27 May No. 1 – A Violette Awakening
I am going to give you my little “dinner party” bio, or the one we typically use when meeting a new acquaintance, “So, what do you do Lynne?”
Well, honestly, followers.. that all depends.. it changes every day.
You see, I have fibromyalgia. It is a pretty fun chronic condition that unfortunately, not many people take seriously.
Fibromyalgia, is one condition of many chronic ailments, that doesn’t actually have a physiological explanation. Here is the definition for you:
Fibromyalgia: a rheumatic condition characterized by muscular or musculoskeletal pain with stiffness and localized tenderness at specific points on the body.
Now that doesn’t sound so bad does it!
There are two flaws in the definition above.
- It fails to tell you about the other symptoms that come along with Fibromyalgia.
2. That the symptoms are like shapeshifting, stealthy ninja cats, which make it all that much harder to plan your life.
Here are just a few of the 60 symptoms Fibromyalgia can offer you:
- Pain areas: in the muscles, abdomen, back, or neck
- Pain types: can be chronic, diffuse, sharp, or severe
- Pain circumstances: can occur at night
- Whole-body: fatigue, feeling tired, or malaise
- Muscular: muscle tenderness, delayed onset muscle soreness, or muscle spasms
- Gastrointestinal: constipation, nausea, or passing excessive amounts of gas
- Mood: anxiety, depression, mood swings, or nervousness
- Cognitive: forgetfulness or lack of concentration
- Hand: the sensation of coldness or tingling
- Sensory: pins and needles or sensitivity to pain
- Sleep: difficulty falling asleep or sleep disturbances
- Also common: cold sensitivity, depression, flare, headache, irritability, joint stiffness, menstrual cramps, or tingling feet
Oh, and sorry there is no treatment except to go on pain meds, nerve blockers, anti-depressants, opioids (could be fun, but I prefer the greener things!), and whatever else you might be taking for common conditions that come along with it, like diabetes, PCOS, endometriosis, auto-immune conditions, thyroid conditions, chronic fatigue syndrome, oh and the WEIGHT GAIN! I know there is more, but I want to get on with my post!
Sorry, I was supposed to be give you my quick bio..
Well, if you are reading this, you most likely have come to my blog because you are a fellow spoonie or you know someone who is.
I am sure that “meet & greet” convo above sounds very real to you. Be honest, how do you greet someone who asks you who you are?
Most people say something like:
“It’s nice to meet you too, Bob. My name is Lynne. I am actually a mother of 3. 3 boys actually…. I know, it is a busy house!.. I know I only look 20 years old… I was young when I had my kids! I am actually a holistic nutritionist too. Yes, I am sure that is what my secret is to looking young..
Oh you want to know what I do for work?”
Cue above little spiel RE: Fibromyalgia
When someone asks you who you are, do your conversations sound something similar to the above?
If I was asking you who you were, I would be interested in you as a mother, a nutritionist, a person who looks young, but is that how you would define yourself?
Sorry, this bio of me is asking a lot of questions about YOU.
But the reason, I am going through this little scenario with you, is because I realized recently that is exactly who I thought I was and that when someone asked me those questions I would vomit those out. Without knowing it I was giving myself those are “labels”, but that isn’t ME.
I thought I was just a mom, a holistic nutritionist, who had too many things on her plate to even know what her job even was, could barely function on a day-to-day basis, was anxious and cranky A LOT of the time because of the pressure I put on myself. I was creating a disaster, that even I couldn’t see (one for some reason I didn’t feel like I could clean up!). I felt constant guilt, fear, and shame for the fact that I thought my body was failing me.
I am here to tell you, from one human to another, that isn’t WHO you are. Who you are is who you are on the inside, your hopes, your dreams, it’s your soul. I couldn’t love myself enough to see that I was creating a lot of bad habits around my fibromyalgia. I was fighting, constantly, to live my “normal” life. I wanted to be a busy, overachieving mom, that had everything lined up neatly, somehow never seemingly dropping the ball. I wouldn’t let myself drop the ball – even if it meant pushing my body to the max and crashing and burning, over and over again. I couldn’t accept that my life had to change. I couldn’t possibly have Fibromyalgia. If I kept believing that I could fight, push, and kick my way through it – it would all go away.
I came to realize that I was dropping the ball in a big way. I was dropping the ball on myself.
I was a mess because I was putting the needs of others ahead of mine, I wasn’t listening to my body’s signals, I wasn’t capable of loving myself, I kept sabotaging my own goals. I really needed to take a step back and acknowledge WHO I was and what was actually needed to happen in order to be happy and healthy again.
The truth was, I didn’t know, because I didn’t take the time to find out. I was too busy living a life that made me feel less than adequate in every way possible, but looked good on the outside. I was perfecting the external while forgetting the internal.
All the pain and suffering I was putting on myself really was my own self-hate and perpetuation of denial, shame, and fear.
I knew that if I looked inside, it would change my whole life. I would have to accept that there would be days when I couldn’t get out of bed. I wouldn’t be able to be as active, I couldn’t sleep when I needed to. Life was going to suck. It wasn’t the life I had worked so hard to make up until then. I would have to be vulnerable, open, caring, patient, and still. I would have to RELAX!
Until I met Violette. At some point, I will introduce you, stay tuned for that! She changed my whole perspective on the world, on Fibromyalgia, on who I knew myself to be.
All of a sudden I knew that fibromyalgia was a PART of me and not something that had ruined my life. I could stop fighting, stop being the constant warrior who would make it all just go away. I realized that there was literally nothing standing in my way of living more authentically with it. By learning to love myself and recognize that I deserved to treat my body with respect, meant I could live wholeheartedly in ONE with my fibromyalgia.
So let me ask you again. Who are YOU? Think about this for a minute before going on ..
Here is who I know I am:
- I am filled with a lot of drive
- I am learning to take care of myself
- I am kind, passionate, loving
- I laugh at my own jokes (I hope you do too!)
- Outgoing, but I love to be alone
- I love nature
- I am creative and artsy
- Fiery, but a good leader
- Learning to live authentically
- Courageous and inspired by the world around me
Well, you get the idea. I think I am pretty awesome!
I am writing this blog today to tell you a bit more about myself and share the life lessons my pretty crazy life has taught me. I have always wanted to write a blog or a book but I never felt ready. I never felt anyone would listen.
With this one shift in my perspective, I knew exactly where my path was heading and what I needed to do. I needed to be HAPPY and the only way I could do that was by living out what I enjoyed doing. I wouldn’t have figured it out without Fibromyalgia either! I would have had no reason to want to change my life or look deep within to discover myself. Without fibromyalgia, I wouldn’t have wanted to CHANGE as much as I needed to.
(Insert hippie drum music now) — Join me on this blog as I share my journey going through what I call a “Violette Awakening” – the gift of Fibromyalgia.
In all seriousness, that is exactly what it is. A Violette Awakening will be me sharing my wild realizations or thoughts on my life with Fibromyalgia! Much like a “personal journal”.
A Violette Awakening as my practice will do two things:
- Bring awareness
- Inspire other folks to LIVE with their fibromyalgia
With a focus on humour and holistic lifestyle changes, I will be inspiring others to Change the VOICE behind fibromyalgia.
Looking forward to meeting YOU!
PS: I am writing my book too!!