22 Things To Remember Next Time You Flare

Flares don’t just affect you physically, there’s also a tremendous emotional/psychological affect, as well. The thing about your mind is that just because your body isn’t moving doesn’t mean your mind isn’t running around in circles. Sometimes, we have all we can do to just survive in the present moment.

So here’s some things to keep in mind the next time you’re in the throes of a flare:

  1. You will get through this (really). You have gotten through it before.
  2. You are not being lazy. Taking care of yourself is doing something.
  3. The dirt/dust/laundry/house projects will still be there when you’re feeling better. Trust me.
  4. You will get to the dirt/dust/laundry/house projects. Eventually. You always do.
  5. Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Not everything needs to be done now.
  6. Be kind to yourself. If your kids were sick would you hound them with guilt and admonish them for resting? More likely you’d offer to make them soup or sit with them. You deserve the same.
  7. Move. No matter how much it hurts, you still need to move. This could be as simple as clenching and unclenching your fist or bending and extending your leg. The more you sit or lay, the more stiffness will set in. Stiffness=pain.
  8. You are not “so and so” on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Do not compare yourself to other people. You have no idea what their reality is, how can you possibly compare yourself to “that”- when you don’t even really know what “that” is? (Don’t believe me? how many selfies do you take before posting one?)
  9. Give yourself permission to be down. Your body really does know itself.
  10. Drink water. No matter how awful you feel. Hydrate. If you can’t stomach much at a time, take small sips. Dehydration will only make everything worse-your body needs water. And God forbid a migraine comes too.
  11. You are so much stronger than you think. Really.
  12. Celebrate every victory. If that is as simple as being happy you showered, so be it. Showering is still an achievement.
  13. Try to be present in this moment. Continuously thinking and worrying about the future isn’t helpful. Just get through here and now.
  14. Look for beauty. No matter how awful it is, there is still beauty. A dog’s kiss, your cat purring, a beautiful sunset, time spent with those you love. No matter how bleak you feel, remember there is still beauty.
  15. Eat well. Trust me, I know how Herculean this may seem. I’m not saying cook. Try reaching for a banana, apple chips or a yogurt. While processed food is usually easier, it won’t help your body.
  16. Let go of the guilt. This resonates with #6. Guilt is SO counterproductive. It won’t help. It will only create more stress and anxiety. You didn’t choose this.
  17. Go outside. This one has led me to contemplate murdering my Husband when he pushes this on me. But it does help. If you can only handle five minutes, so be it. The clean air and sunlight helps.
  18. Try to smile or laugh. Find dancing parrots or playful kitten videos.
  19. Remember to be grateful. Yup. I know it’s almost impossible to feel grateful when you feel like cutting off your arm with a spoon may be less painful. But there is always something to be grateful for; like having ice cream in the house.
  20. Lose yourself in love. Hug your dog, hug your spouse/significant other, listen to your kids. Remind yourself why you fight.
  21. It’s okay to be down, angry or hopeless. Cry. Swear. Yell. Throw things. (I prefer pillows and empty water bottles) Whatever gets you through this moment. Do it.
  22. Do something or have someone else do something you love. My best example of this is my Husband painting my toes to cheer me up. That’s true love.

From one person having a really bad week, to another. We got this. Well, sort of. Even when it feels like we don’t.

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Fighting with Fibro and Living With Purpose. Mom, Wife, Blogger and animal lover. Fighting with Chronic Illness on a minute by minute basis; sometimes winning.

50 thoughts on “22 Things To Remember Next Time You Flare

  1. Great tips. I like the “find the beauty “.
    So true. I get tired of explaining my situation. It’s nice hearing from someone who gets it.

    1. Thanks Michelle. I agree! It’s nice to be in a “community” of people who understand. I’m new to sharing all of this, but it’s really reassuring and comforting to hear others who feel the same and understand. I don’t think I realized how much I needed that!!

      1. I am so miserable today ! It’s in my hands arm neck everywhere been fighting this for almost 2 weeks of flare up! Is diet the key

      2. Hi Rebecca. Oh I’m so sorry to hear you’re in so much pain 😞 Ouch. I have never had any real luck with changing my diet to relieve my symptoms and I’ve pretty much tried every modification diet. I’m sorry.
        For me, once I’m in a deep flare, the only thing that brings me out is Prednisone-which brings a whole other batch of challenges. I try not to resort to Prednisone anymore, but it does work.
        Have you seen or spoken with your Doctor? Two weeks, in my humble opinion, is long enough to suffer. I will be sending you well wishes for some relief. ❤️ Stace

      1. I am a 21 year old.. college student struggling with fibromyalgia. I’ve been in a flare for the past three weeks. Thank you so much for this!! It’s hard when your surrounded by people that don’t understand. I needed to see this 💕& be reminded I am not alone 💖 even though it can feel that way 💖

        **I agree cute animal videos are a great distraction! Puppy ones are my favorite haha🐾🐶

      2. I’m so sorry about the flare, Alexandria! They’re just the worst. It must be super challenging while being in College, too?!. It can totally feel like we’re alone-but as you just said, I have found comfort in the others like me, too. Sometimes, it just takes “one” to know “one” and to truly comprehend all we live through. But you just being in College (with Fibro) shows how very strong you are!! Even when it doesn’t feel that way. I’m so glad you liked the post and I hope you’ll follow my Blog!
        Maybe I should start posting puppy videos here too??!!! 🤔
        ps maybe they have Fibro groups at your school??

  2. These are all such important things, yet hard to do when we’re struggling. Thank you for the wonderful reminders – I’ll bookmark this to read the next time I need a nudge in the right direction. I hope you can refer back to your own wise words when you need them too  ♥
    Caz xx

    1. HA! Thanks for that reminder!! I really need it some days!!
      I write with honesty, but how easily what I write is forgotten when I’m in the throes of things.
      Thanks for reading, commenting and bookmarking, Caz!!!

  3. Thanks for reminders. After living with fibro for 35+ years, I sometimes feel I am in a constant flare. Fortunately, God blessed me with the most wonderful husband ever who understands that on the very worse days what I need most from him is a good massage and total peace and quiet to rest. Everyone has to find their own ways to cope and you seem to have some good ideas.

    1. Wow! 35 years is a long time to suffer, Donna. I’m sorry. I totally get what you mean about being in a constant flare. I feel the same way sometimes. I’m glad you have a supportive Husband!!! That’s crucial, to me. I couldn’t do this without my Husband, either!! I’m glad you liked the post. You’re right, we all have to find what works, individually. It’s a process, right??

  4. So glad I found all of you. I’ve been suffering for over 20 yrs and was finally fully diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Chronic fatigue syndrome and PTSD 6 yrs ago. I also have heart disease as well. My faith is what keeps me going together with my husband and adult daughters. We are becoming grandparents for the first time this June and I keep praying I can be half of the person I was do I can enjoy my grand baby. I’m 55 and sometimes I feel so much older. I miss what I used to be , my career and the abilities I had but through it all I’m thankful to God for all that He’s given me. Thank you for this great blog. Your posts are great.

    1. Hi. I”m sorry I can’t address you by your name, but you didn’t leave your name on your comment- so, I will just say I am really happy you found me too!! My Husband pointed out how positive and uplifting your comments were-I have to agree. I’m glad you have your faith and family for inspiration. I am sure that you will be an absolutely wonderful Grandparent, no matter how you are feeling, but I will hope and pray that you find some relief to be the Grandparent you want-I fear the same thing. I’m glad you got a diagnosis. While it doesn’t change anything, I found it to be very helpful knowing what I was up against. I, like you, lost a career I adored and am only a shell of what I used to be. I thank God every day for all the Blessings I am surrounded by, despite my illnesses, pain and exhaustion. There is still much to live for. I am thrilled you commented and I hope you will continue to do so.
      Much Love, Stace

      1. So sorry Stacey I thought my name showed. My name is Sandy. Thank you so much for your quick response. You are right there is so much to live for and each day we are given that opportunity to start over. Each day I do give thanks and truly feel lucky to have all that I have in my life. I’ve searched so long for a fibromyalgia family but never really found something that spoke to my heart. I just happen to be on Pinterest a few days ago when I found you. Thank you again for your wonderful posts and for sharing your life with us. It’s surely not easy but together it makes it not so lonely.
        God bless you. Look forward now to reading your previous posts.

      2. Hi Sandy!! It’s SO nice to meet you!! Sometimes my responses are slower when I’m not feeling well (sorry) or I’m at the Doctors, but I always try to respond as promptly as I can. Thank you for the Blessings, I’ll take all I can get!!! I genuinely believe love, gratitude and hope are the things that keep me going-no matter how bad it gets! I know I have much more than many, so I really try to focus on that and try to convey its importance to readers. I’m glad you found me too and all the wonderful people who interact here! It’s really just an amazing thing to be able to connect and share this incredibly difficult disease with others who understand. Having a “Fibro Family” (thanks 😉 I’m stealing your word!!) is the one thing I was missing in this “fight”. So it’s really nice to have it now. I’ve heard from several people who have also been navigating this alone. I’m glad we’re now coming together! Glad to have you Sandy!!! Thanks so much for being here!

      3. Thank you for your kind welcome. I love your posts. Hope you have a good day today! 🙏🏻❤️

    2. Me too. I have had two heart attacks and 3 stents so am unable to take MOST of the painkillers recommended for Fibro. I am 60 and stopped working 5 years’ ago due to heart and fibro. Feel like the oldest person on the planet and lazy for not working. UK is way behind on this awful syndrome/disease/ whatever they want to call it.

      1. It’s a terrible feeling, Beverley to not work and admonish ourselves for not being able to do so. I think there’s alot of us that feel that same way, myself included. But that simply isn’t the case. We need to learn to forgive ourselves and accept that we are doing the best we can with some really awful circumstances we didn’t ask for. I’m so sorry for your health issues. I can’t imagine having Fibro and not being able to take pain meds. I couldn’t stand it.
        Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Hearing from other people brightens up my day!! 🙂

      2. Omg Beverley it’s so nice to meet you. I’m sorry for all you’ve been through. Its been 4 yrs since I’ve been disabled and not working and I still find it hard to accept so I know that feeling. So glad we have a place to meet people who know what we are experiencing and can share and encourage one another.
        You are not alone. 🤗

      3. Sandy, I could just squish you. (although I wouldn’t want to hurt you 😉)
        What a beautiful gesture, reaching out to Beverley!!! I **love** that you just did that!! You are SO correct, we are not alone when we have one another. I’m so humbled and thrilled to have people like you gathering here. As much as we have loved ones, it really “takes one to know one” in our Chronic battle.
        Losing our livelihoods and all we built is agony. Fibro (etc.) takes so much from all of us. I’m not 100% sure we can ever get over those feelings or losses. The best we can do is continue doing our best.
        Lots of love ❤️ Stace

      4. Aww Lol. Hugs to you as well Stacey. You made this possible for us all. Thank you. It’s difficult to talk about and explain and to family and friends who have no clue. You can only explain so much. When people walk in your shoes it’s different ; they totally get it. We are blessed to find one another here on your blog. It’s a safe place to just let it all out. Prayers and love always. 🙏🏻❤️

      5. Much love right back to you, Sandy. I’m so very happy we have all found one another!! It makes this journey a little less awful, together. ❤️

  5. Thank you. I don’t have fibro, but I do have MS, diagnosed 7 months ago.
    I’ve been going thru a flare and I needed to read this. Sometimes, it’s very comforting to know I’m not the only one who’s fighting. It gives me a sense of family, of team work… and it helps me to persevere. The one that really got to me was Number 16. As a Mom I want to give more, be there more…BE more! But, lately I can’t. And that’s ok. Some days will be better that others. I have learned to take it a day at a time and to actively enjoy the “little” things, being grateful for being alive.

    My kids are amazing. They do make me smile, with them I’ve climbed the monkey bars, went down slides, had cake flour kitchen fights, danced like nobody’s watching and laughed and silly jokes. They’ve taught me how to let go.

    Like the time my youngest made a mess on the floor while using school paints, and my oldest scolded him and said: “What a mess! Knowing Mamma hurts. We have to clean all that up before she sees it.”, without realizing I was already behind him. I walked up, making my presence known, hugged him and sat down right next to the mess and said “Who wants to paint a rainbow?!” My oldest smiled broadly, surprised, and quickly got more art supplies. My youngest painted happily and even got the giggles. Before long we where all covered in paint!
    Moments like those are priceless. 🙂

    As for currently:
    The other day I had a Flare MRI done, and as I saw the digital images of my brain on the screen (besides feeling crummy due to everyday MS related symptoms + getting over the flu) I felt defeated. I agree with you, chronic illnesses can affect our emotions as well. Did I cry? Yes. Did I feel angry/dissapointed? Absolutely. (Number 21) But, I decided to continue onward after it lasted days with me either anxious to do housework or depressed under the covers. I told myself: “Enough, God is with me. I can’t fall apart now.” (Which reminded me of Numbers 1, 2, 3 & 7) So, as this list shows, I am human after all!

    Thank you again Stacey. for reminding us that if chronic illness is real, so is our willingness to fight. For all warriors out there, I hear you. Let’s do this! ♡
    – Jayleen
    38 yr old Mom of 2 boys

    1. Hi Jayleen. Thanks so much for the very thoughtful post. I’m so happy to meet you!
      I’m sorry about the diagnosis. Personally, I am finding that while our Illnesses may be different, it seems like a few of the underlying struggles are similar. So I’m glad that you find strength in connecting with others. Sometimes, it’s just comforting to have people know exactly what you’re going through. I love the story about your kids. It’s really amazing that they have such empathy and that they want to help. Sounds to me like you’re doing a great job, despite all you have going on. We always want to be more for our kids. I can completely relate…..but maybe it’s ok that they know we’re human too. I was fortunate there, my kids were older when I got sick. It’s tough, though, still. The Mom guilt always creeps in.
      I’m so sorry about the MRI. Oh gosh. I can completely relate….it’s an incredible testament to your strength that you got back up again to fight. It’s impossible to not crumble sometimes, we’re only human and can only take so much. I’m glad you were able to mourn it and even better, you got up again. Sometimes, getting back up from the punches is one of the hardest things to do. BUT……here we are. Standing and fighting; sometimes just one fight at a time. Thank you for cheering us all on.
      Fighting (for those two boys) makes you a warrior. The guilt, love and emotions make you a Mom.
      I get “it”, Jayleen. You’re doing great. ❤️️
      I’m SO glad you commented and I hope you’ll come back again.

      Love, Stace

  6. Thanks for this encouragement. Had an awful few days and felt tearful and angry! Just wish here in the UK Fibro was taken a bit more seriously. Diagnosed 4 years’ ago by major London hospital but still made to feel a fraud. GP looks at me like I am a crazy, depressive malingerer.

    1. Ugh. That just simply isn’t fair. I have found that the majority of us are anything BUT malingerers. The typical Fibro patient is a type A personality, who has always worked and strives for perfection. We’re probably about the worst demographic to be plagued by this disease. So while it does happen that we’re treated that way, it’s hardly true. I can’t necessarily comment on how the UK manages Fibro, but here in the US, it still has alot of stigma. Little by little, I think it’s breaking down though. I’m sorry you just had an awful few days and felt like that. I can completely understand. I hope you’re a little better today. Thanks for commenting, Beverley-I’m so happy to meet you!!
      <3 Stace

  7. Thank you for this! I do not battle Fibro but I battle Trigeminal Neuralgia. It’s hard not to beat yourself up during a flare, especially when they are so frequent.

    1. I’m glad you liked the post. Thank you. I agree, we beat ourselves up so much, especially when we’re down. The guilt is awful-but it shouldn’t be!! It’s totally beyond our control! So I’m working on that. I hope to encourage others to let go of the guilt too!! Thanks for your comments!! ❤️Stace

  8. After a year of not being correctly diagnosed & in a city of drs with no experience of diagnosing or treating Fibromyalgia, I am finding out more on the internet than any physician has offered me. Your post has been very informative. Thank you & keep up the great work of sharing your experiences. Deb

  9. Hello Everyone,

    What a great post! I love these and will try and copy and print to put on my fridge.

    I stopped working 2years ago after back surgery. My fibro is only part of my life, I also have erosive arthritis that is slowly taking my mobility away.

    My wife and I bought a camper and finally sold our house. We are planning to travel the US and see the beautiful sites while I can still get around.

    I am very blessed to have a wonderful spouse who makes this struggle of a life a little easier.

    Thanks again and I look forward to reading and meeting others who suffer!

    1. Hi Barbara!!! Welcome. We’re happy to have you here and I’m so glad you liked my post. Thank you!! Congratulations on selling your home and the purchase of a camper. What an exciting road you have ahead of you!!! (Pun half intended 😉) That sounds like a ton of fun!! I’m really grateful you have a supportive spouse. I cannot imagine doing this without the love of my Husband. I’m happy to know you have that same love that makes our Chronic life better. Thank you so much for commenting and introducing yourself to everyone. We look forward to hearing from you again!! Much Love, Stace ❤️️

  10. Wow your post was so greatly appreciated right now!! Sometimes life kinda throws you a curve ball and you feel like you are out of control but like you said I need to make sure I take it one day at a time. I know I still have my family to fall back on when I need too I just I feel all the guilt sometimes knowing they are doing everything I should be. Thank you for all the reminders that it’s ok to have help when it’s needed. ❤️

    1. I think most of us struggle quite a bit with the guilt; I know I do. I try really hard to consider what I would do if someone I loved was in my shoes. And I always know the answer is help. That makes me feel a little better. But it’s an ongoing battle. As you said, one day at a time really is best. I’m sure you’re doing your best ❤️️ Your best is all that can be asked!

  11. I don’t suffer from fibro. as you do, but I have Post-Polio Syndrome, so the fatigue is always present, along with muscle spasms in my arms, rib cage, legs and feet. It took 19 years to get a diagnosis! Who knew when I had paralytic polio at the age of 9, that it would come back and bite me at 54? People don’t understand. They think if you got over polio, you’re “over it.” Unfortunately when you have polio, you lose 2/3 of the nerves that control your muscles. As you get older, your nerves begin to get tired and can’t control your muscles anymore. I try to tell people about the “spoon theory,” and sometimes it helps them understand. People with chronic illness only have so much energy they can expend, and then they’re done. Fibro, PPS, and other chronic illnesses all seem to sap our energy. So even though I don’t have what you have, your post gave me some great ideas to use and to think about. Thanks.

    1. Hi Jill, thanks so much for reading and commenting!! My ex-Husband’s Grandmother had polio as a child and was left quite disabled from it, so I have a slight idea of what you mention. I’m sorry. I can imagine it must be a tremendous challenge. As you said, I have found that regardless of the disease/illness, we all share some very similar symptoms and difficulties. It sort of takes someone sick to understand being sick. With that said, I try to comfort myself by imagining that it must be impossible for healthy people to ever understand what this life is like. I’m glad you found some helpful tips in my article. It’s great to meet you!!
      Much Love, Stace

      1. Hi Stacey-
        I appreciated your tips and thoughts. Gratitude is especially challenging as my eldest daughter was killed in domestic violence in 2017. Please keep in mind many fibro sufferers originated from trauma circumstances and we can never escape. Always, Pam’s mom, forever 24.

      2. Hi Pam’s Mom Forever, my heart just sank. I am so, so incredibly sorry for your tremendous loss.
        You are very correct that Fibro can be “turned on”, like a switch, from a traumatic circumstance. While I don’t talk about it much (because it’s my Son’s private life), I am one of those people. While it may have been already bubbling under the surface, my Fibro erupted after my youngest Son was physically attacked & assaulted by a group of 5 boys while away on a school trip….

        I’m sorry not only that you got Fibro, but that it now stays with you.
        While I’ve now lost her, one of my closest friends had a Daughter in Law murdered in a domestic violence situation…..due only to that friendship, I can (somewhat, minutely) understand all you’re going through. Her strength and tenacity never ceased to amaze me.

        Please know *all* my thoughts, prayers and love go out to you. I am sending virtual hugs and maybe, at some point, with my Son’s permission, I will discuss how I got Fibro.
        It is important to mention, as you emphasized.
        Much Love ❤️ Stace

        ps here is a post I wrote about that friend….. https://fightingwithfibro.com/2019/06/07/the-important-reason-why-i-write-about-living-with-chronic-illness/

  12. Thank you for the “realist” list I’ve seen! We all have to say these during a flair. It’s not our fault!

  13. I just found this on Pinterest. I’ve been in a flare for a week or so and am so tired! Thank you for this list. Just reading it made me feel better.

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