The title says it all, doesn't it? Seems to be so easy, right? What if I told you it was, or it can be? Would you believe me?
In an article in the National Pain Report (http://nationalpainreport.com/my-pain-is-not-me-8832971.html), Suzanne Stewart discusses what she does to live a full life while living with chronic pain disorders. And, she writes about how she is often questioned by those who don't live with these disorders. They often cannot comprehend that we can function (just differently) because if we can live a full life, are we really in pain?
I'm sure many of you question the same thing, whether you live with a chronic pain disorder or not. As someone that lives with chronic pain (obviously, or I wouldn't be writing this blog), I can tell you it IS possible. Stewart provides a couple of examples including: going out for dinner, gentle exercise, and quality time with friends and family. She states that she tries to do something "social" every day to keep some normality in her life. These are all excellent examples of things YOU can do as well. Will there be days where you are hurting too much, or are too foggy to participate? Absolutely. And, you need to forgive yourself and accept it. I can help you with this!
Of course life with a chronic illness changes your life, but it doesn't have to cause you to live an isolated and lonely one. You may not have friends that understand why you need to cancel at the last minute, but as long as they are supportive, they are keepers. Unfortunately, we all have had experiences where relationships go badly due to our illness. Again, this is not your fault. In my opinion, these people that aren't willing to learn or accept you as the "new you," aren't worth your time and energy (But, that's a whole separate thing I could write a book about!). I have learned this the "hard" way.
Are you interested in finding a balance between how you functioned pre-fibro and how you function with the diagnosis? Would you like some assistance in ways that you can feel like you are a productive member of society? Feel free to drop me a line and we can talk about it, because I have some GREAT ideas for you. As I say in my email signature: I'm using the disease that at one time knocked me down, to help support others learn to live their life to the fullest! If you're ready, I'm here to help. Just reach out. =)
The holiday of Passover is holy and is one of the Jewish holidays that most non-Jews know about. Some say that the portrait of the Last Supper was of Jesus at a Passover seder. It is the holiday that recounts the biblical story of Exodus where the Jewish slaves overthrew the Egyptian Pharaoh. Moses led the Jews on a journey through the desert that took 40 years. The struggle to survive in the desert raises many complex religious and emotional themes, ranging from our relationship with God, to the concept of freedom, and the ways that we enslave ourselves.
Enslave can be a key word for those of us with Fibromyalgia or other chronic illnesses because once we have the diagnosis, many of us succumb to what “will be” (i.e. what is encompassed in the diagnosis) as opposed to learning more about the disorder and ways to make life livable and free despite the diagnosis. As someone who is newly diagnosed OR someone who has lived a while with Fibromyalgia, you know that the symptoms of the disorder can definitely make you feel like you are homebound and therefore “enslaved” to it. It’s my belief that everyone with Fibromyalgia can experience the freedom that Moses and the Jews did after escaping the evil Egyptian Pharaoh. It’s a mind over matter issue as well as a decision to make the choices to want to live a life you love.
There is a famous quote: “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional” (Haruki Murakami). I bet you are wondering how you can live a life in pain and not suffer. It’s certainly possible. This is how I envision to live my life everyday. Do I have pain? Absolutely. Do I suffer from the pain? Sure, sometimes. But, I don’t let it consume, or enslave me. I have found a program that works for me that includes medications, supplements, exercise, my medical team and of course, my coaching.
What does coaching have to do with this? I was just watching a Facebook Live video of MY coach and while she and the speaker (Dr. Ginevra Liptan) were talking about the benefits of coaching and a light bulb went off in my head! I realized that by coaching others, I had to keep accountability of myself because I didn’t want to be one of those people who doesn’t practice what they preach. As I now write this, I realize much of my feelings of freedom come from becoming a coach. For a long time, I felt enslaved to Fibromyalgia because I didn’t think there was any job that I could do with my disorder. Everything I was qualified for demanded a lot of physical activity that, if I chose that job, would keep me in a flare full time. The great thing about coaching is I do it on my time and in the comfort of my own home (sometimes from my pajamas - shhhh! Don’t share that with anyone!) I could be in a flare myself and still coach one of my clients because I was able to set up a workspace that is best for me.
According to Ilana Tatarsky, the author of the article entitled Hard but Good, “ Life brings pain. All kinds of pain. But we have the freedom to choose our response to that pain. I can smile through it, laugh around it, and see the beauty in spite of it. I choose my focus.” This is how I’ve chosen to live my life and I can help you reach this as well; but, you have to be open to acknowledging your own enslavement and willing to fight for that freedom. It’s not a simple task or an easy road, but it is doable.
Are you interested in finding YOUR freedom? Let’s find a time to talk about what we can do to help you unshackle yourself from your Fibromyalgia. If you’re interested in a free session, click on the “Work with Me” button above and let’s get started! =)
I’m Kate Straus and I’m a Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor. I help Jewish women feel confident in their ability to practice their faith while navigating the ups and downs of fibromyalgia. I’m using the disease that at one time knocked me down, to help support others live life to their fullest.