THE Plan

“You can’t change anything about the disease, so I don’t understand how you plan to change how the fibro makes you feel.”

I swear, if I hear that statement or any similar sentiment one more time, I’m going to unleash the full fury of my red-headed temper.

No. I cannot change the fibromyalgia. I can however, change MY reaction to it. Think of it this way: you’re wearing brand new shoes and you step in a lovely pile of doggy doo. How do you react? You have a choice: you can rant and rave, you can cry or you can laugh. Whether you realize it or not, you choose how you react. It just happens so quickly that most of us don’t even recognize that it was a choice.

I am choosing to laugh.

When the pain starts, rather than get depressed and angry (aka turn into a gumpy porcupine), I am choosing to think happy thoughts and redirect those unpleasant emotions. Yes, there will be days when I’m in so much pain I literally can’t get out of bed. I can’t change that, but I don’t have to lay there and feel sorry for myself either. I can call a friend, I can watch The Lion King (it’s my default “feel better” movie, don’t laugh!), I can even lay there and sing random songs at the top of my lungs if that’s what it takes to perk me up. Even better, maybe I can pull up my laptop and share my feelings here.

I realize that this is a slightly strange sounding plan, but for right now, it’s THE plan. I’ve tried more medications than I care to think about, they either don’t work for me or make me so addle brained that I can’t even manage to feed myself without destroying something (true story!).  At this point, my pain management doctors literally can’t even come up with any new drugs for me to try- I’ve gone through all of them. I’ve done physical therapy, all that did was irritate me and make me even more depressed. I’ve also tried going to a chiropractor, various herbal supplements, stress management therapy, relaxation training… You name it, and over the last 12 years, I’ve tried it, (with the exception of acupuncture- the thought of it alone is enough to make me queasy).

I won’t deny that I’ve spent the last few years allowing myself to be a miserable wretch- that much is undeniable. The thing is, at the time, I didn’t understand that I was choosing to be that way. It’s taken a lot of heart ache and emotional trauma to pry my eyes open to that fact. It took me hitting rock bottom to see that I was responsible for my own suffering- it’s not an easy thing to realize. It’s so much easier to blame outside forces. That little shift in perception has made all the difference for me. I can see, now, with startling clarity how my every action fed into the negativity surrounding me.

Feel free to ask questions, I don’t mind trying to explain, just please keep the disbelief and negativity to yourself 🙂

As of this moment, my new plan is being severely tested- I’ve been in non-stop, 8/9 out of 10 level pain for about 5 days now. To be quite honest, the pain is starting to wear me down. I haven’t sprouted quills yet, but my temper is bubbling very close to the surface. It’s getting harder and harder to not simply break down and cry. I had hoped that when I had a flare up like this I might be able to go for a walk or do some other kind of exercise, but since the pain is centered in my knee and it doesn’t want to support any weight, the best I can currently manage is a Quasimodo like hobble. I’ll come up with something though, I’m not ready to give up yet! I plan to get back on track with my daily walks tomorrow; even if I can only manage a few minutes, it’s better than being cooped up in the house.

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