Dating is weird in general, the whole getting to know a stranger thing. Dating with a chronic illness... now that’s just a whole different ballgame. Dating never seemed easy; dating while having a chronic illness is especially challenging.
There are so many different factors that can make dating with a chronic illness difficult and sometimes even scary. When do I tell them? How do I tell them? How much do I tell? How will they respond? Will they “get it”? Will it change the way they see me?
What I have learned is:
Life is hard. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It throws you curve balls and they sometimes come out of left field. For some of you reading this, one of those curve balls is a diagnosis of a chronic illness.
As a mental health counselor and a fellow fibro warrior myself, I can speak to the brutality of this disease and the ways it can impede on our happiness and negatively impact our mental health...
So finally. The word is out. I have fibromyalgia; a chronic illness. In other words: you’ll be kinda sick forever but can still kinda function too. Now what?
I found out pretty quickly that I had to make mental adjustments in order to accept the physical pain and future vision of fibromyalgia. I feel like I can handle the physical part (on most days), as long as my mind is calm.
The main part of the mental challenges is THE AMOUNT OF QUESTIONS!
Who tf am I without pain?.....
This blog is courtesy of an event that keeps replaying in my head over and over. I was in Las Vegas on a family trip and we were doing A LOT o...
Navigating life with Fibromyalgia can be challenging. Personally for myself, I had to re-learn many things about my body and mind. I had to change my meal plan, sleep schedule, and aspects of my personal life. I was very into
Living with a chronic illness means you have to get creative sometimes so you’re able to have a productive day. Here are some hacks that I’ve learned along the way.
1. Pregnancy Pillow
These aren’t just for pregnant women; they work great to support aching joints and muscles.
It has been almost 20 years since my fibromyalgia diagnosis and I will be the first to admit that it had been an unpredictable rollercoaster ride. I was about fourteen years old. I had already been diagnosed celiac for 7 years at that point in my life. I had also experienced trauma that left me with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some research suggests that trauma can contribute to the onset of fibromyalgia, I believe it to be true, however I also believe it was a genetic predisposition that helped me obtain the diagnosis, my mother also lives with fibromyalgia. Notice how I don't say suffers, struggles, or any other word that may be misconstrued as negative. I have learned to live with my chronic illness and chronic pain. I learned acceptance, compassion, and understanding. I learned to embrace each day and each moment. It may sound unrealistic, however, it's my truth. As far as my days go, there are great days, good days, okay days, and absolutely horrible days, as far as my symptoms and pain are concerned. I firmly hold that even on my worst symptom day, I can still have a good day. It took me years to change my mindset. It took years to realize that I am in control of my happiness, my body, how I treat myself physically and emotionally.
Depression doesn’t care if you are rich or broke.
Depression doesn’t care if you have a loving family or a gang of friends.
Depression doesn’t care how old you are or where you’re from
Depression doesn’t care if you are white, black, yellow or blue. Well, it’ll make you blue, but still, you get where I’m going.
I have been traveling for longer than I can remember (almost 30 years) and have had a chronic illness for half of that time. I know first hand that traveling while fighting for your health is EXTREMELY difficult, but not impossible. It’s not like you can leave your sick body and just get a new one for your vacation. (But, that’d be AMAZING, wouldn’t it!?) So because of this, planning ahead for any trip, or for anything for that matter, is so much more important when you are chronically ill.
Traveling takes a lot of courage especially when you don't always feel well. People may question why we would even want to travel if we “feel that sick”. It’s why we do anything... we want to live DESPITE being sick. I KNOW that there will be consequences for pushing myself on vacay, but sometimes we have to step outside of the world of our illnesses allows and just LIVE.
Like my previous travel blog, I will be giving you tips on how to survive a vacation, but this time, it’s the cruise edition.
1. Be Your Own Advocate
You have to speak up for yourself. Only you know how you’re feeling. Make sure your cruise companions have a clear picture of what you can and cannot do to prevent any future disappointment.
When you have a chronic illness, people tend to see you as an inspiration. I hear how strong I am all the time. I’m smiling, laughing and usually the one providing the laughs; but when everyone leaves, the dark thoughts consume me and I struggle to be the person I portrayed just hours earlier.
Each day that I had to go to school, I got angry at my mom for letting me. But she didn't know what was happening and neither did I until I slowly became aware of where the pain was located in my body. It was situated in my joints. When I described the pain to my mom, I remember saying it was "in my knees, sharp like a knife" and she brought me to her doctor. She suffers from an autoimmune disease called Lupus and she always had a sharp pain in her knee joints when she was my age. When she brought me to her doctor...