Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My thoughts on Gravity and The Wetness of Water

I recently got myself involved with the comment thread of a post that I quite frankly had no business being involved in… My ‘need’ to comment was due to my desire to share my observation that one of the people on the thread was in constant contradiction of their own statements… it was a fascinating display of ‘I am right and you are wrong’ so I chimed in with…

 'I consider myself to be a Gnostic Theolalite, I believe that everyone should have the freedom to:Do whatever they want, worship whatever they want, believe anything they want, so long as it hurts no one else and they don't force their views on anyone else.' - your words... perhaps it is time to reflect on why you are so determined to force your personal view of religion on the person who posted the original video. Granted this is none of my business but I just wanted to point out that your constant contradiction of your own words leads those reading to question the validity of anything you say which in turn reduces the impact and the power of your argument. Perhaps if you could find a way to remove the obvious emotional attachment you have to this issue then your reasoning would be more clear to others... as it stands, it is quite evident that your anger outweighs your logic, which is I'm afraid, not the best place to begin when trying to get your point across.

Of course I should have kept my mouth shut, it was none of my business but it wasn’t long before I received a response.  For the first few minutes I actually managed to convince myself that I wouldn’t engage any further but the temptation it appears was much too strong.  Yet rather than have an all-out argument on a friends wall with a complete stranger I thought it might be best to sit back, reflect on their comment and ponder how to most eloquently answer a statement that was obviously a declaration of ‘word war’…

The question was…   ‘I am not in contradiction of my words, I am simply pointing out that the so called Muslims above are. However, I admire someone who can hold an opinion in the face of conflicting evidence. What are your thoughts on gravity and the wetness of water?’

And here is the answer I could not resist giving (shaking my head at my own ability to get sidetracked by inconsequential issues).  An answer which I am stubbornly not posting to the original thread but instead sharing here in the interest of opening up a bit of discussion on why we feel so overwhelmingly compelled to convince others how they should see the world.

A fascinating query; although I do recognize the condescension in the act of asking the question, I also am aware that any response I make is a direct reflection of my own intellect, therefore I will choose this as an opportunity to reflect and to clearly step away from any emotional attachment I may have to ‘proving myself right’.  After much consideration I have decided that much like our original topic of conversation (religion), the wetness of water and the impact of gravity depend on each individual perception in each unique situation.  For example – if you compare how gravity may be felt or perceived by different individuals you may notice that there is a directly correlation between life experience and the effects that gravity has on the human body.  To a baby, gravity is an unrecognized force that belays their attempts to perform simple feats like sitting, crawling and walking. To a healthy, young adult body gravity does not much get in the way of day to day function’s, they will continue to go about their daily tasks without ever really feeling challenged by gravity.  Lifting objects (within a reasonable weight) will not be a burden and if that young strong body also happens to have a fully functioning brain attached to it, they will no doubt find ways to utilize gravity to make their job easier.  Now on the other side of that would be the aged or the infirm who struggle daily with the effects of gravity on their lives.  Objects and the manipulation of them can become extremely challenging and at times near to impossible, and if there is some kind of dementia related to the illness or the aging process, they will not have the capacity to reason out how gravity may in fact be used as a tool.  They may also find that gravity has a direct impact on their ability to manipulate their own body, a realization that is no doubt scary and perhaps even a little confusing.  Now the interesting thing about this is that the actual force of gravity has not altered… in fact it has been proven by science to remain constant, yet as we grow, as we change, our perception of gravity in turn changes. 

The point – Gravity does not change – We do…

And at this point I begin to wonder… would it be worth my time or yours to continue onto the conundrum of ‘the wetness of water’ or should I simply leave you with this thought… Much like the perception of gravity, each individuals perception of ‘religion’ or ‘spirituality’ will shift, alter and grow as they navigate their way through this remarkable adventure we call life. As such, I would caution, you can no more convince a person to alter a perception of these things without altering their past experiences than you can ask gravity to cut you a break because you are old and frail.  Again… something to reflect on. 

Niki Norlock - author of Truth - My Synchromystic Journey 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Stop it... you ARE NOT helping people... you are HURTING people who are already hurting enough...

I was so annoyed that the video quality is absolute crap but there was no way I was going to record it a second time… Not only am I tired of seeing so called ‘healers’ preaching this particular topic but I am also tired of this idea that all our video’s and personal sharing’s need to be perfectly polished.  I am NOT perfect… and thankfully I will NEVER be perfect (at least not in the eyes of humans) and since only spirit’s opinion really counts, then I guess it’s perfectly ok for me to continue being perfectly imperfect.
Anyways the short version is, yes I know the video’s quality sucks but the message remains important enough to share it regardless and so I have.  As to the long version of how I feel about this topic, I imagine I will respond either by video or by blog to any outcry that may arise from this but allow me here and now to be perfectly clear on one thing… YES – the mind can heal… absolutely there is NO doubt about the power that the mind has to heal the body – however, there is a time and place for the utilization of those teachings and they are teachings that need to be introduced slowly and practiced diligently and with expert guidance in order to be fully effective.  They will never heal a person who is not absolutely convinced that they work, so to tell the mainstream public simply to think themselves well is absolutely ludicrous without the support of several other healing practices thrown into the mix; including diet, lifestyle and yes, even medication (when it is needed).
Any healer worth their salt will approach each new patient on an individual basis and structure their healing program around the patient’s needs and understanding of how the world works.  If your so called ‘healer’ is telling you that they have ‘ALL the answers’ get a new healer… in fact do yourself a favor and right from the start build yourself a healing team.  You’ll be able to know which ones are the fakes simply by the way they respond to the video below; maybe that will help you decide.
And to those so called healers out there that are spouting this nonsense, please stop… you are making a bad name for authentic health and wellness practitioners who have dedicated their lives to studying the healing arts.  You are not helping – you are hurting and it’s time to stop. 

Sigh… Ok – written rant over – now for the badly filmed video rant – enjoy…

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Launch of the new Beafibrofeenxrsing Truth Talks video series

So it's May 12th and it's that time of year when we gather our forces and shout loud and proud that we have Fibromyalgia... Of course it's all about awareness and it's important to have a day that we can dedicate to educating the public on our need for both support and a cure.

My question is, why is it only one day... Why is it that we choose to hide our illness the rest of the year - why do we put on fake smiles and pretend that we aren't hurting?  Don't you think it's time to demand our right to health and happiness?  I do... So today I am releasing the first of a new video series called Beafibrofeenrising Truth Talks... A Candid exploration of what life is like with Fibro - an honest sharing of my own personal experiences with the disease.  Along the way we will explore all the different elements that need to be addressed in the journey back to health.  I hope you'll join me on this adventure so that we can come together in solidarity of our right to live normal, pain free productive lives.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Mother's Day Tribute to a Fallen Fibro Warrior

For years I’ve hated Mother’s Day…

Even though I myself am a mother and recognize that it is a day to honor those who hold our future in their hearts and hands by caring for and loving our treasured young, I simply have not been able to find it in my heart to celebrate.  I’ve been too angry you see… Too angry at my mother for passing away when I was only in my late 20’s, too angry that she passed away from something that could have easily been avoided and much too angry that she passed away on the one day that a mother is NEVER supposed to leave a child; Mother’s Day.

I used to joke that it was her way of insuring that I never forgot the day, all my life I have been horrible with remembering dates; I can’t count how many times I forgot her birthday, mother’s day and my parents anniversary.  It seems callous and cruel that I would speak of her date of departure so casually but I needed some kind of emotional defense against the very real and only deniable to myself fact that I was well and truly pissed off that she would dare abandon me so soon.  Yet this year I decided to look at it in an entirely new light, this year as I move towards a lifetime of working with women who like my mother (and myself) are fighting the good fight against the disease called Fibromyalgia, I will use her passing in May as a shield and a sword that serves in the fight for health and wellness. 
So she passed away on Mother’s Day, that means she passed away in May only a few days before what is now an extremely significant date in my world; May 12th, International ME/CFS & FM Awareness Day, a day when Fibro Feenxs around the world spread their wings and rise from the illness ashes.  I wish she’d had the opportunity to do that, I wish that back in the day, when she was diagnosed that people understood what Fibromyalgia was but the truth is they didn’t and it was that fact more than anything that resulted in my mother’s untimely demise.  Of course she did not die from Fibro directly, nobody ever does… Yet it does kill… It kills some people through the effects it has on their emotional state, leading to deep depression and occasionally suicide.  Some people (like my mother) die a much slower and uncomfortable death as their bodies systematically shut down from abuse of prescription pain killers combined with alcohol and other medications that are utilized in the never ending quest to ease the pain.    

So, yes, for a long time I was angry at my mother, for a long time I thought her weak, I thought that she had given up, given in, and that her selfish actions were completely unforgiveable… Until, that is, I too was diagnosed with the same horrifying disease.  And now… I get it – oh boy, do I get it… Without help and support or understanding and compassion how can any one person be expected to deal with living with debilitating physical pain 24 hrs a day/365 days a yr.  She wasn’t weak at all, in fact in retrospect I have to admire the strength of will it took for her to not take her own life, knowing as she must have that for the rest of her life relentless pain would be her companion.  I remember her hours of research, I remember how she would spend a whole day in the library trying to find information on Fibromyalgia or anything disease that seemed closely related.  In later years she would do the same on computers… phone calls to doctors and to Fibro awareness groups.  She tried to share what she had learned, she even tried to warn me that it might be hereditary and that I needed to be careful and diligent with my health.  I didn’t listen… I was one of those people who didn’t believe… All I did was blame…  So the truth is, it’s not my mom who needs forgiving, it’s me… for not understanding… for not taking the time to find out what the disease was, what it would do to her, how it was making her feel…

Some could say that my own experiences with Fibro could be punishment for my cold and callous ways… some could say that, but I won’t.  I think that more than anything the entire experience has been a gift, a lifetime journey that instilled in me a deeper understanding of the mindset of people affected by Fibro.  It is a way for me to see it from all sides, to understand not just where the Fibro warriors are coming from but to also see through the hearts and minds of both the families and the doubters.  It has made me stronger and has prepared me to face this head on and be of service to those in need.

This year, I’ve stopped being angry; this year I have stopped blaming my mom for leaving, stopped blaming myself for not being compassionate enough and I’ve even stopped blaming the medical community for pill pushing.  I’ve stopped blaming because I’ve realized that all the energy I’ve put into being angry and pointing the finger at this, that or the other has robbed me of precious energy that could put to better use.   This year I will focus all of that energy into educating people about the causes and the solutions to this extremely manageable (and I’m convinced curable) disease.  This year I am going to spend my time supporting those who for the moment cannot support themselves, I will encourage and inspire them to action so that they find the strength of will to take their health and wellbeing into their own hands.  This year I will pour my heart into celebrating how far we have come with regards to understanding the causes of diseases of Fibro and acknowledge the undeniable fact that thousands of people out there care enough about the suffering of others to relentlessly pursue a cure.

This year I will honor my mother on mother’s day by making her my own personal saint… St. Marci, the patron saint of Fibro Feenxs eveywhere who watches over us and guides us on the path to happiness and health.  Thanks mom for showing me the way… I hope in the years to come, I make you proud.

Niki Norlock.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Madness MAKING of CFS/ME

Guest Blog - written May 2, 2015 

Dr. Nancy Klimas, an expert in ME, CFS, and AIDS, was quoted as saying, "A CFS patient feels the same or worse than congestive heart failure; the same or worse than late stage AIDS. If I had to choose between the two illnesses, I would rather have H.I.V. "

Not to say that it's easy having AIDS either, but CFS/ME (and Fibromyalgia) does not get the credibility for the seriousness of how deeply those afflicted suffer invisibly, or the understanding of how insanely hard and challenging it is on a daily basis with very little relief that goes on year after year into decades. And for many of those years and decades, I only lived with "it" and didn't have a name for this invisible torment that no words can describe as I was left for dead by the medical community.

I kept quiet and tricked people for too long about this and now I am finally being honest; being honest to give voice and validation to so many of us as we have hidden in shame and confusion. But now it's time to get real. Talk about it. I downplayed it for decades and used every device available (healthy and not so healthy) to cope to appear "normal" and capable to get through social situations, relationships, careers. But the wheels always fall off in each endeavor because I didn't have a clue of what was happening to me. So, I tried to positively think myself better, along with years of much trial and error in everything holistic (as the medical community has no answers or help) and blamed my supposed personality or thinking defects. There is so much oppression around these chronic toxicity illnesses (like Fibro, MCS, Lyme, CFS)  that is trying to shame us into silence. No more. Time to bring awareness. Time to be courageously truthful.

Most people think that because you aren't killed quickly by "it" (your ongoing struggle that is invisible and has no name) nor appear to be ill, then you can't be that sick and are exaggerating or creating problems when there are none. But just the opposite is happening; you are hiding and diminishing the reality of the seriousness of this mystery illness. So, you aren't seen or validated (and then wrongly seen), then people demand of you things you are incapable of doing or being and add insult to injury by telling you (or silently judging you) that it's all in your head or it must be just your need for suffering and lack of gratitude for life. Just because they might see you on a good day, they assume that you are fine (that day when you could and chose/allowed to see people that you built up to for days and weeks and will pay for in the same). You use every coping mechanism to get through this social interaction available (and invisibly to those you are with, so they just see you as "fine"). All the attempts at hiding "it" and overcoming "it"  due to shame for this mystery while in a social interaction has worked. You've fooled them, but gotten yourself caught in a corner as well. A lonely double life. 

You want to be a part of the land of the living; you long for it and love being with people, not isolating yourself, but it devastates you energy wise. You're then accused of ignoring friends, not making efforts, preferring isolation over connection, preferring animals over people. None of these are true. You want to share with others what's happening to you, but don't want to focus on it when in a social setting, as it's relief from the isolation; what words can possibly describe this hell? Any attempt to describe it makes you sound like you are complaining or being negative or too focused on it (as if a vice on your head can be ignored even though you tried to deny it and avoid it for years). So, you live a double life that is isolating, lonely, suffocating, and tormenting; you're never truly seen for your genuine self in any way. When with people, you then make the choice to hide it and cope with all your might with whatever resources are available before collapsing behind closed doors again. It's living in a glass cage and window shopping at life despite the utter urge to live in the world and be alive in all ways in all emotions, not just pain.

Once you do reveal all this and are honest in attempts to be authentic, real, truthful for a deep connection, most people eventually leave and drop like flies from your life, as they can only take so much before moving on with their own lives (I'd high tail it away from this too if I could, but you can't). You become a never ending saga and people think you just need to snap out of it. Which leads you to isolating yourself again and hiding it again, but there's no escape for you. You have to be with it. It's something that has to be faced day in and day out relentlessly. The divorce rate for CFS sufferers is 75%+ and suicide is one of the top causes of death of CFS. That's why more people with this need to stop hiding and be honest to get the validation (and research/help) they deserve, as these toxicity chronic illnesses are highly complex.

Many bodily systems are seriously effected; immune, endocrine, nervous, cardio, mitochondria, methylation with a wide range of symptoms to sensory overwhelm hell (too loud, bright, tight/loose clothing - tactile, chemicals/smells sensitivities) to fatigue that feels like a hangover, poisoning, the flu (without the sneezing and fever), while heavy lead fills your cells all in one go each day, to varying degrees of body-wide chronic pain, to chronic headaches, dizziness, breathlessness just from talking, cells on the deepest levels feel they are suffocating, to being brain dead some days despite having an intelligent mind (major cognitive malfunction), to emotional upheaval and turmoil (as a secondary cause, not the main issue), and much more including digestive issues for many and eventually trauma and PTSD due to living like this for so long with no validation or support/help while being marginalized and not taken seriously. And no matter what you do to try and heal, nothing helps. It's all a cage. 

 With such little validation from the medical community (which fuels the lack of understanding of society), all of the superficial/wrong tests are given which reveals all is normal. So, they push psych meds on you and tell you it's all in your head instead of questioning further or doing any kind of functional medical testing, but insurance doesn't cover much of anything that is relevant or helpful along the lines of testing. It only covers the tests which don't tell you anything.  If it shows nothing, then you can't get help and insurance doesn't have to pay for anything; the illness is not validated, no research is funded. Any research into this has been thwarted and suppressed with very little funding given and scientists (who fund research out of their own pocket) who actually start to uncover answers, careers are ruined and info censored. CFS and the name (nor the new one of SEID) does not do any justice to describe the seriousness of what's happening in our bodies and was intentionally called this to downplay it and confuse it all. There is a massive cover-up for some reason.  I know vaccines are a big part in this cover-up. I haven't really told my own story here of cause, as it's long and in another note, but vaccines were directly involved as a big part of my health decline into CFS. I know there are many variables for each person, as it takes many variables to get so ill, making it very complex, but without those vaccines, I wouldn't have tumbled so far into illness.

 More awareness is needed! More awareness to bring compassion and understanding, as this is as serious as AIDS (and CFS has been called non-HIV AIDS - because it is an acquired immune deficiency syndrome), but also more awareness for research into these toxicity illnesses in terms of how to heal them (this includes Lyme, CFS/ME, MCS, and Fibromyalgia etc.) Too many are suffering so immensely, invisibly, alone, and lives have been more or less taken. This can't go on like this. The silence has to end.

written by: Susan Marshall
Edited for Feenxrising by Madison Leach

Monday, May 4, 2015

Guilt Kills - Self-love Heals

One of the most daunting challenges that those with ‘invisible’ chronic disease face, is that of emotional well-being.  It might be assumed that this is due to the stress of living with constant pain and fatigue, or even because of the lack of support and understanding; while these issues certainly factor in and do need to be addressed during treatment, there is one emotional stressor that is often overlooked.  For many who live with diseases like Fibromyalgia, there is a nasty emotion that gnaws away at the spirit and destroys an individual’s hope for a brighter pain-free tomorrow.  In time the harboring of this emotion can cause deep and unrelenting depression.    The truth is guilt kills…

I realize it’s odd to think that a person suffering from a physical illness would feel guilty about it but truth be told one of the most common things I hear from those suffering from Fibromyalgia is how guilty they feel…

How guilty they feel because they can’t do all the things they want to do for their family.

How guilty they feel because of all the times they’ve had to say to no to invitations from friends.

How guilty they feel that their spouses have to work twice as hard to provide for the family.

How guilty (and yes deeply ashamed) they feel that they never have anybody over because their house is a mess (too tired to clean but not too sick to care).

How guilty they feel that there are times when their husbands can’t touch them and they know that intimacy is important to the success of a marriage.

How guilty they feel that they can’t tell their family and friends how guilty they feel; they know that their family wants them to be honest but they would feel really guilty if they gave their family and friends more things to worry about so they keep their secrets and feel guilty about it.  Etc…

How guilty they feel…  The list is long of reasons that they feel this way and if they only knew the secret that their families are hiding they might be more willing to let go of some of that guilt.  I had a fascinating talk the other day with a young woman whose mother has been suffering from Fibro for years.  Here is the daughters guilt list…

She feels guilty because she can’t take the pain away and make her mother better

She feels guilty because when she was younger she didn’t’ understand why her mother was so edgy and why sometimes her mother couldn’t do things so she resented her mother for being sick.

She feels guilty because she has a full time job and she knows that her mother could use more help around the house but she doesn’t have time to do everything she wants to do for her mother.

She feels guilty because ultimately she knows there are a whole bunch of things that her mother feels guilty for that make no sense and she can do absolutely nothing to ease her mother’s guilt.

She feels guilty because she never really tells her mother this; she thinks that if she did it would add more stress to an already stressful existence, so she keeps the secret and feels guilty about keeping the secret.  Etc…

Of course women aren’t the only ones affected by this poisonous emotion; when we first began the journey that is for the moment the Feenx Nest, and which will ultimately be The Feenxrising Fibromyalgia Foundation, my husband and I had some extremely candid conversations about how being the husband of a woman who has fibro has affected his emotional well-being.  Here is his guilt list…

He feels guilty because he can’t take the pain away…

He feels guilty because he wishes I was healthy and he knows it’s not my fault but he still struggles with having to live within the limitations of my disease.

He feels guilty that a wonderful night of love making can result in a full next day of pain, and he feels guilty that he still wants to make love even though he knows the cost.

He feels guilty that he can’t make more money, or work more hours or do more around the house so that I wouldn’t feel like I have to work even though he knows that my work is my passion and without it I would probably just lie down in a corner and die.

He used to feel guilty about not openly sharing these feelings of guilt with me; he says he didn’t want to add more emotional burdens onto what he considers already heavily burdened shoulders.  Thankfully we are both over that now and instead of feeling guilty, we both feel supported and trusted. 

I even had a close friend and fellow film maker tell me how guilty he felt that he didn’t do more for me in the past so that I could have been less stressed, even though, the only reason he didn’t do more is because I didn’t tell him I was sick and needed the extra help, which of course now I feel guilty for and so on and so on…

I mean seriously… does it ever end???

It has for me; only because I realized how dangerous guilt was. 

The thing is, there isn’t really anything to be feeling guilty about, and as indicated above, there are a whole lot of people hiding feelings of guilt for absolutely no reason; in fact they are all feeling guilty about the same thing, a disease that they can do very little about and had no part in causing the acquiring and suffering of.  Sadly, all of them feel that keeping these emotions to themselves will ease the emotional cost to others when in actuality it is in the sharing of our deepest more vulnerable emotions that we find the path to healing. 

The truth of it is that your body can’t heal if your heart is broken and there is absolutely no quicker way to break a heart than to stab it with the razor sharp blade of guilt.  So… since we’re all feeling guilty for the same thing, and since that thing is out of our control, can we just agree to let it go, to be more open and honest with those we love and put our energy towards more positive pursuits like finding the things in life that bring us joy… because just as surely as guilt kills, so too does self-love heal; so please, let’s just all do more of that.

Niki Norlock

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Be Actively Com-passionate…

I had the most interesting conversation tonight with some truly remarkable women…

A group of women who for the moment don’t know each other very well, in fact some may never meet in person yet they share a common bond.  They all have a desire to love and support the women they meet along the road of life and they do it in a truly passionate way.

What was interesting about tonight’s conversation was the question that was posed at the beginning that brought forth a whirlwind of insight and wisdom.  “What does compassion mean to you?”

I took a moment to reflect on it and I realized that to me to be ‘compassionate’ means to ‘come share my passion’… so what does that mean… to be passionate about something is to care deeply about it in such a way as to be almost obsessive, to the exclusion of all else.  Often times the word is used in relation to challenging social situations like poverty and oppression and in this context the above definition still rings true.  If you are homeless, in poverty or even ill, and individuals act of compassion means that they become involved in your NEED for food, shelter or your journey to get well… They care about what it is you in that moment care most about… they come and share your current passion…

I understand that this is a unique and perhaps even for some challenging way of looking at this word yet it opens up so many new possibilities for its use.  Young people who are having challenges accessing education, women who are having challenges accessing freedoms, minorities that are having challenges being recognized as equals… All of these people are truly PASSIONATE about their needs… and when we offer to assist them – well you see what I mean.

Yet why not take it even further, in a world where we can reach out and share our visions, our dreams and our passions with others why not bring forward a new understanding that sometimes it is just as important to be compassionate towards those who are fighting to succeed at making those dreams a reality.  Be it in the quest of a budding young artist to be recognised, or in the young musicians quest to be heard… Is it not compassionate of us to share their art, to share their music and encourage others to do the same?

I’m not quite sure after tonight if I will ever look at the word compassionate quite the same way again, what I am sure of is that I will broaden my compassion so that it not only reaches those who are struggling to survive but so that it helps to uplift those who are striving to thrive.

Niki Norlock

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Fibromyalgia Lie...

It’s the blank stare I get when I say the word ‘Fibromyalgia’… That’s my answer to my good friend’s (soul brother, really) and fellow film-maker’s heartfelt plea of, "Why didn’t you tell me?"
A couple weeks ago, he asked me an extremely personal question regarding my health; it turns out that a close friend of his a young vibrant woman was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and, in his conversations with her about her challenging new reality, he had the unfortunate epiphany that another of his close friends was suffering from the same symptoms. So, he asked the question, and in alignment with my desire to always tell the truth, I caved and confessed my health care sins… Yes, I have a disease; it’s called Fibromyalgia and this is what it does…

It’s like waking up every day to the day after the flu. You know that low energy, drag yourself out of bed because everything aches day; the day when all the other symptoms of the flu have gone away and, even though you don’t have to spend the day praying to the porcelain God, you are still going to spend the day praying… Maybe you will pray for health; maybe you will pray for death; maybe you will just pray that you never, ever have to feel this way again. It’s that day when you aren’t coughing or sneezing anymore, but every muscle that was involved in the last few days of continued contraction for various disgusting reasons has decided to rebel. All those muscles you never knew you had; who knew an eyebrow could hurt so much? It’s that day when you are in a perpetual mental fog because, thanks to your body's multiple natural cleansing methods, you haven’t really had much sleep in the last 48 hours due to the new demanding relationship that you have built with your tissue box and your toilet. 

If you’ve ever had the flu, then you know all about that day, yet you also know that the day after isn’t as bad and eventually all that pain goes away. Unfortunately for me, and thousands (they say it could be millions) of others out there, that day never ends. 
It’s the constant struggle of people afflicted with Fibromyalgia to try to explain where they hurt, how they hurt, and Heaven help us all, why they hurt. There are no outward signs, no discernible physical effects on the body, no marks, no bruising; Hell, half of the time, there aren’t even bags under my eyes. So, how do you explain a disease that you can’t see? My flu analogy is the closest I think I can come, but that’s not what this piece of writing is about.

This is a confessional… After my two hour long authentic and heartfelt conversation with my cherished friend, it has come to my awareness that I haven’t been honest… I haven’t been honest with my friends, with my family, with my readers, or with myself. I have spent so much time trying to keep up a normal life that I have forgotten to honor the truth of things as they are in my current reality. My current reality is this; I have Fibromyalgia but it does not have me. I have spent the last four years of my life between being a wife, a mother, an author, a radio show host, and a documentary producer dedicated to finding natural ways to manage this disease. I am proud to say that I am completely prescription free, thanks to the near fatal reaction four years ago to medications they were using to treat my disease, which forced me to find alternative methods of healing. For the most part, I get by… But, I have had to make some serious changes, both to my life style and to my diet, and, as I have just discovered, I will have to continue to make more changes until I am completely comfortable with my state of health and well-being. I have had to sacrifice more than I could ever explain here, my family has had to sacrifice more than I am willing to admit here, and my friends who would gladly do the same have had to sacrifice nothing because, for the most part, I just never let them see how truly sick I was. I just kept telling that same old fibro lie a lie I heard echoed today by a friend who also has fibro "I'm fine."

I did, however, say I would be honest, so, here it is… The truth is that I’m not fine. This past winter has challenged me to the brink of breaking… I might have a few good days, but I still have bad days and bad days can last a day, a week, or a few months. I never know, when a Fibro flare-up hits, if I will be able to get out of bed tomorrow, next week, or next month. Now, I know it sounds like I’m exaggerating, but that’s only because very few people are openly talking about the effects this disease is having on the people who have it or the people who love the people who have it. Why not? Is it because the medical community knows so little? Is it because the disease is still semi-controversial? Or is it simply because those of us who have it are too sick and too tired to take the time to be honest about how we really feel?

We suck it up and put on a show for the outside world and, sometimes, even for those closest to us because we’re in too much pain and we're too exhausted to jump through the societal hoops of acceptance. So, I’ll take one for the team… We are sick! Not just 'in our head, can think ourselves better, if only we could find something that makes us happy' sick… There is actual scientific proof that this is a physical disease that is more than likely hereditary my mom had it, but that’s a whole other blog and we need help!

Now, as to the proof and all that, I’ll get there in due time if you will stick with this blog many more rants to come but, for the moment, I want to reveal a few things that you might not know about your friends and family who have Fibro. If we say we’re tired, it does not mean that we can do a few more things, then rest; it means we need to sit down right now or we will fall over… If we say it hurts then it hurts husbands stop poking your wives and asking, "Does it hurt there?" it hurts everywhere and no, I do not want to be touched. Now, I’m not trying to be cruel, and I certainly don’t mean to be screaming at you, but, for many of us, we feel like we need to scream to be heard because, for far too long, nobody has been listening. Anyway, I don’t want to drag this out, but there is one more secret that I’m going to let you in on before I go… One that I have heard in more Fibro support chat forums than you would believe. It’s a harsh truth that no Fibro patient is willing to admit to their friends or family and one that I am just now finding the strength to admit myself.  More times than I can count, I have wished that I had been diagnosed with cancer rather than Fibro… Not because some cancer can be cured, but because some cancer is terminal and, the truth is, I don’t want to live much longer if I have to live this way. 

So, I won’t… I’m on a mission; a mission not only to manage the symptoms using natural healing methods, but to share what I have learned with others. I’m on a mission to get healthier and stronger and to do whatever I have to do to take my life back. I’m on a mission to make sure that others out there who are praying for death have a voice willing to speak for them; somebody who is willing to fight for them and somebody who understands what it is to be them. 
In the meantime, for those of you out there reading this who have Fibro; don’t give up… Help is out there and there is hope for a brighter pain free future for all of us.

And for those of you reading this who have a friend or family member who has been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia; do the right thing… Look it up, find out what it means, find out how you can help. Take the time and care enough to do the research because trust me when I say they are too sick and tired of being sick and tired to explain it to you, and quite frankly, they shouldn’t have to.
Thanks, brother Lucien, for taking the time to teach me that it’s okay to be sick and that real friends will be there no matter what. I love you xo

Fibro rule to live by... be grateful for every moment we have to share with those who love us and care about us enough not to care when are too sick and tired to be grateful for anything <3 <3 <3