Fibromyalgia Attitude Adjustments & Every Day Coping Strategies Tips
The invisible disease
Fibromyalgia is sometimes known as the invisible disease. We don't look sick. People find it difficult to understand that we really are sick and not just making excuses. You need to anticipate this, and the reactions that people will give you when you say no to things you don´t feel able to do. Your true friends will understand; the others don't matter. And you must learn to say no or you will run the risk of causing a flare-up of your symptoms.
Accepting fibromyalgia is similar to coping with the death of a loved one. It starts with denial. As happy as we were to get a diagnosis at last, we start thinking that maybe it´s wrong. This can´t be the way it's going to be from now on! We all go through it -- although not everyone's experience is identical. But we need to move forward, accept what is there and then take positive actions to make it better.
Fibro victims tend to be over-achievers. We have had unrealistic expectations of ourselves all of our lives. It´s time to get real. Set some new goals. They don't need to be large- just realistic. Instead of cleaning the garden, weed one flower bed. You don´t have to be perfect. Ignore anyone who tries to make you feel guilty. You can only do what you can do.
Don´t be a perfectionist
Accept the fact that you can't do it all to some standard of perfection. Learn to set priorities about what really must be done and what you can either let slide or get help with.
Fibro and guilt
Most people who get fibromyalgia tend to be overachievers -- usually with Type-A personalities. This means we have set impossibly high standards for ourselves -- standards that are difficult to achieve when you are fatigued and in pain. This often leads us to feel guilty when things that we were accustomed to doing aren't getting done. Remember -- you can only be guilty of things done deliberately. You cannot feel guilty about getting fibro and thus acquiring new limitations. That is not your fault.
Educate yourself and others
Knowledge is power. If you and those close to you understand your problems, you can deal with them in positive ways. You may need to be quite blunt before others really grasp what you are dealing with. So get blunt.