My journey through and since getting my Fibromyalgia diagnosis has honestly been one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through. It's made me look deep inside myself and go to places I didn't want to go...places I still don't like going. Places that are humbling, insightful, and sometimes, even terrifying.
I don't like change, never have. So when all the physical and emotional changes started taking place, I recoiled and my zest for life faded. I felt I was a burden and that was something I definitely didn't want to be. I also didn't want the stares and questions. That meant admitting something was wrong with me.
When it even hurts to blink, you have a lot of time to just sit. You can only read so many books, and watch so much tv, so you have a lot of time to just sit and think...and feel. That's that uncomfortable place that forces you to learn some hard lessons.
I've learned that people that I thought would be there for me, aren't, and that hurts, badly. However, some people have come forward that I never would have expected, and they have become such blessings to me.
I've lost friends, a lot of friends that I thought I could always count on. Either they didn't understand, or it made them too uncomfortable, or they just lost interest because there are many things I can't do anymore. That too has hurt so much, and I've shed many tears over the lonliness I've felt. I've come to realize however, that fair-weather friends are just not true friends. They are a negative that I just don't need in my life, and while somedays I still miss them, I don't miss their thinking. My true friends are still very much there for me, and I love them so much.
I've learned that my husband and my children love me. I mean really, completely and totally love me. I've watched my husband fight with doctors and insurance agents on my behalf. He laughs with me, cries with me, and prays for me. My son has matured before my eyes to become this compassionate caring young man who will come lay beside me in bed and just talk when he knows I can't get up. My daughters call to see if they can run any errands for me, or just to see how I'm doing. One even said "Mom, you probably already know this, but I want you to know that I say a prayer for you every day." How can you top that? What else could I ever want?
I've also learned that I miss the old me. The me that I now know will never come back. Accepting that is still my biggest struggle. No matter what, that me can't come back. This experience has changed me in a way that I can't ever be the person I used to be. I've learned too much.
I've learned that it's ok for me to feel this pain without feeling guilty about it. I know there are others who are suffering even more pain than I am, and I know this will not kill me. However, that does not minimize the very real intense pain that I do feel on a daily basis, and I don't have to feel guilty to admit I am hurting.
But believe it or not, I'm now thankful for my diagnosis. Even though I have been pulled out of my comfort zone, even though I have shed more tears than I thought possible, and even though there are many dark lonely days, there is also love and laughter, and a new found pride in small accomplishments.
I have also learned that even though there have been days when I have cried and screamed "I'm not strong enough for all of this", I am. I am so much stronger than I ever knew.
The new me is starting to emerge. I am not to the point of accepting her yet, but at least now I don't scream at her anymore to go away. I don't despise the image I see in the mirror, even if she does look as if she's aged 20 yrs. I am not ashamed to use my cane or ride my scooter when I have to...although using it at the fair for the first time was one of those horrible, tear-filled, terrifying times I mentioned.
I'm not done learning by any means. I know I have a lot more to learn, and to accept. Along the way I expect to learn more positive things and maybe, just maybe, someday I'll be able to look back and give thanks that I've been taken out of my comfort zone in this way. Maybe. :)