I really don’t like talking about this but I got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in January. My life was about to change forever. Suddenly it was to become a lot narrower. I was told I am not allowed to do the things I wanted to do. I had to ‘pace’ myself. I was told that I was ‘doing too much’ and that was why I was in a flare up. So my life in bed began.
The only thing that I have always wanted to do is to not be afraid of the things I want to do but fear was holding me back.
Without fear there would be no living. We have fear to keep us safe, even when we are simply crossing the road. Our amygdala is the part of the brain that tells you to be afraid and it’s important for our survival. Without fear, we would walk into the road without looking. There is nothing wrong with being afraid, nothing wrong with wanting to run, or wanting to fight. Now after my diagnosis I have been told I can’t do the things I want to do. Now I have this extra ‘fear’ of injury. Things like walking for 20 minutes or having an hour’s less sleep have become these huge factors that can affect my life for days afterwards.
For so long now it feels as if my inner compass has been spinning endlessly. It has started to slow down and even edge its way towards pointing towards something. I used to say ‘I wish someone could just make all of these decisions for me,’ because I was afraid to make the wrong one. I had a realisation that whatever decision I made it would be the right one. After I let go of that pressure, things seem to be falling into place more smoothly.
When you worry about something, you suffer twice.
There are a lot of things in life you can’t control, (insert cliché proverb here), but there are a lot of things you can. I didn’t believe that attitude was everything; however our perception of reality is based on our own experiences and our own reaction to events. That is why what is stressful to some people is not stressful to others. I can’t control my condition, just manage it.
I wanted to become a stable person, capable of navigating some changes that are happening in my life. It’s been difficult, but the person I am today is completely different to the person I was a year ago. I was on edge, my fuse was so short and I was on the cusp of a mental breakdown all the time. My friends describe me as calm now. Me! Calm! I could feel the corners of my mouth curling up when they told me this.
So how and when did I become this totally Zen person?
The secret is: I’m not. I am still stressed and want to scream and cry, but I can just deal with it better. I have had a really difficult time recently, with a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and I have a dehydrated disk and a bulge on my spine. But by dealing with that, I’ve grown. I’ve grown so much. I’ve learnt to let go of the smaller things in life because a lot of big things are happening to me. I can’t control that. After about half a year I was so down! My life was falling apart. It was only when I changed my state of mind, my state of existence changed. I started to see the bigger picture.
Maybe this was supposed to happen? Maybe I am supposed to learn from this. Maybe now my fear will be gone once I feel better and I can live life to the fullest.
One of my friends says that he ‘misses the old Adam’ because I can’t go out as much, I don’t have as much energy as I used to and I can’t do the same things as I used to. I had to mourn the old me, my old life. This lifestyle has been forced upon me, I didn’t ask for it. Even now, (as pathetic as it sounds) I’ve been stuck in bed for two days because I hurt my legs running for a train, I didn’t ask for that.
To be honest, I don’t miss the old me, he was a mess. For the first time I am looking forward to seeing who I will become in the future.