Pain Dictates

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El dolor dicta – the pain dictates

Sadly, it has become my mantra over the years. I spent so many years fighting with my body. I pushed through desperately, trying to ignore the pain. The doctor that diagnosed my Fibromyalgia gave me some advice.

“This isn’t a death sentence. It will not kill you, but some days you may wish it would.”

The trick is to save your energy and listen to your body. You need to get outside of your comfort level and take on the world, but take it on in increments and don’t ignore the pain. You can only push through and ignore your body so much. The pain will dictate what you can and can’t do, and you’ll have to make adjustments to what you think is essential.

But, I took it as a FUCK IT pass – just keep on pushing through and do what you’ve always been doing. Fuck you Fibromyalgia and fuck the pain. So I continued pushing through the pain as I had done all of my life. It has been only in the last few years that I am very stingy with my “spoons.” It has made for some awkward moments and explanations.

I felt a lot of guilt for canceling plans, calling in sick at work. Missing out on things that I thought were so very important that I pushed through it all – only to be miserable before, during, and after.

I can trace being sick to 1979, and between 1979 and 2002, it stumped medical professionals and family members. There was no sympathy; there was no empathy. If there was any reaction at all, it was negative. I was making it all up. It was just growing pains. My personal favorites are the “one-uppers.” I can’t possibly be suffering because it wasn’t like THEIR suffering.

That led to a lifetime of suffering in silence or lying and saying I was FINE or OKAY when I was not. I was ashamed and afraid to ask for help. I refused to share what I was going through because I had heard so often that it was all in my head and other nonsense.

Recently, I have made steps just to speak the truth, my truth. There is no reason to hide my pain or feel shame. Others practice self-care, and they stand up for their wants and needs, so why should I suffer in silence. I don’t have to and I refuse to go back into hiding. I may not be able to make others understand but I can’t expect anyone to understand if I don’t speak up.

For those affected daily from chronic pain and Fibromyalgia I give you *gentle hugs* and extra spoons.