I thought I was dying. It was January 2015, and my muscles did not stop aching. I could not work out for as long as I could previously. No matter what I ate or for how long I slept for, the severe, constant pain did not go away. Being afraid of what was happening, my mother and I decided to go to the emergency room.
Weeks later after a few visits to the doctor along with tests, I was officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The Mayo Clinic defines fibromyalgia as “characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.” For me personally, fibromyalgia created intense pain in my thighs, knees, wrists, and arms.
Living every day was a challenge, and there would be days were I was unable to get out of bed due to the symptoms- even if I felt motivated or was in a pleasant mood. Some days I would wonder why I have to go through it. Then, I would tell myself that it could always be worse. Whenever I am going through a tough time, I try talking to myself as if I was trying to help give advice to somebody else. I have found this to be the most effective method of helping myself mentally. It can get difficult living with the many obstacles brought by fibromyalgia, and sometimes I feel like giving up. I tell myself that other people are going through similar issues, and that hopefully one day I can inspire others going through this as well. Another cognitive technique I try is to think about how far I have come. I used to have trouble leaving the bed, but with all of the methods I am trying to help myself, I have found myself to feel much better overall. I now work and am able to visit friends more regularly as a result. I think I am living.
Melanie J. Wajda