Fibromyalgia Diagnosis and Lowering the Bar

7 years post fibromyalgia diagnosis and I’m still trying to accept that lowering the bar is essential to living my best life. Pushing myself beyond my physical limitations leads to a flare, period.

I push too hard and I get knocked down. It’s really that simple. Forgiving myself these limits. Now that’s where I struggle.

Pre Fibromyalgia Diagnosis

I’d like to say that I’ve learned not to beat myself up over it. But, that’d be a lie.

The truth is that I still spend way too much time belittling myself for not getting things done. And, when I do finally finish a task, I judge myself in comparison to my pre fibromyalgia diagnosis standards. Which I can no longer live up to.

So, what does this achieve? Nothing positive, that’s for sure. Quite the opposite. I deflate my energy level to sub-zero with all the unspoken words of criticism bouncing around in my head.

Instead, I should be supportive and patting myself on the back for doing my best. I know I need to adjust the bar downward. It’s just that I’m having a hard time accepting it.

Sometimes the sky is not the only limit
Sometimes the Sky is not the Only Limit

Setting Fibro Standards

Which brings me to my biggest fibromyalgia lifestyle hurdle; lowering the bar.

Having to lower my standards, is my biggest fibro struggle. Not the pain. Except when I’m having a fibro flare of course. Then pain is number one. But even then, often I spend much of my involuntary painful downtime stressing over what I’m not getting done.

My insurmountable hurdle since my Fibromyalgia diagnosis has been accepting that I can no longer strive for excellence in everything that I do.  I have always been an overachiever and strove to continuously raise the bar higher. I’m very competitive. And pre-Fibromyalgia diagnosis, my toughest opponent at most things was always myself.

Whatever I achieved, I’d push myself to do it better the next time.

Need to start showing myself a little more love after fibromyalgia diagnosis
Time to Start Showing Myself a Little Love

7 years after having been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia I’m finally learning to accept that my standards have to change and that I need to start congratulating myself a little more on my many daily successes rather than condemning myself for things beyond my control.

Sometimes in life, the sky is not the only limit and that is ok.

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Don’t you just love when someone says you need to be more active?

Simple, Just Get Active They Say

The moment the words ‘get active’ escape their lips my focus shifts 100% to holding back the incredible urge to roll my eyes. For the most part, unsuccessfully.

It’s like constantly replaying the perfect vine loop or watching Groundhog Day over and over. We keep hearing how we need to get active in order to feel better. But, what people don’t understand is, we need to feel better in order to get active in the first place.

Press play and repeat day after day after day the exhausting loop plays.

For five years I spent a lot of days, months actually, beating myself up for not being active. It’s exhausting silently screaming at yourself constantly to get up and get active.

Music is Good Medicine

Then about a year ago I started listening to music again. Not only did the right playlist cheer me up, but often I’d catch myself bee bopping to the music.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t pulling off DWTS or anything. Sometimes I was simply swaying to the music or shuffling around like Tim Conway. But, I was standing and I was moving. 

Which when your battling fibromyalgia’s chronic pain, counts as getting active as far as I’m concerned. Music doesn’t always get me moving. But, it does some days and in my opinion that’s better than no days at all.

Anyway, I remembered how much I loved going out dancing and how good it made me feel and so for awhile now I’ve been working at wiggling my butt daily.

Music helps me get active
The right playlist lifts my spirits and gets me moving

I created a bunch of personal mood lifting playlists. Each one is 6 songs and about 20 minutes long. While prepping for my shower, I press play and more days than not the music gets me swaying. I always try to get boogieing before hopping into the shower, because I’m usually physically zapped after.

Turns out, well for me anyway, that music is good medicine. Hmmmm, who knew?

Get Active, It’s a Personal Thing

What I had to learn was, to set the bar at a realistic level for me. And, to give myself credit for any and all physical activity. To encourage myself to get up and just get moving instead of putting myself down because I expected my version of “getting active” to be on par with die hard gym goers or the people I see out jogging.

It’s time Fellow Fibro Warriors to pat yourself on the back each and every time you wiggle that butt, even if it’s ever so slightly.

PS – I started this post back in April. Little did I know that one of my all time favourite funny people would be moving on from this world before I finished it. RIP Tim Conway, thank you for filling my life with laughter.

Fibro Flare Ranting Brings Relief; Sometimes

Beware Ranting About a Fibro Flare

Been a bad fibro flare week. Yuck! Pretty sure an infection is kicking up into high gear and heading out on its road trip through my body. Wonder which route it will take this time…

Fibro Flare Rant Ouchie EyesSo far my eyes are looking like I had a wickedly good party, and my sinuses have started that all too familiar throb. I’m so tired that I can’t keep my eyes open, but once they flutter closed I can’t fall asleep. If I am lucky enough to finally drift off, a sound, no matter how gentle startles me awake.

I sit up and try again. Rinse n’ repeat as I like to call it. Try to focus on something in front of me, and slowly the eyes begin to close. Then my chin hits my chest, head lolls to the side and I begin to drift. A bird chirps somewhere and WHAM! I’m startled awake once again.

Fibro Flare Ranting For Relief

Argggggggggg! I freaking hate fibro flares!

Thanks for letting me rant. I really do try my best to keep things positive, but sometimes reality just plain and simply sucks! Especially, when you’re living with fibromyalgia. And, some days just letting go and getting it all off my chest is the best medicine. Am I right, or what?

Instead of painting on a smile and picking through a massive pile of negative for one teeny tiny itsy bitsy spark of a silver lining, sometimes it is ok to accept that there just really isn’t anything good about today except that it will inevitably turn into tomorrow.

Moan about it, groan about it and maybe even allow yourself to cry a little.

I mean, I’m not talking about allowing yourself to dive into some downward spiral where there are dangers of drowning in the deep dark depths of negativity. I just mean acknowledging that at a particular moment in time, especially during a fibro flare life is not fair and on this particular day it just plain sucks.

My Brindle Boy Leo Keeping me Company During a Fibro Flare
Misery Loves Company

Yesterday was an ok day, and I hope tomorrow will be great but today? Well, today is an awful day and I’m giving myself permission to not fake it.

I hurt everywhere and have sub-zero energy. I’m feeling miserable, and for a little while I’m going to allow myself to sit here uncomfortably in pain and be miserable.

So for now my fibro warrior friends I leave you with a quote from I Love Lucy “WAHHHHHHHHH”!

 

Take care and cheers to having fabulous fibro flare free days!

Shelley www.FibroFog.ca – Really appreciate it if you follow my blog

PS – Let’s hook up on social media https://www.instagram.com/fibrofogdotca https://www.facebook.com/fibrofogdotca



Optimism What’s That?

Who’s to say what optimism really means…

Hmmm what can I say about optimism? Let’s see, first off for some it may be easier to muster up than others. Take me for example, you try looking at the bright side when everything hurts ALL the time. Not an easy thing to do.

Just haning in there because you know a flare will pass, that's optimismThat being said, I try. Goodness knows I try to be optimistic. Sometimes, the best I can come up with is that, this too shall pass. At least that’s something, right? I mean, it’s a glimmer of hope. A reminder that whatever big pile of steaming poop you’re dealing with right now will become a memory, eventually.

Now I realize that may not sound very optimistic to the average person. Believe me though, when your entire body, mind and soul are engulfed in an agonizing flare, knowing that it will pass at some point is pretty much all you have.

With chronic pain, when there is no relief to be had, you hold on to the hope that it will pass sooner rather than later. That my friend, is what I call optimism.

Optimism, It Can Mean Different Things to Different People

According to dictionary.com the noun optimism can mean, a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favourable outcome.

Taking that definition into account, if each time that you are suffering you hang in there because you know the latest flare will eventually end, does that not mean you are optimistic? Optimism is hope and having hope is optimism. Believing that there will be relief and that the flare will end.

Now, I’m not saying the pain ends completely. That’s the tricky part. When the flare ends the pain doesn’t just go away, it lessens. Sometimes a little bit and sometimes a lot. You just never know until the time comes, which it’s going to be. When you’re really lucky the chronic wide spread pain will drop from a 9/10 to a 4/10.

I know, we more than likely don’t sound very positive to the healthy. In fact, it’s probably tough to wrap your mind around just how much optimism it takes for us to get through most days.

When you hear the words “today is going to be a pain rating 3 kind of day”, what we’re really saying is “today is going to be a great day!”

Hang in there baby….