily and I have so much empathy for them. It is so difficult, if not impossible to just "pull yourself together" that theory is a load of rubbish. 




 

Today my little PrincessMaggie and I snuggled all day on the couch to the sound of the rain dancing outside the boundaries of my castle. Her warm body soothes the pains in my legs, often I think she knows this and hugs them more. 

Often when I feel low I just need to shut down, refocus and remember all I have read and adopted into my life as a coping mechanism to dark days. I wanted to share some of my coping mechanisms with my readers as maybe my methods could help someone else. It is fine saying I was in pain and depressed but now I am back on track, what does that really tell anyone? If I read a blog I want to know how they actually climbed out of the pit, every step and every bead of sweat that fell from their brow in the process. 

Here is what I do, yes it is tedious, yes it is hard work. But pain is so much worse when depression grips me so I have to stay ahead regardless of how exhausting it may seem. 

Remember why you smile, who your heart beats for
This can be family, friends, animals, your garden, drawing, sewing, whatever ignites your heart this is why we fight on. 

My heart beats for my five sons. 




Social Media
Today I switched off social media as Facebook can absorb my happiness. It is a bit too peopley when my head is mashed.  Chatting is so draining. I find Instagram so much more enjoyable when I am in my self-love cocoon. Posting pictures, quotes and pressing the odd heart shaped like is about my limit from my cave.





Buddhism
Without preaching on about Buddhism, in short, it is really a matter of simply "surrendering and relinquishing misguided habits and preconceptions that will allow us to experience the essential content that is within us all." 

This means that you could lead a perfectly normal life on the surface, but from within live in a way that you don't attach yourself to any of the things that are a part of your life. This doesn't mean you stop caring about them. On the contrary, you appreciate them so much more because you're ever-aware of that they won't last forever. You appreciate the small moments and become so thankful for them. You appreciate NOW so much more. 

What gives you hope? It does not have to be Buddhism, it can be prayers, affirmations, any form of hope is your focus. This focus will keep your mind in the here and now. 



Be Here Now
Imagine you are holding a freshly picked flower in your hand, you are well aware that the flower will wilt and die in a matter of days but it is so beautiful at this present moment. With practice, you can live your entire life savouring every small moment knowing that in each moment everything can (and often does) change. 

Life is ever changing for me and so I adapted my mind to cope. I only think of today, yesterday I can not change and tomorrow is not here yet so simply focus on all the wonderful things no matter how small are within my present moment. 





Caring for my inner child 
I felt needy and teary today.  My inner child, the cute little fat entity subordinate to the waking consciousness of my mind was in full spirit today. 

Maggie was my teddy bear. How would I cope without Maggie? All through my illness, she has been by my side. Death is never a worry to me until the dark days when my inner child dances through my mind. I  often try to forget painful times. The memory always resurfaces even when I push that emotion deep within. 

Every time we’re in touch with the experience of suffering, pain and loss we believe we can’t bear it, and we stuff our feelings and memories deep down in our unconscious mind.

So often in my past, I stuffed every fear into a box and nailed a lid down on top. I pushed it to the furthest most corner of my mind and walked away. As adults we perceive this to be a way of dealing with life. But emotional hurt piles up and rocks our happiness foundations. 

I always describe it like building bricks, you can keep on building when some of the foundations are unstable but eventually the bricks crash to the ground. For me, this is a dark day, a day when I need to refocus. 



Communicate with your family
You don't have to explain everything but even saying you could do with some more cuddles, you are in pain, you are not feeling yourself allows them to step in with hugs and support. 
My youngest massages my feet and my back, he is a little darling and he feels happy helping Mum get better. 


Mindfulness and Meditation
Retreating and comforting self-love is what is needed and we begin to generate the energy of mindfulness. My mind is like my laptop, it needs a defrag often or it just slows to stop. 

Refocusing energy heals us, and will heal the wounded child in us.

Meditation and creating healthy circulation to my psyche is the plan. 
Spending some time silent. 
Spending some time looking within.

Even just lighting some Nag Champa incent sticks, switching off the TV and focusing on your breathing is so beneficial.



Organising my place in the world
This does not include the essential clutter at the side of my chair, any chronic ill person knows we need this as much as we need air.  I just find harmony in notes, lists, getting my emails cleared, sorting the comments on my blog, clearing the personal messages from my social media.

People wrongly assume being organised to be a fanatic cleaner. This is so not me! My ironing basket could have a flag on the summit for all I care.



Medication
This is the one thing that is so easy to forget when we are low or in pain yet it is essential. Medication and supplements are vital at this time. If you live with someone else maybe get them to sort them into daily medicine pots for you and prompt you to take them at the correct times.



I wrote this blog on Tuesday, it has been a long week. Lots of ignoring conversations, staying in my little bed and keeping warm. When the boys were in school/university I slept and wrapped myself in my self-love cocoon.


People praise the butterfly for its beauty and grace. Yet seldom do we praise the butterfly for the extraordinary journey it takes to become its intended greatness. It seems that we distinguish the butterfly from the caterpillar as if they are two separate entities. The purpose and destiny of the caterpillar is tossed out because the butterfly steals the show. My happiness often steals the show and that is what people praise me for yet it is during my darkness that I transform and become the person that I am. We do not give becoming ill enough credit, we treat it as a negative process of our life yet for me being ill was when I truly listened to my mind and body. 




I trust myself to know what I need now to heal. I knew I would get happier again and that is why I did not want to share my darkness while it was happening. 

Love the butterfly, but respect and enjoy the caterpillar as well. It is a reflection of our journey.

Love and gentle hugs to you all





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