I am a female who lives with invisible chronic illness. It is a frustrating reality, one I have devoted years of my life to disputing, discrediting, denying, fighting, proving wrong, hating, and railing against in my quest to still have a life despite my disability. All my bellyaching and determination got me pretty far in managing my fibromyalgia. By completely changing everything about how I experience health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition, I tamed the beast so it was pretty darn undetectable. It took epic amounts of work, and suffering through a lot of pain and agony, but I am one of the fortunate with this illness who found a way to survive, and at times even thrive.
And then, after four years of exhaustive efforts, I went back to work. I knew the transition was going to be tough, and it was. But by staying true to my lifestyle commitments of juicing vegetables and exercising regularly, I managed to stabilize. In fact, my efforts to manage my fibro worked so well, I began to wonder what all the fuss was about. My relentless commitment to juicing and exercising started to make me feel a bit neurotic and self-obsessed. However, whenever I stepped off the train of healthy choices, the physical consequences of fibro smacked me around hard enough to hurl myself back on the wagon again.
I existed in this state for a few months. Then I got a pretty bad cold, which I pushed myself to work through. Shortly thereafter, my number one nemesis reared its ugly, thorny, life-destroying head: INSOMNIA. A few weeks later I got sick again, this time a little worse. Barely a month later I got the second-worst flu of my life-- three days spent in sweating and shivering hallucinations followed by four days of raging stomach flu. And that, my friends, is when fibro got back into the drivers seat of my life. I sit here hardly four months after that first cold hit me too fatigued to exercise, in horrible pain because I haven't exercised, burdened by a sore throat, achy body, headache, confusion, difficulty forming words, incontinence, and utterly incapable of duplicating a decent night's sleep. I'm still gulping down my kale-beet-asparagus juice, but one leg doesn't hold up a three-legged stool, and without the exercise and sleep, I'm only getting sicker.
I am a female who lives with invisible chronic illness. It's a frustrating reality, one I've spent years of my life trying to overcome. Right now I'm at a crossroads, and it's requiring buckets of acceptance to figure out how to proceed. Rising up above the immediacy of my circumstances is the only way I've endured up to this point, and I'm not about to give up now. Yet finding the faith to take the giant leap forward required to make that happen is extremely flippin' difficult. All I can do is breathe deeply, tread slowly, and stay focused on my ultimate destination. For once I tasted health, it's now the only thing that matters.
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