Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Typical Day (Really?)

Another day. Another challenge.

This is my mantra day in and day out. Everything is a challenge. For those who don't have Fibromyalgia, let me let you in on how the days go by.

Pain. Yep it's everywhere and it's nowhere. It shows up one day in my shoulders and the next in my legs. There is no rhyme or reason to where, when or how bad it will be. So if you see me at the mall one day and using a walker or cane the next, it's not about attention or negativity. It's about making it through the day with whatever help is needed that day.

Forgetfulness: Yep. I have it. Folks with FMS call it "fibrofog." I know I've seen you before, but your name totally escapes me. I can be in the middle of a conversation and forget everything we just talked about. I don't remember words. Writing and speaking can be a huge challenge. I just try not to look stupid or embarrassed. But, when the fog hits, it's hard not to feel like both. Don't roll your eyes at me. Just help me. Throw me a bone. Fill in the blank.

Fatigue: Oh I've got that in spades. And I'm not tired. I'm exhausted. Just walking from the bed to the living room is exhausting. The chronic fatigue wears me out. So if you see me at the park and I "seem fine" I might just be having a good day. Trust me, the next day I might pay for that outing and not be able to get out of bed.

Insomnia: Uh huh. For hours I will lie awake wishing my mind and body would allow me to drift off to slumber land. If you see me on the computer at 3am, it's not because I'm a night owl. And it affects my chronic fatigue every day.

Muscle cramps: I have them every day. So don't be so jealous if I make time every week for a massage or yoga class. It is horribly painful to do, but it is a necessary evil to keep me walking and working.

Shaking: I do. And don't make the "alcoholic" jokes. They're not funny. And it's quite annoying to not be able to hold on to a coffee cup or straighten up the merchandise at work without knocking it all on the floor. Some days I can't even hold a pen or write, but I keep trying. Otherwise, life comes to a screeching halt.

If you're still reading, and I hope you are, this isn't so much a rant on Fibromyalgia. Hey, I get it. I have it. I live with it. I do my dead-level best every day. This is more a rant on the insensitivity of people. The jokes behind the back about the cane and walker, I hear 'em. The comments on how I'm fine one day and not the next, I know they're out there. The marks on my employment record because I must miss work with pain and exhaustion, I hate them.

I don't want to hear how a positive attitude makes it all better. It doesn't. Less stress? I could use that. Support? I could use that. Kindness. I really could use that.

So let's not judge til you walk a mile in someone's shoes, okay?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mother in the Morning

Greetings Gentle Readers...

I woke up this morning to such a beautiful sight. The dogwood trees in the neighborhood are blooming. It's so wonderful to drive down the street under the canopy of white and pink. There is a gentleness about a dogwood; a sense of joy and awe: the stark colors against the deep darkness of the tree trunk and branches.

The contrast speaks to my heart of the workings of our lives. Our base, our foundation, is established and solid. Its roots dig deep into the soil of our lives. And out of that root and soil come branches of life. Each branch springs from the root, a lesson learned. And at the end of the lesson, if we allow it to penetrate our spirit, springs the beauty of the flower. And the beauty of the flower, when brought into balance in our lives, brings the bright green leaves of wisdom.

When we go through difficult times, I dare say we rarely find a place of meditation and allow the lesson to go deep into our souls. I'm often guilty. But when I stop long enough to feel the breeze of change and the movement in my being of a branch coming forth, the lesson is always...always... worth the pain of the growing. The tree feels the pain of growth, as do we. We must but sit under the wisdom, allow our roots to go deep into the earth, and seek Mother Goddess.

So many lessons I've learned in this mindfulness. And so many have I repeated because I've allowed myself to get caught up in the emotions and not the quiet of the lesson.

I encourage you today to take time out of your busy schedule to sit under the dogwood. (For my northern family and friends, there's always the first crocus of spring!) Enjoy the beauty of the flower, but don't fail to touch the branches and feel the earth underneath you. It is all intertwined as a wonder to behold. A quiet lesson in life of the balance that is ours as we seek and honor our Mother.

Blessed Be, my friends. Blessed Be!