It has been awhile since I sat down to write. Life has been overwhelming, wouldn’t you agree? I’ve been contemplating my place in the world and what I want that place to look like. I’ve shed most of my responsibilities and stayed away from social media, so you might be wondering why now am I deciding to write? Well, to be honest I feel broken and I need to put myself back together. So, let’s find out how I let a pandemic and fibromyalgia break me.
It started with putting too much on my plate. I love this analogy! What happens when you go to an all you can eat buffet? You eat too much, don’t you? You sit there with too much on your plate and not only that but you have several different plates sitting in front of you. I don’t even eat everything, so what does that mean? It means things get wasted. That is what I have been doing. Trying to accomplish too many things at once has led me to wasting certain things in my life.
I had to admit I couldn’t do it all anymore. So it became necessary to not only put less on my plate but to make my plate smaller.
If you have fibromyalgia then you have probably battled with depression. For some reason they tend to go hand in hand. It could be due to what fibromyalgia does to your body and soul. For me, depression came first and I easily fall into it and I’m not talking about just feeling sad. This is full blown, can’t move, paralyzed with darkness depression. I talk a lot about fighting depression. Honestly though, it is an illness on its own and I don’t control it. If I use my tools I can manage it, but I can’t seem to do anything to make it go away.
Staying home for months has made it clear to me that I am an introvert, no doubt about that. However, there is an extroverted part of me that thrives on spending time with other (select) people. In fact, I now believe that being social in some way is what has helped me keep my depression in check. Without that interaction, I have fallen into the abyss. Really, I had let a pandemic and fibromyalgia break me.
My anxiety is deeply rooted for many reasons and I tend to let my mind go on the worry trail until I’m so worked up I can’t cope. This, my friends, takes practice to control. Lucky me, I also have IBS and that alone has created an anxiety in me that is hard to beat. So you throw in a pandemic and worry over my health and my loved ones and you have a recipe for disaster. If you are someone who is not worried about getting the Coronavirus, then I am happy for you. I am not one of those people. I worry about my family, my friends and myself.
For my friends that have anxiety like I do, lets talk about how we can take a little control back. First of all, have you heard of the expression, “don’t worry about what you cannot control?” This is a hard one, but it is necessary. Can you control getting the virus? Yes and No. You can wash your hands, not touch your face, wear a mask and social distance. You must weigh the cost versus benefit when it comes to any activity outside the house. We can’t control other people, so all we can do is control our own actions. Sadly, anyone not following safe behavior is not someone I am going to be around right now. All of these steps help calm my anxiety as I take control of what I can do.
To be honest, I started writing this article a month or so ago. I was feeling completely broken. Now, I wouldn’t say I’m back to normal yet, but I’m getting there. I take as many steps toward wellness as I can take and forgive myself when I falter. An example of this is that I force myself to do things like ride my bike, go for a walk and stretch. I find my center while meditating. I am part of two clubs at my university and on the board of one. This has reminded me how important it is to be a part of something bigger than myself.
I try to remain in the present with a hopeful eye to the future. This is hard with so many horrible atrocities happening all around us. Now more than ever, I am controlling who and what is around me. I deleted all my social media apps to prevent myself from going on there and I try to keep as much positivity as possible. I’m not saying that I’m not paying attention, I’m just weeding out the unnecessary. For anyone having a hard time like I am, I want to remind you of the available resources out there for you. There is the crisis text line, just text 741741. In addition, there is always the suicide hotline 800-273-8255. Sometimes it helps to speak to someone outside your life. If you feel comfortable it also helps to confide in a friend or loved one. You may find that they are also having a hard time right now. We will get through this together.
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