10 Ways To Feel Fulfilled With Fibromyalgia

10 Ways To Feel Fulfilled With Fibromyalgia

This article on 10 ways to feel Fulfilled with Fibro is the third in a three part series of posts starting with:

  1. Three Ways To Live Life To The Fullest With Fibromyalgia
  2. Fibromyalgia: 3 Ways To Manage Your Expectations
  3. 10 Ways To Feel Fulfilled With Fibro

When you have fibromyalgia or other chronic pain illnesses your life takes a dramatic turn down a different path. If you have fibromyalgia, this path will be different for the rest of your life unless they come up with a cure or a wonderful way to manage the illness.

Sometimes your life can come to a complete stop, either because you haven’t found the right way to treat each symptom differently, or you’re caught by a monster called pain that won’t let you go.

I have had fibromyalgia for over thirty-two years. It has been accurately diagnosed for around seven or eight years. My fibro fog is kicking in and I can’t remember exactly how long it’s been diagnosed.

I have been through long periods of time where I have felt completely unfulfilled and useless. With the countless symptoms of fibro, I felt for quite a while that there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t work, all I did was lay in a recliner all day watching videos and TV. That is not fulfilling.

10_ways_to_feel_fulfilled_w_fibro

As I started to get correctly medicated I started to see things I could do that, gave me a sense of fulfillment. Once I started to feel a little more fulfilled than others things came to me that I could do to continue to feel fulfillment in life. The sense of fulfillment is strong medicine.

Those of you with a life altering chronic pain illnesses need to find activities that give you a sense of fulfillment. Here is a list of ten things that I can do that, give me a sense of fulfillment.

  1. Learn about fibromyalgia so I know when people make outlandish claims about curing it, I know better. That gives me a sense of control.
  2. Forgiving the illness freed up some energy to use toward being fulfilled.
  3. Carefully and slowly start an exercise program, slow progress is better than no progress.
  4. When I’m in the middle of a flare up or season change or on a downhill cycle, I know not to give up. I’ll always be in pain and sick, but I will eventually be less sick and have less pain. It seems to come in cycles. I guess this comment speaks more to hope than fulfillment.
  5. Keep a journal. Write about how you feel, what you did that day. Fibro fog can be so bad that you can forget what you ate for breakfast that day. Keep track of activities and how they made you body feel. When keeping a personal journal, nothing is off limits to what you can write.
  6. I blog, about Christian topics, but I mostly blog about fibro topics and my personal experiences with fibro in hopes of validating others with the illness. My fibro blog is called Fibro Champions Blog at CallahanWriter.com.
  7. I have recently got into creative writing. I am currently writing a mystery novel with the main character having to deal with fibromyalgia as the story moves along.
  8. Create inspirational memes that I post on my blog.
  9. Create fibro memes that I post on my blog.
  10. Now that I have a better camera with my phone I take pictures and often use those pictures in my meme hobby.

The point to all this is that I have discovered things I can do within the limitations of fibro. These ten items go out the window during an acute flare up, but they’re waiting for me when I feel good enough to open my laptop. They give me a sense of accomplishment which is, like I said earlier, good medicine.

Living Day By Day With Fibromyalgia And Other Chronic Illnesses

Living Day By Day With Fibromyalgia And Other Chronic Illnesses

Living day by day with a chronic illness like chronic pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and many other chronic invisible illnesses require a different mindset or an adjusted mind set. Your day to day life is affected in every single aspect or nearly every single aspect.

houseplant_post

Gone are the days of waking up early after a good night’s rest, getting ready for work, spending eight or nine hours at work, coming home to spend time with the family, work in your garden or other hobbies. Gone are the days of waking up early and making breakfast for the family, cleaning the house, maybe go to work, making dinner for the family, spend time with the kids and hobbies.

Snake Plant, also known as a "Mother in-Laws' Tongue" plant is one of my favorite house plants. This one is mature enough to have seeds forming.

Snake Plant, also known as a “Mother in-Laws’ Tongue” plant is one of my favorite house plants. This one is mature enough to have seeds forming.

Whatever your past life was before coming down with a chronic, invisible, pain filled disease, your life is different now. Are you disabled? Even if you’re not completely disabled your life is different.

I have had fibromyalgia for thirty-one years. The last twelve or thirteen years have been disabled. After getting diagnosed and properly medicated, I have spent a great deal of time trying how to have a productive life in spite of my illness. I have struggled to reinvent myself in spite of pain around the clock.

My wife has had colon cancer and about five years after that breast cancer, twice a cancer victim, twice a cancer survivor. I think it was when she was having chemo for breast cancer, we met this older lady during a chemo session. She was dressed up nicely, a great looking wig, makeup and a great attitude. She had been fighting cancer on and off for, I think, about ten years and was on a downward spiral when we met her. We talked about a lot of things, the only thing I remember about that conversation was that she was really sick and could do very little day by day due to her advanced cancer and chemo sickness. She loved to garden and didn’t want to give it up, but she just couldn’t work her garden any longer. She then realized she could replace that urge to garden with house plants. She could take care of several house plants. It fulfilled something that cancer tried to take from her.

Part of my front room garden. I have two other house plants stands in the front room with great west facing light

Part of my front room garden. I have two other house plants stands in the front room with great west facing light

I grew up working in a large vegetable garden and an extra large flower garden. I also developed an interest in house plant when I was ten or eleven years old. I could buy a nice little house plant for .49 cents back then. Once we bought our first house I started my own vegetable and flower gardens. After two upgrade houses we built our own house and I landscaped the whole lot including planting grass, trees and perfectly designed gardens.

I also had a few house plants around the house as my wife would allow. The plants and pots had to match her decorating scheme.

After I heard the “gardening to the house plant’s story” with the brave cancer lady, I realized I could do the same. Since then my inside garden has grown substantially. It is not a daily activity but it’s fun to look at and It gives me an opportunity to water them, pick off the dead leaves, occasionally transplant a plant getting too big for a pot. It almost completely satisfies by gardening inclination. It gives me a doable activity a few times a week.

House plants are not my new life, but it is a doable fun hobby. It satisfies a need I have. Another thing I have recently started doing about a year and a half ago was reading books. History books and novels. I’m not talking casual activities, but reading at the rate of one or two books a week.

What do you do to fill the void in your life with chronic pain illnesses?

5 Ways To Have Fun With Fibromyalgia

Five Ways To Have Fun With Fibromyalgia

I have recently written several articles on the downside of fibromyalgia. Makes sense right? Can any fun come from having a terrible, disabling illness like fibromyalgia? The answer is typically no, that is unless you make an attempt to have some fun within the disabling limitations of fibromyalgia, chronic pain or chronic fatigue.

If you can some how manage add some fun to your life you will likely feel less depressed, maybe even feel a degree of happiness and a little contentment. It is easy to watch life pass you by as you lay in bed, the couch or your favorite recliner.

Also if you try to have some fun within your limitations it can help keep your mind be active in a positive way, and hopefully pull some energy away from feeling sorry for yourself and use that energy in giving your life some meaning outside of the crippling pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia.

1. Read – Watching videos or TV is a passive activity for your mind. Watching TV and Videos isn’t the worse thing you can do and it has its place in this list which we will touch on later. Reading books is an engaging activity for your mind and stimulates your mind while you’re having fun being caught up in an engaging story. Reading is also like exercising your brain but it is an enjoyable event.

2. Listening To Your Favorite Music – While this may seem like a passive way to use your mind, music is different in that it stimulates memories and emotions. I can listen to certain songs that immediately bring up memories that are both good and bad. Don’t listen to the songs with bad memories attached.

3. Sing along With Your Favorite Music – As you are listening to your favorite music sing along to it. It doesn’t matter if you are bedfast or not, you can sing to your favorite music. Watch out though, in the middle of one of your favorite songs you might hear your self really getting caught up in the music and belting out the words like a rock star. That’s even better. If you need to, lock the door and let it roar.

5 ways to have fun

4. Watch TV and Movies – Besides trying to learn ways to have fun within the constraints of your chronic illness, part of the point of this list is to get your mind off of your illness, even if it is only for ten or twenty minutes. Watch exciting TV or videos that catch your attention and get you hooked. This can give you motivation each day to watch the next part in a series of movies or a TV series. I know I said that TV and movie watching is a passive brain activity, but it can also be fun. But don’t just flip the TV on for background noise. Watch comedy’s that make you laugh out loud. Watch documentaries on your favorite subjects, watch the TV with a purpose.

5. Find A Doable Hobby – This idea can be a little more difficult because of the limitations that fibromyalgia, chronic pain and chronic fatigue place on your body. But it’s not impossible. Maybe bird watching might be fun. Rather than hiking in the woods to look for bird you take a passive approach and find a comfortable folding chair and site in your back yard or in a park and watch for bird. The first hobby I picked up was to study World War II. I’ve always been a history buff so I picked up a book that had a general overview of the war, read it, and was hooked on wanting to learn more and more. I would often take a history book with me to read in doctors offices. It was interesting and helped pass the time of day.

What things have you come up with that help occupy your time in a meaningful way? What hobbies can you participate in? Let us know in the comments below.

“I’ve got a large list of other things that you can do to have fun while suffering from fibromyalgia or chronic pain I’ll post later on. Make sure you are a follower so you won’t miss the next several installments.

%d bloggers like this: