There is nothing like a Fibromyalgia flare to put things in perspective and to force me to prioritize!
I have been feeling pretty awful lately. I can always count on the heat of summer to bring on several really bad flares, or just one continuous knock-me-on-my-butt-and-suck-my-joy-of-life kind of flare. This summer had been kind, mild even. And then last week happened. Wouldn’t you know, it picked my birthday week to turn miserably hot. Blech!
Perspective: Regardless of my enthusiasm for turning 40 and the promise of a brighter future, I still have a lot of work to do. I still have an active and severe case of Fibromyalgia. I am still learning to manage my symptoms. I am not in control – yet.
When flares happen they also force me to prioritize. How important is it really if I am not caught up on the laundry? As long as there is something clean to wear, not very. Will my friend still love me if I cancel lunch on her AGAIN? If she is really my friend, then yes.
The biggest thing I have battled with during this flare is my commitments. I had a very big and important local support group meeting to coordinate when this flare was just beginning. I felt out of focus and disconnected through the entire event, but with help, I made it happen. It was a great evening attending by members of FibroHaven and also people in our community looking to understand and learn more about Fibromyalgia. I have the NFA to thank for the event, and plan to do just that in my next post. On my list of FibroHaven related priorities, this event was at the top.
My blog would be next on that list. Notice the lack of posts from the last few weeks? It is usually the case that I write less during a flare, but in this instance there is another reason I have not been posting – guilt.
Several months ago I made the commitment to write a post a week for Everyday Health.com. I felt it would be a great way to help raise awareness for Fibromyalgia and add some good articles to my writing portfolio. What I didn’t expect was how it would affect my writing on my own blog. I like to come here sometimes and just blurt stuff out, or share a random thought or two. I really have no rules or structure for this blog. It is purely me in the moment. Everyday Health is different. There I put on my serious and authoritative hat. My writing there takes a different level of commitment and energy from me, and last week I decided I was not up for submitting an article.
But that decision was not without consequence. I felt guilty for not following through on a commitment. And every time I considered writing a post here, the guilt of not writing one there kept me away. That is not what I signed up for. Bottom line, this blog is my priority. So I really had to take the time to consider where I went wrong and how I could correct it. Where I went wrong was in agreeing to writing there in the first place. It was my ego that fueled that decision. When they contacted me to be a featured blogger for them, I was thrilled by the compliment and it was that euphoria that motivated my decision. I did not consider how it would affect the work that I am already doing here and with the other components of FibroHaven.
Priorities: FibroHaven is my priority, in all its forms, and anything that takes me away from my commitment to it, or minimizes my experience with it is not beneficial to me.
I am no longer going to be writing for Everyday Health. I appreciate the opportunity they gave me, but I recognize that I have not given it my best, and I will not settle for doing anything less.
Perspective and priorities. I know you have heard it said, listen to your body. Pain is your bodies way of trying to tell you something. Sure the message with this flare may have been as simple as “it is hot,” but I’m choosing to believe there is a bigger message, and I feel confident that I focused on the right one. It feels good to be back!