I thought I was relatively “normal,” physically speaking. Just with some extra pain and fatigue.
But as I have come back into the workforce (physically) after Nu and two years of contracting, I have realised that it’s not so.
I can’t sit still. My neck begs to be stretched so regularly but I fight it in order not to stand out in meetings. I have to stand for some periods of time. I have to stretch. I get up often.
At a physical job it’s not as easy to take breaks at odd times because you just need to. You can eat at random times, you just look like you are always eating.
You can’t lie down with your heat pack as you need.
On frosty mornings I need gloves to cover sore, cold fingers.
Sometimes, when I am very sore and tired I am Emotional. With a capital E! I have been so tired that I just want to cry and crawl under my desk more than a few mornings recently.
After work I am wiped. I need to sit with my heat pack before I can keep going. A 20 minute walk, dinner and getting Nu to bed is all I am capable of. No ” school night” outings!
Despite all this. And more. I do it. Despite a bad back and neck, intermittently aching knees and fingers, tight, over reactive muscles, extreme exhaustion, fluctuating emotions, high energy needs, dizziness and nausea – I DO IT.
I spend a couple of hours with Nu, an hour travel time, six hours at work and several more hours with Nu each day. Except Wednesday and the weekends when I get to take work out of the picture.
People with fibromyalgia work so much harder than others to live “normally” (and we are expected to live “normally”, forever competing in an endurance race we just can’t win) and I’m so damn proud of myself for what I accomplish.
Whatever your normal looks like right now, you should be proud of what you accomplish. One foot in front of the other.