6 Rules for Living with Fibromyalgia (As Told By Fibromyalgia Bloggers)

As much as we may wish we could live a life free from trials, tribulations and pain – the reality is that life will deal us our fair (or perhaps unfair) share of them. They come in different forms and usually enter our lives completely unexpectedly – sometimes knocking us off our feet (usually just figuratively – but occasionally literally as well). The English historian and novelist James Anthony Froude nailed the hammer on the head when he said, “The trials of life will not wait for us. They come at their own time, not caring much to inquire how ready we may be to meet them.”
Woman with fibromyalgia laying on a couch
# 1: Be open to trying anything
For the first couple of years that I was sick I ignored a lot of advice that could have really helped me because I just wasn’t open. I scoffed at the idea that diet change could help me, yet when I finally tried changing my diet it helped me more than anything had, or has since.
#2: Stay positive
A positive mental attitude won’t heal you but it certainly won’t make things worse either. In fact, choosing to focus on the positive really helped me a lot. It’s easy when you are in pain and have no energy to drown in depression. But, if you can stay focused on the positives that are in your life you keep a focus, you keep a reason to try anything, and you keep hope alive.
#3: Forgive
Holding grudges and negativity towards others (or towards yourself) adds stress. Stress increases the pain and fatigue. I think this lesson was harder than the others for me. It takes a lot for me to really hold a grudge against another person and even more to let it go. On the other hand, I’m much harsher on myself. I’ve always been bad about beating myself up over little things, rethinking conversations and getting focused on the “should haves”. I am constantly working on this one. I guess really I’m constantly working on all three of these.
#4: Pace Yourself
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from living with chronic pain is to pace myself.  Even if I’m having a day where I feel decent, I can’t do too much or else it will cause a flare and I’ll be down anywhere from 2 days to a good week.  That is also the hardest lesson to learn, in my opinion.
#5: Listen to your body
I’ve also learned to listen to my body.  If I’m tired, I rest.  If I’m in pain, I just sit and try to relax.
#6: Try to turn hurtful comments into a positive
Another lesson I’ve learned is to not let what other say bother me if they don’t suffer from chronic pain themselves. I don’t let it bother me. Instead, I just feel sorry for them that they speak without taking an hour to research chronic pain and what it’s truly like for those of us who do suffer.  I try to turn the situation into a positive by trying to educate the person about living with chronic pain.

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