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A Confession on Pacing and Boundaries with Fibromyalgia

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May I confess something to you? I don’t always practice what I preach. I don’t always realise or acknowledge my boundaries, let alone fight for them. I let guilt eat at me and let it trick me into over committing.

A confession on pacing and boundaries with fibromyalgia

I’ve had this growing sense that the amount of hours I was searching for as I seek employment now that my baby is nearing his first birthday were too much. After much internal struggle, I lowered the expectation in my head, knowing we need the extra money, but also that I would not be able to sustain it, my health and be a good mama.

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My Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) for Fibromyalgia One Year Experiment

Natural Pain Relief: Supplements for Fibromyalgia Energy

Living the Best Life with Fibromyalgia: A Book Review

For a long time, I prided myself on being a 60 on the CFS/Fibromyalgia Rating Scale, “Able to do about 6-7 hours of work a day. Mostly mild to moderate symptoms” despite pain levels more in line with a 50, “able to do 4-5 hours a day of work or similar activity at home. Daily rest required. Symptoms mostly moderate.” (My italics)

I pushed myself to 6-7 hours per day minimum and suffered moderate symptoms. I had missed the key as suggested in this article on understanding our situation: “What is the highest level of functioning I can sustain without intensifying my symptoms?”. If my pain is at a moderate level, then I should not be striving to work the hours of a person with more mild symptoms, especially given that I go home to two small children as opposed to being able to rest. You need to take into account your symptom level and your situation. Especially as our context changes so quickly, soon enough those small ones will be at school and will need me in a totally different way.

I keep myself in the boom-bust pain-fatigue cycle. Well, me and my circumstances – I have two small children and we have a mortgage in the most expensive city in New Zealand. We cannot move as this is the only place my husband can do his job. Childcare is not a cheap commodity, nor would I want substandard care for them when I am at work.  As I move forward and go back to work now that I have had my second baby, I must learn to balance all of these demands. And that is going to be my life’s work – balancing life with the fight against the Fibromyalgia.

This year I have finally experienced a slight reduction in pain in my neck, this has enabled sleep to come easier. It’s been such a relief, I don’t want to give it up. But my work requires a lot of computer time, so that’s unavoidable. I can only hope that I can find the hours and position that will do the least damage.

But I will admit it is tough. It will always be a struggle, even if your people understood fully (which they likely don’t).


For more information about Fibromyalgia and an introduction to how to manage it, join my free eCourse.

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My book is everything I know and have researched to fight Fibromyalgia, this blog post forms part of a chapter.

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0 thoughts on “A Confession on Pacing and Boundaries with Fibromyalgia

  1. Found your blog on “Chronic Illness Bloggers,” Facebook page. Good stuff!

  2. I love boundaries. Especially for other people. I’ve had to keep a spreadsheet with my hourly commitments and say, I can offer 2 hours a month and $0. My stretching, exercise, walking, and nap come first. Then, when my honey asks me to do something or spend time with her, the answer is always yes. It helps that I’m old and no longer an employee or a boss. Great article! Tx

  3. […] A Confession on Pacing and Boundaries was also popular, it’s a really tricky balance when you have children. It sometimes feels like the biggest battle isn’t to define your boundaries, but to protect them. […]

  4. […] Reduced activity levels – my body does not cope with too much, so in addition to my reduced work hours, I must also limit my activity levels. I have to include rest periods also. We don’t often go out at night, and when we do I really struggle to stay awake and get quite sore, so it never feels worth it. This is one part of the lifestyle to cope that I am constantly struggling with. […]

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