I know you have all seen the memes on social media--the ones like: "No one really wants to hear how I feel so I hide it all the time". Often they go on and on to talk about how alone it makes the person feel, what a lie they are forced to live, etc.
I understand that people relate to them--I have been there, done that! However, now, these memes infuriate me! I want to "Soap Box" every time, right then and there!
Please listen: You are not doing anyone any favors by pretending you are O.K.
It is true that no one wants to hear us complain about every ache and pain we have, and I seriously doubt if any of us want to even try to explain them all anyway. However, that does not mean we should simply say we are “fine” or “O.K.” when people ask how we are doing.
First and foremost, we have the right not to have to pretend all the time! Pretending is exhausting and the last thing we need is something else to drain our limited energy.
Secondly, how are we going to educate the public about FMS if we are not honest about it? Seriously, think about that. We already know we “don’t look sick”, mostly because we work really hard at it to be perfectly honest. In fact, I have begun using that fact to help me with this situation.
My standard answer has become, “Thank you! I work very hard at looking this good! I even made this dinner my main priority for the day, and slept as much as I could, using my “good” energy to get ready and to be engaging this evening!”
Obviously, I’m not advocating that you give everyone all the gory details. Other common comments I make are:
· I am doing well considering I am fighting a fibro flare.
· I am happy to be able to be here. I was not sure I would make it because FMS pain kept me up most of the night.
· I am doing well today. Thankfully, I’m not mentally foggy, in horrible pain, or too terribly fatigued.
· I am doing pretty well, but I am foggy today so just take that into account if I say something that sounds loopy!
· I am doing pretty well, but I did have to take cab because I am too foggy to be safe to drive.
If we use these honest but limited types of responses, we can reduce our own stress as well as begin to change the mindset of others regarding FMS.