Maybe my therapist was right, maybe I am a caretaker by nature. That would help explain why I have taken on the responsibility of organizing a local support group for people with Fibromyalgia and chronic pain. I have been interested in starting or joining a Fibromyalgia support group for some time. Partly it is for completely selfish reasons. I want a community I can reach out to; a group that understands how I am feeling without my needing to explain; a group I can turn to for compassion and camaraderie. But mostly it is that I want to help others find hope.
I became organizer of the group on November 11th, and today there are already 21 members. Each time a new member joins I am happy they found the group, and hopeful they will have resources and coping skills to share with other members. I also feel a huge responsibility to make sure each member gets everything they need from the group to help manage their health as well as possible.
Last night was the first meeting for the group. Out of 10 RSVPs, only six of us were able to be there. And that is the first cool thing I noticed about a Fibromyalgia/chronic pain support group – nobody bats an eye if another member drops out last minute. We all understand that a “good” day can turn into a “bad” day in the blink of an eye. I guess you can say that the bar is set low, and we are all okay with that.
The meeting went well. It was a little chaotic and unorganized at times, but that is to be expected from a group of women meeting each other for the first time. Each of us had a story to tell, and each story was both fascinating and heartbreaking. I am a firm believer that people come into our lives at certain times for specific reasons. I witnessed proof firsthand last night when one of the members told us she had recently had a double mastectomy and would soon be undergoing reconstructive surgery. Directly across the table from her sat a member who had recently been through the same ordeal. They both joined the group because of their Fibromyalgia and chronic pain, and yet they had breast cancer in common. I am sure they will get much more out of this group than either ever imagined.
It felt good sitting there, listening to everyone, and knowing that I played a part in bringing us all together. I am hopeful for the future of the group. I am hopeful that we will all get something out of our meetings to improve our health and our coping skills. I am hopeful that each of us will experience a betterment in our quality of life. I am hopeful that the group continues to grow and that each new member finds it a place of compassion and understanding. I am hopeful. It feels nice to have hope.