Stepping forward and trying new fibromyalgia management techniques can be very much like going on a new diet. You study the guidelines, you're excited, it starts off okay and then it becomes harder. You probably even give up. Very few people stick to a diet, or a new regime unless they get immediate results and it fits easy into their current lifestyle.
And what I have found that most things that actually help relieve and manage fibromyalgia symptoms take some time before they work. Not only do the best techniques or regimes take time to show results, but you have to work through the pain and flare ups with faith because in many ways you're retraining your body's response signals.
For instance, last night I had a massage. I used to have them on a regular basis, but due to circumstances I neglected my massage routine for several months. What I realized last night was that my body was relaxed and released all the tension right away. Not because this was my first massage in a long time, but rather because it was my sixth this month. (I have FSA money to use up.) The first five, were not so relaxing. However, because I stuck with it, my body became familiar with what was expected and over time it started to work with me rather than fight me. Now my massage did relax me right away.
As you head into the new year, it is common to evaluate where you are and where you want to go. If you're like most with fibromyaglia, you just want to be able to function normally (at least more often than you do now) and not hurt so much. You can take prescription drugs, but they often have side-effects. The best thing I have have found working on myself and with others, is that the best thing you can do is to do everything you can to be “healthy.” This requires some effort on your part. You'll want to eat better and pay more attention to nutrient density. You'll need to find ways to move your body more, improve your physical balance and be more flexible. You'll have to find ways to experience more joy, every day. That may mean evaluating your relationships and how you treat others. How do you see the world? Do you automatically get mad when a car pulls in front of you or drives “too slow?” Are you able to work? Are you working in an environment that supports you and understands you needs and allows you to pace yourself?
In order for you to properly mange your fibromyalgia symptoms, you want to work on the key areas in life, the essentials. I personally focus on these key areas in my life; proper nutrition, regular physical activity, positive relationships, rewarding career, reducing toxins (chemical, physical and emotional) from my environment and balancing out my self care with all the other tasks of my life. This can seem like a lot, but it's not that difficult once you get the hang of knowing the difference between what is important and what appears urgent. Most people respond to ‘urgency,' but rarely does ‘urgent' reflect what is important.
I once was nearly paralyzed on my left side, barely functioned, was stoned on prescription drugs all the time and the VA wanted me to go on permanent disability at the age of 39. I had four young boys in the house and was in a unhappy and non-supportive marriage. If you're anything like me, you're an over achiever like most with fibromyalgia, and the idea of staying home all day, everyday, freaked me out. It took that wake up call, work and determination, but today I'm thriving. I still have fibromyalgia and flare ups, but I more than just function. I'm happy and confident.
As you look at where you are now and where you want to go, just know that it's possible. If I can do it, you can too. If you want my support, post on my Facebook page, send me messages, email email@example.com, or hire me to coach you through it. Just know that it's is possible to feel better and be a more confident, functional you and you don't have to do it alone.
Share your success stories in the comments below and inspire others to reach their goals.