When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia I didn’t want anyone to know. I wasn’t proud of it. I wanted it hidden from any possible judgment, so no one would think I was incapable, less-than or different.
It didn’t take me long too long to come to terms with letting my inner crowd know. Having a diagnosis gave authenticity to all of my ongoing complaints. I truly wasn’t a hypochondriac or dying of some unknown illness! It had a name! Letting everyone else know, was a different story…
I realized at the moment I was told I had fibromyalgia, I would never be the same person with the same health that I longed for. In a sense, that person was dead. I would become something else and it was my choice what I wanted that to be.
I gave myself time to accept the diagnosis. After months of mourning the loss of my old self, because oh boy, did I mourn it – all 7 steps of grieving included! I came to acceptance and wanted to stop hiding. It felt bizarre that I was going through something that impacted my daily life, but I was hiding every single aspect of it to seem normal. It felt false and inauthentic, that wasn’t who I wanted to be.
The moment I chose to post a few things on social media about my struggle, a shocking thing happened. I got various DMs from friends I had known for ages, telling me that they too were quietly dealing with chronic illnesses and others, offering heart-felt support! All this time I had wasted energy worrying about what other people might think and offering up my struggle gave others the key to sharing theirs.
“You can’t heal what you never reveal” – Jay Z
There is an innate power in sharing our stories. It helps avoid the path of isolation and loneliness that can go hand-in-hand with having a chronic illness. It’s not all roses and sunshine though, sharing can leave us up for possible negative judgment and critical ignorant comments, but the way I see it, that only helps us weed out toxicity from our lives!
To anyone quietly suffering, when you’re ready, come and find us. Your tribe is here and waiting.