I started acting when I was a Freshman in college, but committing to a play is no small thing. Typically, you rehearse at night for 3-4 hours, Monday - Thursday for a about three months, then there are three or four (sometimes five) performances a week for 2 or 3 weeks; so it's about a 4 month commitment. As you can imagine, with Fibromyalgia and a full-time job, that isn't something you take on lightly, and in the last six years, I've only been able to commit to two plays- but if I had my way I'd do one a year.
The only reason I felt like I could commit to the play I'm rehearsing for now is because it has nowhere near the the schedule that I'm used to- it's only two hours twice a week!- and it was AMAZING to be able to finally be able to say, "I think I can actually do a play again! Finally!!"
One of the hardest things about Fibromyalgia is not always being well enough to do what you want to do. There's also the fact that you're often afraid that doing too much will cause your symptoms to flare up, and so you sometimes end up not doing as much of what you want to do. At the end of the day, you don't always get to do a lot of things that you would like to do, and as someone who loves the performing arts, it's hard for me to be able to practice them because they are high activity, time consuming and can be quite physical as well- but not doing things like acting, dancing, etc. is hard as well because if you had your way things would be different, and you would be doing those things, and that's a hard thing to manage.
I'm lucky in that I've been able to channel my creativity in other, more Fibro-friendly hobbies like crafting and painting, but it doesn't make missing the more high-energy/physical things I like to do any easier. Feeling like I have enough time to rest and stay healthy while also practicing scenes and prepping for performances is such a blessing. It's been almost three years since I felt well enough to take on a play; I was starting to wonder if I'd ever be able to do another one, and now I am! Here's to finding ways to do what we love without risking our health!
- Heather, Fabulous Fibro-Fighter and FSC Founder