For those who do not have a chronic illness like fibromyalgia, I am going to share eight extraordinary things about people with fibromyalgia that you need to know. May this list encourage you to understand their plight and their incredible passion to live despite their struggling. May it open a new perspective for you to consider. May it help you understand what they endure. May it inspire you to appreciate the people in your life who have fibromyalgia — and tell them how much you admire them.
For those who are reading this list and you live a life of fibromyalgia — This one’s for you.
They have a relentless will to live, so they must dive deep into their reservoir of strength to mine more of it every single day they are faced with the challenges of their pain. They don’t give up, despite the debilitating symptoms they experience. They push through and grab hold of what they can to find fulfillment in every day. This type of endurance and perseverance proves to be an ongoing battle that can result in profound fortitude.
Because they have endured their own difficult road of affliction, they may be more in tune to the people around them. They can have extraordinary empathy and compassion for others and a deep understanding of adversity and hardship, so they can truly appreciate someone else’s struggles. When someone is hurting, they are often the first to respond and console because they know the significance of having support.
They are constantly challenged to find meaning and fulfillment within their own limitations, and they may celebrate simple things that others take for granted. They can have an exceptional admiration for life experiences, because they often live within the confines of their captivity — unable to live an active life. They may learn to look for the gifts in every day with great vigilance.
Because they are sick so often, they may not want to burden others regularly. They might struggle alone because they hate to make people feel uncomfortable or obligated in any way. Many times, you might notice they disappear for a time – they could miss regular events, social activities, or friends and family gatherings. This is often when they are trying to manage their symptoms and are too sick to do much else. Their disappearance sometimes goes unnoticed. This is quite possibly the hardest part of being chronically ill. They desperately want to join you.
They may not look sick at all, but underneath their appearance there is a person fighting fiercely to be well. They may fall apart as soon as they get home, after keeping the facade for hours wherever they were. They may have taken enough medicine just to get them through the day. They may mask their pain with smiles so others won’t notice their struggling. They likely don’t want to be seen as sick all the time, so they may try hard to present themselves as “OK”… and often, they are not.
Reach out to them and ask them how they’re really doing. Then listen, with empathy and love, would you?
They often feel uncomfortable reaching out for help or support because they may feel people have more important things to do. Many are sure people are tired of hearing about their sickness/disease, so they stop telling their family and friends about their struggles. They hate what they are enduring, and wish things were different.
Reach out to them and assure them you are not tired of hearing about their struggles (and genuinely mean it). Ask them how you can help them, would you?