• Beth Matthews

5 Best Things About Living With Fibro

Call me insane, and I did wrack my brain for a while trying to come up with anything good about living with Fibro, but once I started thinking, I managed to come up with 5 invaluable things that give my life meaning.

There is a countless list of things that make living with Fibromyalgia a ball-ache and it can be hard to see the light when you feel yourself drowning in an endless ocean. Online platforms are a great way to talk about shared experiences and tips of the trade. But today I want to talk about 5 positive things Fibromyalgia has given me!

1. Relationships

This is general and I think is a common experience for anyone who goes through any form of life-altering situation. I have found that the relationships I have in life whether that’s friends, family, or romantic, are so much stronger now. I learnt to leave behind the toxic relationships and focus on people that bring me joy and understanding. In some ways, fibro has made me feel alienated and completely isolated at times, but since being diagnosed I have found that I get out what I put into relationships. It is through my illness that I have seen truth from lies, empathy from manipulation, caring from overbearing. Perhaps because I spend a lot of time figuring out my best course of treatment, trying to surround myself with positive things and people, it makes it easier to spot when a dark cloud starts looming.

2. Compassion

I like to think I was always compassionate, but the strength and understanding that comes with a chronic illness are almost incomparable. You become well acquainted with your own suffering, and I’ve found I can pick up on others much easier, this compassion has built bonds and a deeper understanding of those around me.

3. Community

One of the first things I did when I was diagnosed was read other people’s stories. I was trying to find people I related to, through doing this I found social media accounts and sites that had already built communities where people talked and helped and supported each other. Not only do these places make me feel at home, but they make me feel seen and heard.

4. Time

Fibromyalgia has given me time. I used to clock watch throughout the day, just waiting for the day to be over so I can hurry home and get into bed before being diagnosed. Now I have a diagnosis and I have tools. I’ve learned how to pace myself, and I worked out a schedule with my employer that allows me to work from home- giving me an extra two hours a day to look after myself properly. If I go through a case of insomnia, I don’t force myself to sleep. I now utilise that time as best as I can (though I do watch Friends on repeat a lot…). I’ve also learnt to appreciate time. Fibro often strips good times away from us, but when those good days come and you spend time with friends or doing something you love, time means more.

5. Self Awareness

Any chronic illness diagnosis forces you to take a step back and re-evaluate your life and your goals. You have to start asking what’s realistic and mourn the things you no longer perceive to be plausible for your life. Through taking these steps, you’re also getting to know yourself better, what it is you need and what you want.

It’s easy to see these things and say them on a good day, on a bad day it’s like looking for the sun at midnight. Just because you can’t see it right now doesn’t mean it won’t be there tomorrow, we got this and you are not alone.


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