I’ve been really excited about introducing a new initiative on FightingWithFibro!!!
You know, one of the best things that I have come to find about Blogging is my Readers and other sufferers. Long before I began blogging, I found countless amounts of helpful information from other Bloggers. In some ways, other sufferers have helped me more than Doctors. While I can, obviously, never contend with their medical education, the one thing I can say is that living with Fibro (etc) and ALL the symptoms and comorbidities is my full time job. While Doctors are awesome and do their absolute best to help (well, most anyhow), they have TONS of other patients, additional administrative responsibilities and lives of their own. So no matter how invested they are in helping me, I just cannot be their full time job. But living with Chronic Illness is certainly mine.
It never ceases to humble me or knock my socks off when Readers pop in to comment and offer their expertise OR start helping one another through the comments. But there’s a whole other invisible facet to my Readers; the ones who don’t publicly comment.
I’m always moved when someone reaches out to email me or contact me through social media. Maybe they’re too private to get involved in the comments. Some would rather the individual contact. And some, I posit, are too self conscious to post their questions or concerns. And I respect whatever reasons people choose to do this. And them. BUT……people always have great questions and/or comments or they just present questions that I think can help other people.
So with ALL that in mind, I introduce a new initiative of mine here on FightingWithFibro…….I’m hoping once a week, (although this current monstrous flare has me questioning that frequency rate), I will be posting a question that a Reader has asked me and my response.
Because I respect their privacy, I will not be identifying anyone. But I can no longer deny how important I feel this new initiative to be. And here’s why: almost every response always comes back with “knowing how you feel makes me feel less crazy or less alone”.
And that, my loves, has always been the entire point of why I write. We aren’t alone. We aren’t crazy. And we’re all in this together.
So with that, I introduce my first question and answer.
So “do I ever miss my old self”? Yes. Yes. And Yes. How couldn’t I?
I miss owning a business. I miss my Husband referring to me as SuperWoman or my BFF calling me Wonder Woman. I miss my independence. I miss earning a salary. I miss furthering my education. Shopping alone, driving, going to the mall to browse, attending appointments alone, having the energy to do what I want, when I want. And I especially miss not feeling like shit 100% of my life.
BUT……I am no longer that person. Which is a really tough thing to admit or say out loud. I had to mourn the “old me” like the death of someone I loved. Because it is impossible to be that “old self” and it’s exhausting to constantly try to compare myself, now, to the person I was prior to getting sick.
Getting through that “death” took an awesome Therapist and alot of time to get through the grieving process. And there are still days, like yesterday, when I lose it and feel temporarily sorry for myself. It’s impossible to NOT go to the “it’s not fairs” and the “why me’s” occasionally.
Except, by going through those losses and mourning my “old self”, it became possible to accept who I am today. And while I did just mention I occasionally go through those periods of self pity, it’s very infrequent. Because I’ve moved on.
After nearly a decade of being sick, I have come to accept that this is my life. And in whatever ways it may now be diminished, it’s the only one I get. But it’s still special. I get to be married, have kids and worship the animals we rescue. I just became a Minister and had the immense privilege of marrying my kids. I have friends and a home. I have some hobbies. And I have this Blog and you. In fact, since getting sick, I think I manage to help people even more than I did in the days when I had a career.
So I try to always count my Blessings and be grateful for the good and positive things in my life. I hold tight to the good days. I cry when the bad days become too much. And I’m always grateful for being able to get back up. And most of all, I have found that it is still possible to live a life of purpose and full of love.
It’s hard to never look back, it’s hard to let go of who and what you were and all the hopes and dreams that were once in reach. I can’t lie. BUT……I still have dreams and I still have a life. Now, they’re just different.
I’m still working to ramp back up over here. A nasty flare has other ideas for me. But I couldn’t wait any longer to introduce my new initiative. I’ve been so excited!! And I hope that you like it as much as I hope you do. Please feel free to submit questions either in the comments section or by contacting me on my “Contact Me” page, here: https://fightingwithfibro.com/contact/
As always, I’m thinking of you, wishing you well and sending you all my strength and love <3 Stace