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The Emotional Toll of Fibromyalgia

There are two sides to the emotional toll that Fibromyalgia has on us. The first side is the illness itself. With over 100 symptoms that we experience randomly, it can get very frustrating. We never know how we’re going to feel, what symptoms we are going to experience and how bad the pain and fatigue are going to be. Some days we can’t get out of bed and that has a really bad effect on our mental stability.

I don’t think many people realize that there is an emotional toll of Fibromyalgia. We’re just perceived as lazy or crazy or our whole illness is written off as us just being depressed and if we weren’t depressed we wouldn’t have all these symptoms. People have no clue that we’re depressed because we have a chronic illness that has been eating away at us for years and years. Long before anyone ever knew we had a problem, we’ve been fighting this invisible monster. Most of us are depressed, but depression does not cause our illness. Our illness very much causes the depression.

Every day we wake up and hope that we can make it through the day without wanting to die. Does that sound dramatic? Welcome to our lives. Every day is a struggle; a fight just to function as the world expects us to. We want to fit it and be accepted, but we can’t just stop being sick to make everyone around us feel more comfortable. No one would ever tell someone with cancer to suck it up and just ignore the pain, so why do so many feel that it’s proper to tell us that?

There are two sides to the emotional toll that Fibromyalgia has on us. The first side is the illness itself. With over 100 symptoms that we experience randomly, it can get very frustrating. We never know how we’re going to feel, what symptoms we are going to experience and how bad the pain and fatigue are going to be. Some days we can’t get out of bed and that has a really bad effect on our mental stability. When you’re stuck in bed you think too much and you start feeling like you’re letting the illness win. This can lead to a very scary place where most of us have been at least once. Would it be easier just to die?

The second side of the emotional toll is the way others perceive us. Oh, you just have Fibromyalgia? What exactly is this supposed to mean? You might as well tell someone with the plague that they just have a little virus. Well at least it’s not cancer. How much do these people actually know about Fibromyalgia? I’ve never heard of anyone telling someone with cancer, well at least it’s not a flesh eating virus. So why would you compare Fibromyalgia to any other illness?

I think the biggest thing that hurts me is when I have all these people telling me that if I need anything to let them know and then when I finally break down and ask for help I get pushed aside. Don’t they realize how hard it was for me to ask? Don’t they know how much it hurts to have to give up your independence? It’s so frustrating. The last thing any of us want is to be dependent on someone else, but sometimes we have to be and when no one is there it hurts.

Those of us with Fibromyalgia are just like anyone else with a chronic illness. We didn’t choose to be sick, nor do we want to be sick. Fibromyalgia breaks down our bodies physically, and tears us apart emotionally and until there’s a cure we will continue to fight to survive in a world that doesn’t accept or understand our illness. 

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