fibroSecret© (Part 5): I Was Afraid to Have a “Good Day” Re-visited!
This is essentially “Part 2” of fibroSecret©(Part 5)! I am including the link to the first part below. Take a quick glance back if you have forgotten what it said, then continue below!
Thank you for using your valuable time and energy to read what I have to say. I am humbled and honored.
Meshea Crysup, Founder fibroLIFE©
Well, now that you have reviewed the first part of this blog post, you know the “backstory”, so I am going to just start with this picture from last evening.
Why do I show so many pictures of myself?
This a pictures of me yesterday evening. With me is my friend, Katie. We were at our usual Wednesday night “Pizza & Beer” place. (Shout out to Billy’s Italian Restaurant here in Vicksburg, MS!) I will tell you straight up, it is not flattering to me in the least. I am not proud of how I look—I hate being so overweight (Something you who follow me know I am constantly battling!)
If I am so displeased with pictures of myself why do I take them so often and post them? A picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures put a name to the face. Pictures personify what I am saying—the familiarity of the face leads to my being your “friend”, not just a blogger. Pictures actually give you access to—literally let you INTO—my fibroLIFE©. PICTURES SHOW YOU I REALLY AM LIVING MY fibroLIFE©!
I am far from perfect at doing so, but I endeavor always to practice what I preach—not just “talk the talk” but actually “walk the walk”. I am constantly telling each of you to get out of the house, daily even if you can. I am constantly telling you it is worth the energy to fix yourself up—which for this girly-girl means hair, make-up, jewelry…the works! I am constantly telling you to LAUGH! I tell you to take vacations! I tell you to go to parties! I am constantly harping about LIVING your fibroLIFE© to the fullest and not worrying about what other people think about you being out, “gussied up”, laughing, and having a good time. I take and share the pictures to SHOW you that I mean every word I say and that IT IS DOABLE!
There was a time, however, when I would not have shared this picture, pictures from my vacations, or any other for that matter. There was a time when I was afraid to let anyone see that there were times I actually still LIVED, in spite of having Fibromyalgia (FMS). As I explained in the first part of this post, we are already so misunderstood—so many people think we are faking it or it is all in our head. I did not want people to think that about me. What I found was, however, people will always think whatever they want to think. Haters gonna hate!
What I now do is just the opposite of what I once did. Now, I LIVE my fibroLIFE© in full view of everyone—keeping very little of it actually private. Not because, “I’m all that and a bag of chips!” I am not special in any way except that I am willing to put the time and energy into sharing my fibroLIFE© to improve Fibromyalgia (FMS) awareness and understanding. I am not exceptional in any way except that I am willing to LIVE my fibroLIFE© so publically in a sincere attempt to inspire, encourage, and literally SHOW others it is acceptable and doable to LIVE a fibroLIFE© to the fullest—happily and unashamed!
The story behind the picture:
Instead of being afraid of what people think, now I educate people. How? If someone had said to me last night, or if someone who sees this picture says, “You look like you are feeling great!” this is how I respond:
Thank you! In order to be here tonight and look this way, I had to rest four hours this afternoon. I am very glad it worked though!
The full story behind that particular picture is this:
10 PM Hands hurting so badly I literally wanted to just scream
2 AM Could not go back to sleep after waking from increased pain
3 AM Finally just got up rather than disturb Hubby
3 AM to 11 AM
I did some stretches and “in-home-walking” while listening to uplifting music.
I spent some time with Cally—our furry daughter, canine.
I prioritized and EDITED my day according to how I was feeling.
I fixed Hubby’s breakfast and backed his lunch for work.
I put a load of laundry in and ran the dishwasher.
I gussied up a bit and went to the coffee shop.
I enjoyed the comradery of “the regulars”, felt less “alone”—more “normal”.
Answered some emails, corrected some facebook advertising I had messed up.
Had Coffee Klatch with RHV partner, Morgan, for updates and planning.
Went home. Put laundry in dryer.
11 AM Pain escalating again and fibro fog getting worse/went to bed
3 PM Sleep had been broken/restless, but I was better.
I took my shower, got gussied up, folded the laundry and put it up.
Then I rested more while waiting on Hubby to pick me up for dinner.
6 PM PICTURE GOES HERE
9 PM Had not accomplished a fraction of what I wanted to for the day
Pain escalating, tried to play Words With Friends for distraction
Could not focus nor stand to hold my phone due to pain in hands
10 PM Trying to be still, not disturb Hubby. Finally slept off and on
2 AM Pain woke me up. Had to just get up. Wrote an inspirational/informational message to SOMEONE ELSE to REMIND MYSELF not to feel sorry for “poor me”—other people have problems too. I felt too badly for it to be “publishing quality”, but the person it went to would be able to follow it.
4 AM Accepted the fact that today was going to be very limited, again…
7 AM Wrote this post.
The rest of the day: REST
The story behind the pictures you do not see:
Some will read that and feel like I accomplished a lot. In a way, I did. However, in order to LIVE a fibroLIFE that FULL, I have to limit my physical and emotional stress. For example, I have recently had to dial back, considerably, the SIMPLE facebook promoting I was doing for our B&B Association. I cannot think through it, I get behind which stresses me, so I get foggier, get more behind, get more stressed, then the pain increases… I have not been able to edit Morgan’s latest book due to the fibro fog. I did not feel I was safe to drive to a luncheon earlier in the week, so a friend picked me up. There are many things around home that need to be done that I do not have the energy or stamina to do, AND IF I DID DO THEM, I would end up in horrible pain. (FMS pain is not like being a little sore from doing too much. It is varied, complex, and extreme! “If I were a horse…” pain is what I call it. It is so bad that if I were a horse, I would be put out of my misery.) There are many things Hubby would like for me to do—business calls, errands, etc. I cannot. Things that others “just do” and take for granted, I have to edit out of my fibroLIFE© or I end up needing help getting to the bathroom in the middle of the night because the pain is so bad and my mobility so limited. If I take on more, I am actually able to do less, and less, and less…
Yes, I had fun last night. The laughter released endorphins which help decrease the pain naturally. That is a very healthy thing for me! The socialization helps keep my anxiety down and helps me not feel isolated from the rest of the world. No, you cannot look at the pictures I post and see any of the pain, mental fogginess, or severe “editing” of my life. There are many other things the picture does not show, however. It does not show all the times I have had to NOT go to dinner, lunch, the coffee shop because I could NOT go. I do not take pictures of those times. I am not brave enough to share them—I am not sure I ever will be. I can and do talk and write about those times freely, but I am afraid to let the world see me at my worst.
I am no longer afraid to let the world see that I LIVE my fibroLIFE© to the fullest. In fact, when people say I look like I am feeling great, I am glad. That means what I am doing is working. That means by sharing my experiences—what has worked for me what has not, the ways I have learned to deal with limiting my activity, etc.—I am possibly helping others. What better way is there to LIVE one’s LIFE? Not just a fibroLIFE©, but any LIFE?
Still not convinced to let others see you are having a good day?
I understand your fear—and I know it will take time and baby steps to overcome it, as well as encouragement from others.
I really do understand how scary it is to let those you know are talking about you behind your back see you actually LIVING. I assure you, they are going to talk regardless.
Furthermore, I really do understand the energy it takes to “gussy up”, go out for dinner, and laugh. More importantly, I understand the benefits of it as well.
LIFE is short. Please, LIVE your fibroLIFE© to the fullest, every single day, happily and unashamed.