Have you ever thought about what you’d tell yourself if you could time travel to your diagnosis day? With what I know now, I’ve been thinking about what I would have told myself.
I would have told myself that it’s not only OK, but also important to grieve your past life and the person you’ve left behind. Don’t act like it’s no big deal and stuff down those feelings. Anytime we experience loss in life, we need to acknowledge it, feel it, and then move on. But don’t rush it. It’s not a one-and-done kind of experience, either; it will continue to assail you from time to time. That’s just the nature of grief.
I would have told myself that pushing beyond my limits comes with a price, which sometimes means days in bed. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Sometimes you can do something today that next week would be completely impossible, and that’s OK. Along these same lines, you need to learn to say no without feeling guilty. Other people are not necessarily going to understand, but don’t make that your problem. Your health needs to be priority No. 1.
I would tell myself that it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. When I don’t ask for help, I rob someone else of a blessing. People don’t always know what you need, so it’s OK to let them know. Don’t let your pride get in the way; it can be a real stumbling block.
I would say to be kind to yourself. Figure out what is important to you and let go of unrealistic expectations, be they yours or someone else’s. Being kind to yourself is not selfish; it’s a necessity now, and that’s OK. Do more of the things that bring you joy, understanding that those things are different now. Writing is one of the things that bring me joy; I would never have tried it if I didn’t get sick.
I would be sure I knew to make self-care a priority. That means saying no when I need to, taking naps, lying down when needed, or leaving an event early when my body tells me that I’ve had enough, just to name a few. Things are not always going to go smoothly; there will always be last-minute adjustments to be made based on your symptoms and energy level at any given moment.
Be intentional with the life you’ve been given. I know you didn’t choose this journey, but trust that God has a plan and a purpose in it. Find ways to encourage others, be as social as you’re able for your emotional health, trust yourself to make good decisions, and make sure your doctors are willing to have a dialogue, not just dictate. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s because everyone is different.
What are a few things you would tell yourself? Please share in the comments section so we can all benefit.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.