FightingWithFibro Answers Your Fibromyalgia Questions…… “Do You Ever Miss Your Old Self?”

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

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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.

9 thoughts on “FightingWithFibro Answers Your Fibromyalgia Questions…… “Do You Ever Miss Your Old Self?”

  1. Hi Stacey
    Great post. It’s so hard not to look back. Like you, I had a great career, all the independence in the world, traveled alone all that life could offer. Getting Lyme changed all of that and my health as struggled since 2012. I had to let go and yet still hope for some of the independence to come back one day. I’m realistic but I do still want to drive again and go to the shops and have lunch without my husband having to drive me. That’s been one of the biggest changes. Independence has been the hardest, when I can’t drive down the street to the drug store or dry cleaners it can make me realize how much my life has changed. This series should go over very well.

    1. Thanks so much, Melinda. I hope so.
      We’ve just decided to sell the truck I LOVE to my Daughter and Son In Law. I can’t drive without supervision anymore 🙄, so it makes no sense to have a second vehicle payment. But it’s cutting yet another tether to the outside world and the last shred of independence I had.
      I was like you; I was a Single Mom of 3 kids under 9….owned a business, played tennis, went to school. On Sunday, I couldn’t get through a card game with the kids. It’s tough to look back and not be sad or feel defeated…..but that’s not my life anymore. This is. So I have to make it count.
      I think it’s great that you still hold on to hopes and dreams. We’re all different and get through this all as best we can. I hope all those things for you ❤️
      Not to sound conceited, but I love this idea. Because I think of how many Bloggers helped me in this journey. And how much I’ve learned from other sufferers. I’m always moved when a Reader emails me….and while it’s *totally* fine that they do in private, some of the email exchanges (I feel) are really relatable to all of us. And this community has been one of the few things to help with the isolation and feelings of being alone in what I live with. I hope to reach even more people by sharing some of these dialogues.
      I’m *so* happy you like it. That’s a big compliment!! xoxo

  2. What a fantastic idea, Stacey. Great first question, too. I firmly believe we all have to find our ways to move on from mourning our past self and life and I think it helps so much to understand how others have done this so we too can find ways to move on. Working through that stuff helped so much both mentally and physically. Though I thought these issues were all behind me, I began to struggle with it again when I was faced with the prospect that I may have sunk to a new, very low functioning normal after contracting COVID. I am finally getting better, but I feel like it’s moments like these that tempt us to fall back into looking and yearning for our past selves. It sounds like we’ve both just had a hell of a terrible year and I hope you too are slowly bouncing back from your flare. Thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way. xx

    1. Awww, Michelle, thank you SO much. Especially coming from you. ❤️
      I am SO sorry to have been reading about you getting Covid and all the (additional) struggles as a result. It hardly seems fair to have even more to deal with.
      I can certainly understand becoming discouraged. I know I get discouraged and need to have a good cry at least once a week.
      I think you make some great points. It’s tough when we originally get sick and take that initial tumble from all we thought our lives would be. It’s a grieving and recovery process; before we can finally come to accept where we fit in this world and how to make all we have count.
      I think losing sight of this is only natural, as long as we keep getting back up. Sometimes, that feels like an insurmountable task.
      I’m praying and pulling for you, Michelle. But I know you’ll come through okay. Sending lots of love, strength and healing your way.
      ❤️ Stace ❤️

  3. This is a fantastic idea, Stace! I thought of doing something similar ages ago and actually attempted a little stoma Q&A but it didn’t work out because my blog was no new at the time; lack of readers didn’t bode well for getting questions 😂 You are the perfect person to be answering these questions and sharing your experiences, especially as you do so with such compassion and honesty. I love your response to this one and it’s a tricky one, too. I find it hard to admit the old me is no more. We want to say that illness doesn’t change us, but it does. Hopefully in some good ways, too. I feel I skipped some of that mourning phase out of being in denial or continually distracting myself, like many of us probably have or maybe didn’t fully work through it. It’s not a done deal either because those old hurts and those losses of the pre-illness life can pop up and bite us on the bum when we least expect it.

    You’re doing a wonderful job in supporting others by sharing your experiences. Fantastic post – looking forward to the next question! xx

    1. Awwww. Thanks SO much, Caz! I can’t think of any better compliment! I haven’t got the followers you do, but I’m certainly working towards it! You’re a GREAT mentor ❤️
      I agree that illness does change us and in the beginning, I could only see loss and the negative side of all I lost…..it’s SO tough to get past that loss and work towards becoming someone else, equally able to accomplish things; albeit in a very different way.
      But as you say, it’s a very difficult thing to come to grips with and I don’t think the longing will ever entirely go away. How could it? So now, I take the “why me’s” in stride, cry them out and let them pass. It typically doesn’t last long and I just work through it (again and again and again, LOL). But it’s a process, much like learning to live with this life.
      And I think you do a great job of articulating to others just how to get through things. Somehow, I feel like writing about how we live through all these trials and tribulations can only help others struggling. What else to do when given this lot in life??
      Thanks SO much for reading, commenting and especially the compliments. I hold that in the highest regard!
      Hope you’re feeling a wee bit better and I’m so glad to hear from you!! xoxo ❤️ Stace

  4. Wow! First I’d like to say that you are an amazing writer! Does it come by naturally or did you have an education and career in it? With the flares and fog it must be hard.
    Secondly, I think so much like you! How did you know that I felt all those things too?!!!😊
    I love this idea of posting questions and your answers . I really don’t know where to look for advice like this. The blogs and chat rooms I’ve visited have been so depressing and only complaints. While we all need to vent staying in that mindset does us so much harm. I do however have had great doctors and I am so thankful for that.
    Thanks for your blog!

    1. Awww, Lynn, I could gently squish you to pieces. THAT is THE best compliment, ever. I’m humbled to pieces. Thank you. Writing has always been my God given super-power, at least I’ve always been told. LOL. I’m immensely grateful I didn’t lose that ability, too.
      BUT…..on average, it takes me about 4 hours to write a post. Which is part of why I can’t turn out posts as frequently as I’d like. It’s partly because of perfectionism and partly because, as you said, with the fog I need to write and edit repeatedly. Which is totally fine, I just have to set aside a whole day when I plan to write a post.
      Anyhow, I am deeply grateful and humbled by that compliment. Thank you.
      As for thinking like you, didn’t you know I can *also* read minds??? I just wrote what I saw in your head. LOL 🤣
      I’m glad you like the idea, I’m so moved when people email me for help. I know how desperate this disease can make us and I’m humbled when people decide to come to little old me for help.
      I’ve been desperate, Lynn….I know what that feels like and I know how hard it is to overcome. BUT I did overcome it and a lot of it has been due to my own perspective change and attitude.
      Now I am **not** saying that I’m better or that people who can’t make that shift are weak, by any means…..all I’m saying is that we all have an incurable and largely untreatable disease, that takes away life as we know it. So it leaves us with little options; lose everything, including our hearts and souls to the disease OR do the best we can to live, in spite of it.
      Which is why I write the way I do.
      I cry and feel sorry for myself and get angry, like all of us. But I choose not to give Fibro (etc) the power to dictate my entire life. It’s one of the few choices I have left.
      I cry, pity myself, have a temper tantrum and then I get back up.
      In the beginning, I was so sick, we assumed I would be in a wheelchair within the year…..some friends thought I might die.
      So every day, I’m thankful I still get to live, even if this life isn’t what I wanted or planned.
      I’ll tell you a little secret, Lynn…..I do not read or follow many Blogs, myself. For the exact same reason you just stated. When I read a Blog, I want to hear their stories, but I also read to “hear” a positive lesson at the end, get some practical advice or have a laugh. An occasional venting post is totally normal, but, like you, I don’t read Blogs that are only complaints. I can’t. Which is why I treasure the ones I do read.

      You have TOTALLY brightened my entire day, Lynn!!! Thank you for your compliments and thanks SO much for reading and commenting.
      ❤️ Stace❤️

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