How to Reinvent Yourself With Fibro . . . Living an Eventful Purpose Filled Life

How to Reinvent Yourself With Fibro . . . Living an Eventful Purpose Filled Life

I have had fibromyalgia for more than thirty years but the past eleven years have been debilitating and outright paralyzing. Because of how sick I became my blogging became erratic and eventually a burden. The first twenty years of fibromyalgia were diagnosed as arthritis. The illness had taken a severe turn for the worse and my health deteriorated very fast. I wrote a non fiction short story about my 31-year journey with Fibromyalgia that goes into the details of my illness and the myriad of symptoms.

I finally got the right doctors, the right diagnosis and my symptoms stabilized and in some cases improved. I was in a position to manage my condition to a certain extent. I have chronic fatigue, chronic pain, fibro fog which is a term used to describe issues related to the brain, memory and cognition. I have flare ups of various symptoms quite frequently. Living with fibromyalgia is like riding on an out of control roller coaster with no end in sight. There are occasional lulls in the ride and then there are unexpected sharp turns which are the fibro flares that occur frequently.

To make a real long story a little shorter I found out, through one of my pain doctors that writing, of any kind, is good physical therapy for the brain, similar to learning a foreign language. Any type of language art is good therapy for the brain to help maintain or regain memory loss and improve cognition.

reinventing_yourselfWhen my doctor knew, I was blogging and writing she said that I should do it every day as physical therapy for the brain. What started as a hobby became a type of therapy for dealing with fibro fog.

Part of my non fiction writing, deals with my experiences with fibromylagia. I write fibromyalgia posts to add to fibro awareness. I maintain a list of topics to write about regarding fibromyalgia.

One such topic was reinventing yourself after your life has been turned upside down from the terrible illness. I have reinvented myself with writing. I have been a published writer of technical articles in the defunct WordPerfect magazine more than 25 years ago. I have done on again off again non fiction writing through the years.

My personal re-invention is in the form of writing both non fiction on my blog CallahanWriter.com and fiction writing.

I came across a writing contest sponsored by Positive Writer and the topic was how writing has positively influenced my life.  In spite of my fibro fog the serendipity was not lost on me. This article was destined both to touch on the reinvention of my life as a fibromyalgia patient and to show how writing has had a profoundly positive effect on my life. Writing allows for self expression regardless of the genre. It also gives me good therapy and gives me a new identity as I seek to reinvent myself through writing.

About five or six months ago I got an itch to try fiction writing. I got hooked. Now I continue to write non fiction, as well as fiction. I have added a couple of short stories on my blog and will continue to do so. I am at various stages of two novels, one a historical fiction and the other fantasy.

As I have become much more serious about writing, I have seen some improvement in my memory issues. It will be a slow process. I have something meaningful to do each day which gives me a purpose. When you’re very sick over a long time, you tend to feel your life has no purpose. Writing gave that back to me.

For me, writing is the difference between a deep dark pit of despair and having daily hope. This is very important to the chronically ill. Writing a short story or a book will last many lifetimes and be a testament to my effort. Any kind of writing can be therapeutic from journaling to creative writing.

Writing is a way to express yourself. You don’t need to publish to be a writer. All you need to do is “take pen to paper” and express yourself. It can be therapeutic on many levels and it is a great way to live a legacy behind.

I needed to reinvent myself since I can no longer do what I used to do. Writing has been a gift to me. I can write when I feel good. I can sit on my recliner with my computer on my lap and write until I need a rest.

Writing is a way to bring something beautiful and positive out of something so insidious as fibromyalgia. Writing has been my rebirth. It has given me a sense of purpose and it gives me a reason to be excited about waking up in the morning. Writing fiction gives me a chance to create characters that can do things I can no longer do. I can live my life through my characters.

And to top it all off, I am getting physical therapy done for my brain. Writing is possible for anyone with an imagination and the ability to dream. I may only write an hour here or thirty minutes there but by the end of the day I might have a few hours of writing done. I have a purpose in spite of my severe limitations because of writing.

Troy Wagstaff ©

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5 Responses

  1. This is so inspiring. I’m really glad you’re finding your way forward in writing. Have you heard of Terry Pratchett? He also wrote despite or in spite of his illness.

    PS. I love the celtic jewellery 😀

  2. […] In another post I wrote about how language arts can help your mind get back some of what fibro fog has taken from you. How to Reinvent Yourself With Fibro . . . Living an Eventful Purpose Filled Life […]

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