Strategies for coping with a Fibromyalgia diagnosis

After your Fibromyalgia diagnosis, you may feel anxious, afraid or overwhelmed and wonder how you will cope. It is life changing – you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic health condition. There’s nothing fair about Fibromyalgia and no one deserves to feel that much pain every day.

fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia can change your sense of self, that is, how you think of your body, yourself, and your future. Grief is a normal response as you give up your old ideas of yourself and begin to develop ways to cope with the new, unwanted changes in your life.

Below is an outline of the stages of grief – can you identify with any of these feelings towards Fibromyalgia?
Denial
Anger
Bargaining
Depression
Acceptance

It’s normal to experience a range of emotions in the wake of a Fibromyalgia diagnosis. I sometimes feel that I’m on a roller coaster of emotions each day – frustration, anger, hopelessness, and, at times, acceptance and hope.

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When you have an illness like the flu, you know you will feel better within a few days. A chronic illness like Fibromyalgia is different; it will never go away.

These are some of my coping strategies:

  • You will have good days! Do something you enjoy on those days.
  • Set realistic goals, know your limitations – don’t try to do too much. 2015-02-22 20.53.54
  • Know that you are not defined by your illness, or by what you can or can’t do.e3c0af1d48217a77ae1fdc819bb0b0c0maxresdefault
  • Don’t feel guilty about tasks you have not completed.b7181bc45716d6a07880ffe2dd937f3b
  • Do your most difficult tasks at the time of day you feel best.fibro warrior
  • Recognize that your capacities may vary – what’s possible one day may not be another.ecffac302f15bde0cbaebff25c72c8b3
  • Allow flexibility and extra time in your plans.2015-03-01 20.51.21
  • Take pride in your achievements. 70c267cfe15f95b429b5efda7cf62ded
  • Get your medication and routines organized and written down.
  • Help to educate your friends and family about Fibromyalgia so that they can understand your illness.2015-02-23 23.35.55
  • It is important to talk – share how you are feeling with family and friends. It is easy to see negatives everywhere and sometimes sharing gives you a different perspective.d89575086c56de6248f2115eee05d089
  • Try to enjoy the company of others – laughing with friends and family can lift your spirits.
  • Be kind to yourself – treat yourself to your favourite chocolate, candle, a bubble bath etc.Regular-Massage
  • Enjoy small pleasures – the smell of fresh-cut grass, a good novel, strawberries, singing in the shower, watching a child play etc. 11037012_10155560926335048_3328364192400730943_n
  • Try to accept that you have this illness and not wallow in self-pity for prolonged periods.11223595_10204254036301591_7664303328020221767_n
  • Do gentle exercises if possible – pace yourself!
  • Join a support group – locally, on social media or an internet forum. You can find strength in sharing thoughts and feelings with others who understand what you’re going through. You are not alone!

Please remember that your value and worth have not lessened due to Fibromyalgia. 11701164_10152933595586003_1105620994402888401_nYou are stronger than ever before, you are so brave, you are now a fibro warrior!a2ad1784ef14eb298ebd46bf3c68e557

Keep smiling 🙂
Claire
x

UK Fibromyalgia

This entry was posted in Fibromyalgia, health, invisible illness and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Strategies for coping with a Fibromyalgia diagnosis

  1. fibrofly73 says:

    Reblogged this on FibroFlutters is a support group for people with Fibromyalgia in Sunderland that offers friendship, support & advice in NE UK. and commented:
    Brilliant post Claire’sComfyCorner, great for sharing with support groups for #fibro #chronicillness #invisibleillness
    Wishing you wellness 🙂

  2. Alison Lewis says:

    Thanks for this Claire. I was having one of my worst days and this has made me smile. I had been getting really frustrated because I can’t find the words to explain to family – this is spot on. Thank you again xx

    • Claire'scomfycorner says:

      I’m glad you find it helpful 🙂 I hope your pain levels become more manageable this evening.

      Claire
      X

  3. Before I forget... says:

    Just after I was diagnosed with Fibro, I was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. If you met me and talked to me you would have no idea. However, it overtook my focus on my Fibro so that not only do my family forget, even I forget about it. Yes I know that sounds bizarre but I have lived with so much pain for a long long time it is part of my life. Reading this reminds me that I am allowed to have a whinge about my pain sometimes! At present my Fibro is excruciating and all I take is paracetamol which has little effect but dampens the pain in my face and head. I am going to ask for something stronger for these bad times.

    Nice blog 🙂

  4. cat says:

    unfortunately i dont have any good days,and i am defined by what i can and cant do,as if my body wont let me do something,i cant physically do it.But i really admire the spirit of your blog.

  5. Liz Steinbach says:

    I just found this site. My struggle is addiction and I found so many of your posts inspirational and applicable to the fight I have every day to remain clean and sober Thank you.

  6. katiedahl83 says:

    Thank you for sharing this. My mom has fibro, and it is so hard to understand her struggle sometimes. I love when she has good days; it’s like I have my old mom back. I know that bad days are so discouraging for all of us. It is hard watching her go through all of this… Thank you for speaking out about fibromyalgia!

  7. Jill Downer says:

    Thanks for the illuminating information on fibromyalgia. It helps me understand what two close members of my family are going through. Jill D. Plymouth.

  8. Excellent article, Claire. Delighted to reprint on http://www.thefibronautco.uk
    Take care
    Annette

  9. Michelle says:

    The one thing that has been giving me any relief is sitting on my shower chair with the water running over my head and down my body. Its the best way for me to relax a little and warm up. Ive been in bed on and off for days, well maybe lo’6nger. The migraines make me throw up. After 12 years of taking perscribed pain meds, i made the desition to get off them because i was tired of them controling my life….now the fibro controls my life. I am brain dead im thinking from lack of sleep. Its very difficult to sleep when every joint and muscle and bone feels like pain so bad that i have like little twiches or convultionish. I had a friend try massaging me, big mistake cause i was in more pain after. Seems my life is completely unmanagable.

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