Sound Off

Something that never ceases to amaze me is how misunderstood we sufferers can be. It's something that we have all dealt with from time to time, but really, should we have to in today's day and age?

I have always been an advocate of living life to its fullest. I don't think anyone should sit on the sidelines and let wonderful things slip through their grasp just because they are scared, depressed, sick, or just plain feeling stuck in life. Lots of things can be wonderful excuses for us NOT to live our fullest lives, but when you come down to thinking about it, those excuses really are just ways for us to stop trying.

I remember when I was a first semester freshman in college and I got my grades. I was always a good student, but college was different and my grades truly showed that because I did awful. I failed my first semester miserably and I remember feeling like I let everyone down. I even felt guilty that my parents were footing the tuition for a failure. I had a long talk with my mom that night and told her that college wasn't for me and that I'd be better off at a retail job until I could hack the grownup world of college. I told her I didn't want her paying for a failure and that I would work towards my own education and some day go back.

To make an incredibly long story short, my mom was furious with me-- but not because of my grades like I thought she'd be. She was mad that I would give up so easily at something she knew I clearly loved. I started college because I wanted to be a journalist and my mom knew how much I loved to write. Writing has always been a part of me-- even when I was very young, I loved to write. She told me that under no uncertain terms, I'd continue to go to college because she believed in financing my future.

I didn't know what to think, but I went back after break and I looked at college in a different light and applied some different study habits. I went from a 1.5 GPA my first semester, to a 3.0 GPA the second. The moral of the story? If I used my excuses as a way of quitting college, I would have never gone back and succeeded the way that I did.

My college experience is a lot like my diagnoses of fibromyalgia. I could have given up and stopped doing the things that I enjoy, like yoga, gardening, karaoke, playing with my daughters, heck, even having a second child, the list could go on and on at what I could give up, quit, or stop trying as an excuse. But I didn't do that. I still do what I love, just not as often or as long as I used to due to fatigue and pain. I look at the activity in a different way now, just like I did with college.

What ceases to amaze me, though, is that there are still some Negative Nellies that think that the pain should run your life and not the you. I've come across many Nellies over the years because I'm a writer, but what is so disheartening isn't what's directed towards me. I write because I feel a need to say something positive, a negative comment isn't going to change the way I think, but it might change someone else's thoughts, and that's the sad part.

Patients with fibromyalgia have been misunderstood for centuries. We don't need anymore negativity in our lives. People who can't see that are just making this beast we deal with even more misunderstood, and that's just sad.

So, the next time you come across Nellie, knock her off your friend's list. I know I will.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Popular Posts