Sometimes, just when you think things are going pretty well, life knocks you up side the head and throws things into chaos. Those of us with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome probably have more experience with that than a lot of people, but it doesn't get much easier.
The past few weeks have been a brutal reminder of the toll emotional turmoil can take. My husband and I have been good friends with another couple for the past 11 years, and now they're getting a divorce. For the past two months, I've been supporting her as she made the decision to leave and then had to face him with it. I've been supporting him since she left, as he waited an agonizing three weeks for her to make the final decision that it was over.
The result? In spite of the fact that I've been doing really well, fibro-wise, my muscles are all knotted and spasming, I'm sleeping even worse than usual, and mentally and emotionally I feel like a wrung-out dish towel. I'm more forgetful than usual and have neglected things like getting a birthday present to my 8-year-old niece and checking on a relative who recently had a hip replaced.
It's like my world has gotten smaller and I can only focus on what's right in front of me. It reminds me of earlier in my illness, when I had no idea what was going on in the world around me and I really didn't function.
This is just something I'm going to have to deal with because I've made a conscious choice to continue helping my friends get through this ordeal. However, going forward, I have to make sure I set aside "me" time when I don't respond to emails, texts or a ringing phone. I need to take extra good care of myself so I don't continue to feel worse.
I will get through this. I know that because I went through the first few years of fibromyalgia in far worse shape than I'm in now. There were times back then when I said the same words as my friend whose wife just left him: How do I go on?
The answer I gave him - which is little solace right now but is the only real answer - is, "You just do."
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