Hello, 2015!

New year, new me!

Just kidding. Honestly, I hate that phrase and all it’s implications of self loathing. Yes, we’ve just entered 2015 and it is a brand new year, brimming with brand new possibilities, etc., etc., etc., but I am so tired of hearing people say the same exact thing over and over again.

We all get so excited at the thought of totally new, unblemished calendar; we set all sorts of goals and make thrilling new plans… Can you even imagine how awesome life would be if we could get as excited about the start of a new day? Sure, our goals would have to be smaller, but if we could start each new day with the same enthusiasm that we have for a new year, we could all take over our own little worlds.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t set long term goals, those are definitely good things to have, I’m just suggesting that you break them down into smaller pieces. Instead of eating an entire triple decker cake in one go, (making yourself sick and getting totally burned out on cake in the process), why not slow down and take a bite a day? You’ll enjoy it considerably more in the long run and every day you can savor the anticipation of taking that bite.

So, this year, the only resolution I am making is: to remember that every single day is a brand new chance to take a step towards where I want to be. It doesn’t matter whether that place is a smaller jeans size, a faster mile or bigger bank account, as long as I get out of bed every morning with the knowledge that today is my chance to get closer.

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It’s never too late!

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Have hope

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Brave

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Love

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Love this quote

“You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self,
to live out your purpose, and to do it fearlessly.”
– Steve Maraboli

THE Plan, update #2

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I love this quote, because it describes exactly what it is that I am working towards. I know that there are many obstacles in my life that I simply cannot change, so instead, I’m working to change how I get around them. It sounds simple enough, but sometimes it takes a tremendous amount of effort to react to situations the I want to rather than the way I’m used to reacting to them. Some habits are hard to break, but they can be broken.

With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at the plan I came up with to help me deal with being chronically ill. Just to recap, here’s a brief overview of my actual plan:

  • Get Happy: This is kind of a mind over matter approach, I’m learning to change the way I react to situations. I’m learning to control my temper and to always look at the brighter side of things. I’m seeing a therapist, who’s helping me learn to deal with stress and the depression that comes with fibromyalgia.
  • Get Healthy: I’m using a combination of diet and exercise to improve my overall health. My goal is to lose a total of 45 pounds.

It’s that simple.

I’ve been working on these things for just over six weeks now, and while I’m nowhere near saying “I’m done!”, I am making tangible progress. I’ve been counting my calories religiously and have actually managed to stay at or under my daily calorie budget every day for the last 45 days. I’ve also been able to stick to a low impact exercise plan. I’m not able to exercise every single day, but I do average about 4 times a week.

I’ve now lost a total of 14 pounds. 🙂

One of the other benefits that I’ve noticed since I’ve been exercising regularly is my mood. My depressive episodes have decreased dramatically and it’s getting easier for me  to keep control of my temper. I’m not having crazy mood swings either. Yesterday, I noticed that I was actually completely content for no apparent reason. Today, I’m still inexplicably happy. For me, that’s a pretty big deal.

My pain levels are down, but the pain isn’t completely gone. Prior to starting my new routine, my average pain level was an 8 out of 10. Now, it’s about a 4-5. I still have the debilitating flare ups, but they don’t seem to last quite as long. Last night, for instance, my right hand/arm got so bad that I literally couldn’t use it; we’re talking an 11 out of 10. I’ve had many, many instances like this before, but thankfully, they have become less frequent.

The fibro fog is still a major issue; I’m having difficulty concentrating on conversations, I forget what I’m doing in the middle of tasks, words get jumbled when I speak… yeah. The fog is pretty frustrating, but given the choice, I’ll take the fog over the pain any day.

I really can’t complain, life is good. The best part is, I know that as long as I keep fighting, things will only get better.

Better days

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Yesterday was a rough day for me, emotionally, anyway. Today, however was much better :). I woke up in a good mood, and I stayed in a good mood. It was just a nice relaxing Sunday, about as close to a “normal” day as I ever get. Despite the heat/humidity, I made it out for my walk this afternoon. It took me a little bit longer than usual, 45 minutes instead of my usual 30, but it was nice. My pain levels are still way down, although the fog in my brain is as bad as ever. That’s ok, one step at a time…

The Plan in Action…

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Why is it that the pain is always the worst at night? It can’t just be me who experiences this obnoxious phenomenon, right? I lie down, exhausted from a long and trying day; I am just about asleep when the little fibro gnomes in my body decide to declare war on me.

I think I must have laid there for about three hours trying to fall asleep while the evil gnomes pulled the muscles from my bones one fiber at a time… Sorry if that’s a bit too graphic this early in the morning, but to be honest, it amuses me to come up with new and disturbing ways to describe my pain to people who don’t have fibro. I’ve got to find the bright side somewhere! 🙂

Considering the multi-hued handful of pills that I have to take at night in order to get to sleep, it’s pretty scary that the gnomes are able to keep me awake. Just so we’re clear, I’m not up early to make this post, I just haven’t gone to sleep yet. Ugh, it’s going to be a long day.

However, there’s still a sort of bright side to it; this is a perfect day to test out my theory concerning changing how I react to my illness. Just as a quick recap, my plan is to change the way I react to the fibromyalgia in order to stop it running my life. That being said, I’m going to come up with a basic plan for how I’d like today to go, even though I’m in serious pain.  Here’s my plan for today:

  1. I’m not hiding my pain. Instead, here I sit, putting it out there for the world to see.
  2. Enjoy a nice, relaxing cup of tea, while I read a good book. I’m currently reading Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card.
  3. Once it warms up a bit, I’m going to, (get ready for this!), go outside. Granted, it’s not like I’m going to go out there to do yard work or anything, but I think soaking up some sunshine will be good for me.
  4. Shower. With any luck, that will help relieve some of my discomfort.
  5. Assuming that I’m not in too much pain, (or too tired), to take a short drive, I’m going to go visit my in-laws for a little while. Luckily, they’re not far, so it should be feasible.
  6. Honestly, I’m probably going to need a nap right about now.
  7. I’m going to try to get in a little bit of exercise. I’m not going to go crazy, but if I can get in a trip around the block, I’ll be happy.
  8. Report back on how the day actually went, and be totally honest about it. I know that to most of the population out there, that’s probably a pretty lame plan for an entire day, but remember, I’m running on zero sleep and right now, my pain level is bouncing between 7 and 10. I’m a bit short on spoons today, so I’ve got to be realistic about what I can actually do.

The truly amazing thing is that, even though my pain levels are through the roof right now, my mood is great. True, this could be due to lack of sleep, but I’m going to be optimistic and say that maybe, just maybe, my plan to change how I react to my pain is actually working.

Logic and reason are definitely telling me that this is impossible, but if I don’t at least try, I’ll never know.

I’ll check back in later tonight to record my results, in the meantime, I hope everyone has a fabulous day!

Something to Remember

I’m having one of those days where everything seems pointless and it feels as though the cup that holds my strength to face the day has a giant hole in it. Really, all I want to do is go hide in bed until the day is gone.

Remember that black hole, that pit of despair I mentioned? I’ve been trying to escape it and I thought I’d managed to put some distance between it and myself… Sadly, over night, it seems to have crept back up on me and once again, I feel like I’m teetering on the edge of it.

The good thing is, this time, I know I’m not alone. I have people I can reach out to and I have people reaching out to me as well. I woke up this morning to find two lovely messages (from complete strangers) waiting for me on the “Fighting Fibro with Fire” Facebook page. At least I know that my words are reaching people and aren’t just getting lost in cyber space. It also reminds me that my fight and my pain are not pointless; I am actually helping people, even as I help myself.

I’d just like to say a great, big “thank you” to all of you who are following my blog, liking my Facebook page and posting comments; it means a lot to me. Seriously. You guys remind me that there is a bright side, even to days like today. Sometimes you have to dig a bit to find it, but sometimes it’s there waiting in your inbox :).

I hope you find as much hope and inspiration in this poem as I did!

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