Yesterday was FibroHaven’s monthly roundtable meeting. The topic for the meeting was “Working With Fibromyalgia.” The plan was to have a focused discussion and answer questions like:
Are you able to work?
Did you have to change careers?
Do you work full-time or part-time?
Are you self-employed?
Do you work from home?
Are you on disability?
Can you work while on disability?
Topics for a very interesting conversation, right? (In fact the latest edition of Fibromyalgia Aware Magazine is focused on this topic. If you are not already subscribed, I highly recommend you do and start receiving this valuable resource.) But then you know what happens when you bring together thirteen passionate, enthusiastic and well-spoken women… I lost control of the meeting very early on, and had a great time letting the conversation go where it will. And I think the topic of work might have actually come up once or twice.
As usual, I was touched by many of the things shared, and impressed with the generosity and compassion of the group. There were sad moments and funny moments. Moments of anger and frustration, and moments of joy and hope. I took notes as I always do, and I thought I would share with you a few quotes from the day – starting with my favorite:
“You can’t be sad on rollerskates.”
“I’m rewriting my own life commandments.”
“My ego would love to do it, but I have to say no.”
“I do not fight my pain anymore. I breathe into it.”
“I am an athlete and competitor in my mind.”
I’m not sure if there is anything in my life I am more proud to contribute to than this group. I am usually left depleted after each meeting, but I happily give each ounce of my energy it takes. It fulfills a need in me for community and giving, and it hopefully fulfills a need for each member that makes the commitment to attend and participate – even on the days when their facilitator loses control!
It is remarkable to me the quality of people who develop Fibromyalgia and chronic illness. In fact I wrote a post on my Everyday Health blog with each person I know with FM in mind. I would love for you to read it. I think you may see yourself described there. Take a look and tell me what you think: Remember Who You Are