When Living With Fibromyalgia Makes You Feel Like 2 Different People

Jennifer Dawn

I wish I could start this post with “Once upon a time” and have a happy ending, but unfortunately this is nowhere near to being a fairy tale, and my story hasn’t come to an end.

I am a mother, wife, artist, foodie, writer, animal lover, health advocate, candle maker, crafter, DIY expert and a pretty good frugal shopper. I also have fibromyalgia, which has progressively gotten worse and has left me unable to work for the past two months.

It has taken a toll on my emotions and my womanhood.

It has made me shed many tears and made me question a lot of things.

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I have often sat here longing for the woman I once was. The energetic, creative woman who always had 10 projects on the go, worked full time, kept a clean, organized home, made delicious home-cooked meals and always had every hair in place and her makeup just so. I was super organized and capable of so many things, like going to the gym five times a week and creating YouTube videos.

Now I am the woman who’s lucky if she can make it out of bed, and even luckier if I manage to shower and get dressed (sometimes taking a shower drains me, and I need to rest). And luckier yet if I manage to do some dishes and laundry (laundry actually causes me physical pain, and I’m thankful for my second-hand dishwasher that I picked up off a local site).

That woman who had her makeup and hair done is now the woman who can be found sporting the latest sweatpants/pajama pants, goes au natural and puts her hair in a messy bun.

Yep, I am ready for the runway!

I am the woman who often forgets things and doesn’t have the energy or pain tolerance to do normal housework or make sure there is a healthy home-cooked meal each and every night.

But you know what?

I am also that woman who remains positive that somewhere along the line things will get more manageable. I am the woman who has taken control of her health care and come to terms with the fact I can’t do everything I used to but realizes I am still capable of so much.

I am the woman who has learned to let go. I ignore (or at least I try to ignore) the uneducated comments I sometimes get, like I must be fine if I managed to go shopping in the city. Little do they know that trip was out of necessity for my dietary needs and to save money, and it took two days for me to recover from it.

I am also the woman who has learned I have a lot to say. 

I am of value and have so many good things to share with people. This is what led me to writing.

People who deal with chronic pain and chronic fatigue often feel alone and that no one understands them. I went through this phase for years. The best support you can receive is often from people who start off as complete strangers and happen to be going through the same things you are. You can create a little family of your own through these connections.

Writing has given me an outlet to express my feelings and share what I have learned or am trying to learn. And it’s where I can also share other things of value.

You know the old saying. Everything happens for a reason. Well, I believe there’s some truth to that.

You ever get the feeling that you were meant to do something?

That is how I feel about writing, and it’s something I haven’t felt in a long time.

So join me on my journey. Let me offer you a shoulder and be that place you go to for encouragement, support, ideas and a wealth of information.

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