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.

Journal Therapy For Fibromyalgia and Others With Chronic Or Invisible Illnesses

Journal Therapy For Fibromyalgia and Others With Chronic Or Invisible Illnesses

If memory serves me correctly, I have fibro fog so it doesn’t always, I started keeping a journal when I was about fourteen years old. I continued that practice almost daily until I was about 23 or 24 years old. Through the years I have started and stopped writing in a journal.

I do keep a medical journal at the present. But I am writing a lot lately and that sometimes over laps in journaling. There are six reasons to consider writing in a journal to help manage Fibromyalgia, chronic illness or invisible illnesses.

1. For Fun

2. A Legacy

3. Physical Therapy

4. Mental Therapy

5. Medical Journal

6. Emotional Therapy

Before we get into these six great reasons for keeping a diary, I want to emphasis that there is one rule to keep in mind. Just do it. There is no right or wrong way to do it as long as you do it regularly, every day or not every day, it’s up to you.

FOR FUN

Journal writing can be fun, at least for certain people. It’s a way to express yourself and keep track of your past. If you find writing enjoyable but you are not in a position to get serious about it, then keep an informal diary. Doing something fun is good for Fibromyalgia fighters, chronic pain patients and for those with invisible illnesses.

FOR A LEGACY

Keeping a journal about daily events or life events on a regular basis for posterity is a great reason for keeping a diary. For those with physical challenges, leaving behind a legacy or how you felt and how you coped with illness could be priceless for your descendants.

My Dad served as a U.S. Army medic in North Africa and France during World War II. I am a history buff for WWII. I wish like crazy I had a diary of his time at war.

FOR PHYSICAL THERAPY

There are two reasons I mention journal writing for physical therapy. One is for people like me who physically have a hard time writing with a pen or pencil. With Fibromyalgia I have lost a lot of hand dexterity. Writing is a way to concentrate on controlling nerves that effect your fingers and hands. The trouble with that is my hands get tired after two or three small paragraphs.

I do my writing mainly on the keyboard but I do enough note taking to keep my hand’s active.

There is another physical aspect for writing of any type. Any language art is good for the brain. It stimulates neuro pathways between both hemispheres of the brain and that helps your brains cognition which is good for failing memory or fibro fog. I learned this from a neuro-psychologist at my pain clinic. Since I have been writing almost daily, I have noticed some improvement in my memory. I still walk into a room to take pain meds because I’m hurting and I forget why I got out of my recliner and went into that room. But I really feel like my memory is better than it was five months ago, but has a long way to go.

Writing a journal also serves as a memory bank for those of us with memory issues. For a great deal of memories I am at the mercy of my wife or someone else. Had I kept a journal I could have looked up special events to retrieve my memories.

Now that I have Dragon dictation software, I am going to start keeping a regular journal.

Six Reasons To Keep A Journal

Six Reasons To Keep A Journal

FOR MENTAL THERAPY

I debated whether to include this “for mental therapy” as a separate category because it overlaps some of the information in Physical Therapy and Emotion Therapy. I then realized that to some extent writing your thoughts and feelings in a journal could be like going to a psychologist. They get you to talk about your feelings. Some times it feels good to talk to someone. Some people may be uncomfortable talking to a stranger with an advanced degree about their problems. Write in a journal all about your problems. The written page doesn’t know who you are.

MEDICAL JOURNAL

As of this writing, I only keep a medical journal. A medical journal can be anything along the lines of keeping track of what was said at your many doctor visits to recording your daily symptoms, and keep track of taking pain pills or other medication. You can keep track of your activity level. This is a great reason to keep a journal especially for me with a bad case of fibro fog.

EMOTIONAL THERAPY

For most people, sharing their emotions can be difficult. But when you have the pressure of a chronic illness or are a victim of an invisible illness like personality disorders or Fibromyalgia you have a lot of pressure on your emotions.

Letting go of those emotions can help. What better way is there than to write them down on paper or computer. The paper (computer) won’t judge you and won’t reveal your secrets.

You can also track your emotional health by looking back a week ago or a month or year ago and see how you were feeling and compare it to how you’re feeling today.

There are likely more reasons for writing a journal. Tell me how you keep a journal in the comments section below. I’ve noticed over time, I’ve seen improvement in my memory by daily writing and my medical journal has been a helpful reference for my Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

Troy Wagstaff ©

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