One of my best friends, Kelsey, recently got diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Kelsey and I worked together in Clemson, but we really became friends because of our illnesses. When we met, both of us had been sick for years, and neither of us had been diagnosed. We seemed to bond over everything: how our teachers thought we were faking it, how our doctors thought it was all in our heads, how are boyfriends were sweet and stuck by our sides, and most of all, how hard it was to deal with an illness that could shift suddenly from day to day.
You never know how you’re going to feel when you wake up. Some days you feel almost normal. It’s an amazing feeling—you can do anything! Maybe you’re getting better! Maybe you’re always going to feel like this! But on these days, you invariably do too much, and by the end of the day you’re a wreck. Other days, you are certain that it’s impossible to get out of bed. On these days, you spend half of your time in the bathtub, usually with a cup of tea or, more realistically, a cup of tequila.
The key for people with a chronic illness is to make a schedule and stick to it. Everyday. No matter what. On good days, don’t do too much. On bad days, get the hell out of the bath and maybe even put on a little mascara. I’m finally settling into my schedule. I wake up around 8, go for a walk, do some yoga. I eat breakfast and write and look for jobs. I play my guitar, hang out with William, and finally go to work around 1:30. After work, I cook dinner, get in bed by 10, and read a book, something positive. I’m one of those people who needs a lot of positive reinforcement.
Kelsey has her schedule too, and you know what? We’re actually pulling it together. Yes, some days are still hard, but we’re sticking to our schedules and growing stronger everyday. We’re eating well and exercising and encouraging each other, and we’re both doing really well.
What I’ve Been Eating:
Nuts and berries
Apples and peanut butter
….I’ve really got to get back to cooking!