Fibromyalgia is a pain disorder associated with an increased sensitivity in the pain related-nervous system, causing otherwise mild sensations to be felt as pain. It is characterised by the primary symptoms of chronic widespread pain, sleep disturbance and fatigue together with multiple other symptoms.
Recently I attended a Fibromyalgia management workshop, because I live with this word now. I sat in a room filled with people just like me; damaged, worn and guarded - just like me. It was nice not to feel like the only freak in the room.
I'm only beginning to understand what this all means. Some days I think I'll be ok - that it's just another label - like 'brown' or 'shy'. But, unfortunately it's not so benign, nor is it as easily accepted as the colour of ones eyes, or their personality traits. There's no cure, no known reason and not much understanding.
While at the workshop, I began to feel empowered - the room was like a safety bubble for us Fibro-people. We couldn't hurt ourselves in there, we could say almost anything and not be judged, a 'well' existence, mental physical and spiritual balance felt like it was just outside the door, waiting to be asked inside.
But now away from that room, away from my comrades I feel fear biting at my ankles. I don't know if I know how to make room for the space in my life that this can demand. Today I might be ok, tomorrow, I don't know.
Part of our job from the workshop was to go forth and educate at least one person on Fibromyalgia. So, to you, my special nine - may at least one of you pass by, have a read and carry the knowledge forward into the world with you. And perhaps, when you next meet a person who has Fibromyalgia, you'll know a little of what that means to them.