Today, May 12th, is National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day!
Fibromyalgia Awareness #3: Speak Your Truth
For many years I kept it all to myself, only my husband knew how much I was struggling. I was always afraid of how people would come to see me and judge me, so I never explained my reasons for not getting together or canceling at the last minute. When people would ask how I was doing, I would lie and say “I’m good”, because it was easier. I would do things I knew I shouldn’t, to make others comfortable or happy. So on top of the illness, I felt guilty all the time and was living inauthentically.
But I have found there is a massive liberation in sharing your truth. When friends and relatives know about your illness, they can either choose to get mad about your limitations and/or take it personally, or they can choose to be understanding. It is no longer on you. When people know, you don’t have to make excuses why it won’t work for you; you don’t have to say “I’m good”, you can say “I’m hanging in there”. When you tell people, you are giving them the benefit of the doubt. You become released from the guilt and the other internalized negativity. I think you have a better chance at happiness if your illness is out in the open.
I encourage all people with fibromyalgia to speak their truth and release themselves from the constraints of what other people might think of them and the limitations this illness has forced upon them.
I started Periwinkle Pursuits (my purple fibro endeavors) for two main reasons, first, to bring awareness to the people who know me, but didn’t know about my struggle. And second, to build with other people with fibromyalgia or other chronic illness and/or chronic pain. Writing about my experiences helps me purge my frustration in a positive way. It also helps me stay focused on solutions instead of feeling hopeless and depressed about my future.
I also firmly believe that the more you read what others with fibromyalgia write, the more you will learn how to cope. Reading other bloggers talk about what they are trying, what helps them manage or how they have overcome certain aspects of their illness, is insightful and inspiring for me. And of course, reading about other’s not-so-great days, helps me remember that I am not alone.
Be brave, and speak your truth because it will definitely make you feel better and might actually help someone else.
So today…wear some purple, use your voice, share your journey, and keep fighting!