73 ways to live with fibromyalgia

From medicines to natural remedies to ways of being, here are 73 of the ways I live with fibromyalgia. 

Forget surviving. We’re talking living. Starting off in good order but then frantically mixed up in no particular order (thank you fibro frog fog).

  1. Accept the diagnosis. Fibromyalgia doesn’t have to become you, but you do need to accept it to move forward.
  2. Learn about fibromyalgia.
  3. Find a good, empathetic doctor who listens.
  4. Find empathetic, reasonable friends who listen.
  5. Accept that part of managing better will absolutely likely need a change of perspective, and perhaps different ways of being.
  6. Now, be open-minded.
  7. Stop.Being. So. Darn. Hard. On. Yourself.
  8. Screw those awful thoughts. Remind yourself –feelings sometimes influence your thoughts, including that self-critical voice in your head.
  9. Find a friend who lives with chronic pain. Or go to a support group. Or both.
  10. Share
  11. Find meaning in the suffering. Use your pain.
  12. Throw out anyone who is tells you ‘it’s all in your head,’ calls you ‘lazy,’ or isn’t supportive.
  13. And I don’t mean physically (although that’s good too).
  14. Make sacrifices. It’s going to hurt sometimes but toxic or stressful relationships won’t make you better.
  15. It will take time but learn to stop caring about what other people think.
  16. Start loving your body. Yes, that body reeling in pain, weary like an engine that doesn’t seem to want to start. Love it.
    Photo by Oakley Foxtrot
    Photo by Oakley Foxtrot
  17. Think of your best friend, or someone you really, really care about. Now, treat yourself as you would that friend.
  18. Make a note of all your worse symptoms.
  19. Make a plan to start addressing them. Ask your your doctor for help. Start with referrals to specialist care, like physiotherapy for instance or psychotherapy if you also live with co-existing conditions like depression (which plenty of fibro-mites do).
  20. Don’t stay on medication whose cons outweigh the pros. Find the right one for you, no matter how many times you have to change it.
  21. Ditch your doctor if they’re not working for you.
  22. Address your lack of sleep. I’ll let you in when I find the solution. In the meantime, Amitriptyline and working full-time helps.
  23. Don’t depend on your doctor alone. Evaluate your life and see what lifestyle changes you can make to help yourself.
  24. Be practical. Maybe you can’t wear stilettos like I won’t wear a bra. Allodynia is a thing.
  25. Start reading other people’s stories to see how they live with fibromyalgia and chronic pain.
  26. Drastically reduce or cut out your intake of ‘junk’ and processed food.
  27. Look out for foods that trigger symptoms and cut them out, or reduce if possible.
  28. Try to eat as fresh as possible, including fruit and vegetables.
  29. Eat lots of oily fish like mackerel.
  30. Learn to love cooking.
  31. Look to the natural food sources that help chronic pain and other fibro-related symptoms. Fresh is best. For example plenty of turmeric (the root or ground- not supplements in this case) for pain. Ginger is great too.
  32. Drink ginger tea.
  33. Turmeric tea is awesome too.
  34. Take a magnesium supplement.
  35. Take an omega 3 oil supplement.
  36. Take a glucosamine supplement.
  37. Take a probiotic. Great for IBS.
  38. Soak in Epsom salt baths for as long as possible as often as possible.
  39. (Wong to Yick) Woodlock oil
  40. Phorpain gel
  41. Find a reason to get out of bed. Every. Single. Day. Make sure it’s a damn good reason because you’ll need it when the shadows of pain and fatigue tower over you. (All a lie by the way – your shadow eh bigger than you and neither are pain and fatigue).
  42. Volunteer.
  43. Get a little exercise every day. A short walk, a swim, whatever.
  44. Learn to pace yourself.
  45. Never (ever!) get carried away on a ‘good pain day’ and try to do ‘as much as possible.’ Ever.
  46. Remove as many stressors possible from your life. Caring for yourself means being good to body and mind (see numbers 3, 9 & 11).
  47. Celebrate every victory, big and small.
  48. Be thankful. Be positive.
  49. Whatever that means to you.
  50. Practise mindfulness.
  51. Dare to dream. That thing you really, really want to do. Know that you can make it work.
  52. Know that only you can stop you.
  53. Life with chronic pain needs compromise. You can still have your dreams with a little tailoring.
  54. Do things you love. You have one life, chronic pain on not.
  55. Love.
  56. Accept love.
  57. Hope.
  58. Take a chance.
  59. Put the radio on.
  60. Sing.
  61. Dance.
  62. Then some more.
  63. Plenty.
  64. Be curious about the world around you. Explore. Discover
  65. Learn something new. However small.
  66. Talk to someone new as often as possible.
  67. For the second time, stop judging yourself so harshly.
  68. Know that you’re strong. Many healthy people wouldn’t cope so well had they had to live with chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia.
  69. Believe in what you’re doing.
  70. If you’re not coping, ask for help.
  71. Never, ever suffer in silence.
  72. Remember you’re not alone.
  73. Never, ever, ever give up.

Gentle hugs 🙂

Cover image by Brendan Lally

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