How good does it feel to avoid a catastrophe? Catching yourself before you fall, finding something you thought you lost- relief is a wonderful and overlooked emotion from where I’m sitting today, so let’s talk about it!
Last night, I was feeling pretty good so we went to a bar for a drink after dinner- and my purse was lost. Of course by lost, I mean it seems like someone grabbed my purse, then dumped it when they realized it wasn’t theirs, because I hung my purse on a bar hook, walked away for a minute, and it was gone when we went back to grab it and leave. Whole purse gone- total bummer. My keys (so I had no way to get in my house at that time of night so I had to leave my car and couldn’t go home), my wallet (guess I wasn’t paying- sorry!), a newly refilled Rx, and so much more- a woman's whole life is in her bag, and mine was gone.
I knew someone on the security team and apparently the hooks got doubled up and the assumption was my purse got grabbed by mistake, and we hoped it would be returned when the mistake was realized.
Fast forward to the next morning: my friend drives me home, I get in my house, grab my spare car key, and pray my car is still where I left it last night. It is! And a few hours later, I got a call from a cop who found my bag, and y'all- all contents were intact! No cards used, not money or prescriptions stolen- what a relief! I'm so grateful because I really don't know who the recovery process would have gone. I would have had to take days off work to get my ID and bank cards all taken care of, and get new keys- thank god I had a passport at home or it would have really been a situation with no way to prove who I was. And the idea of having to get a prescription refilled- they just wouldn't have done it and I'd have been out of luck!
My relief is palpable, thank goodness it was all returned! Close calls are crazy, but the gratitude and relief I feel in the recovery feels really, really good. So take a moment to be grateful for something that happend this week, maybe it was a close call, and maybe it wasn't, but a little gratitude is a great way to end a week! So go forth and practice some gratitude, Spoonies!
-FSC Founder and Fabulous Fibro-Fighter-
Spring is officially here! After a long, cold, wet winter, spring is finally here! Being in a colder, wetter climate than I'm used to this winter has been hard, and yesterday's rainfall has left me achy and exhausted, but I keep telling myself that there is just one or two rainfalls left and then it's all sunshine ahead!
I know a lot of Spoonies are affected by cold, wet weather and constantly changing barometric pressure, and more temperate times are ahead- so stay strong Spoonies, we're almost there! There is always such a hope to spring, least of all the hope of a little less aches and pains, so here's to spring!
-FSC Founder and Fabulous Fibro-Fighter-
So I've been really, really tired for about two weeks now (like really struggling tired), and what little energy I have gets used up pretty quickly because, you know Fibro-fatigue is weird. Well today I finally got the energy to go out and grab some lunch (I love eating lunch on a nice sunny patio!) and up to that point, everything was going great. I got myself together, drove myself to the place, and had some lunch. So far, so good. Then, still feeling alright, I decided to pop in the shop next door, then, as I was looking at the scarves, I was suddenly so tired all I wanted to do was lie down right there in the store- not exactly an ideal situation.
I've been feeling pretty listless lately. Not to mention tired, achy, grumpy... all in all pretty much in desperate need of a mental and physical break.
It can be frustrating when you spend so much energy trying to make sure you're doing all the things to keep yourself mentally and physically healthy (I try to eat right[ish], get in some occasional exercise [within my limits], I speak kindly to myself and am patient with my limitations, I am mindful of my music and television/movie/book choices) and yet mental and physical health continue to be a struggle for me- and I know I'm not alone in that struggle, so I want to ask you something:
Have you checked-in with yourself lately? How are you doing? If it's been a while since you've asked yourself these kinds of questions, I encourage you to take some time and check-in with yourself. If you're not sure how to do this, I've included a few helpful resources below:
In the last 18 years that I've spent managing my chronic pain and invisible illnesses, I've run into plenty of road-blocks and have had a lot to complain about regarding America's current "health care" system. Now, I use the term "health care system" lightly, because it doesn't feel like America has any real interest in keeping it's residents healthy, but rather seems perfectly content in doing the bare minimum to manage their alarmingly increasing illnesses.
In the last two weeks alone I have broken down in tears more than once because of how callously I was treated and dismissed by a medical professional- and it was not even close to being the first time this has happened to me. Prevention, wellness, and big-picture medicine seem to barely be a blip the radar of American Doctors, and despite television shows and movies showing us doctors who stop at nothing to figure out the root-cause of a patient's illness, pain, or symptoms, the reality, more often than not, is waiting an hour past your appointment time only to have a prescription or two thrown at you to "try out" to "see if it helps" while being told to "come see us again in a few months" as the doctor rushes in and out in under ten minutes flat.
If the many woes outlined on the internet as well as my own personal complaints are any indication, this kind of "health care" has left a lot of people feeling like nothing more than a means of continued profit for a third party rather than a person in need of medical attention, which got me thinking: what does my ideal health care system look like? So I decided to play a little game, a game in which I build my ideal health care system, my own ideal world really- and it looks a little something like this:
Today is a moderately high but not overbearingly painful pain day, and I don't always like to take prescription medications when I can get some relief with more natural or over-the-counter (OTC) methods (aka: unnecessarily damage my liver/kidneys and/or waste the good pills when I don't need to, lol).
Now, as someone with no medical training and a terrible memory, I have a hard time knowing what OTC medication to take for what, but as a person with a chronic pain syndrome, I probably should. So, as any thirty-something would do, I took my questions to the internet! Check out what I've found below!
When you struggle with Fibromyalgia, Anxiety, and Depression it can be hard to get out of the house. Between pain, fatigue, and the occasional bout of ennui, I don’t get out as much as I would like.
Today however, I took advantage of a low symptom day and went to check out the magnolia blossoms (now in bloom!) at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, and wow did it do the trick.
As a single woman over 30 I'm often bombarded with the inevitable, "so, are you seeing anyone?" question, and right now I have to stop myself from saying, "I just can't be bothered with dating right now" because I don't think people will understand (especially Grandma- you know how Grandmas are). Maybe it's the Holiday hang-over, I mean, you can only be asked if you're dating someone so many times by so many people at so many parties before you start to think, "maybe I should date more?" Even if you're quite happily not dating.
Because let's not forget: dating isn't easy, and dating with a chronic syndrome like Fibromyalgia is less easy still, but between all well-intentioned questions and the "New-Year-Means-I-Must-Make-Changes-Fever" going around, I found myself tossing around the idea of maybe trying online dating again (I've tried online dating before [for about two weeks, two different times], and I live in a small town and have very few friends as I only moved here last year, so online dating is pretty much my best bet to meet someone, especially as I don't get out much because of Fibro) but I just can't get excited about it!
Both times I tried online dating in the past I found so few people that seemed actually interesting, and so many guys that were actual douchebags it just doesn't seem worth it now that I really think about it to try again if I'm not really into the idea of dating right now (and if we're being honest, I just don't think that being annoyed with people asking you if you're dating is enough of a reason to start dating), so if you like me, can't be bothered with actively dating right now- know you aren't alone!
Sometimes you get mad. Sometimes, when you get mad, you are inevitably and inexplicably forced to process what happened to trigger such a passionate response in yourself. Sometimes as you're processing, you make a connection between past trauma and what you allow for yourself, and it's really hard to be that honest with yourself and to heal and grow through it. Trust me, I know- I've been through this process a million times, I'm going through it again now, and I'm sure I'll go through this or something similar a million more times before I die. C'est le vie and all that, right?
In life, we inevitably and occasionally have to look at how we deal with things; at what we allow for ourselves and how that fits into what we've been conditioned to allow or believe about ourselves. I know a lot of people with chronic physical and/or mental illness, people like me, who struggle with feelings of worth, and I want to take this time to tell you that your feelings matter. That you matter, and are relevant. I want you to know, no matter what, that your needs deserve to be met. You are not a burden, you carry a burden and that is NOT the same thing.
Holy cow, it's whole new year! 2018 was an incredible year, and we can't wait to see what's in store for 2019! The FSC started on Instagram in October 2017, and in 2018 we increased our presence to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Spotify. We even started an Online Community for our Members!
I founded The Fibro-Strong Collective because I felt isolated and misunderstood, and I figured most Spoonies felt something pretty similar, so I decided to do something about it. I would be lying if I said that it has been an absolute joy to have so many conversations and interactions with our community, and knowing there are other people going through the same things I go through has been so helpful! I can't thank you enough for making me feel less alone, and I hope this community has done something similar for you!
As we move into the New Year and start making new plans and goals, I thought it best to start with thanking you all for last year first, because we couldn't have done it without you, so THANK YOU, and here's to more great things from The FSC 2019!
FSC Founder and Fabulous Fibro-Fighter