Right now, I don't believe that all my pain and symptoms will go away. But I've made a lot of changes in my life since the fibromyalgia diagnosis.

The not so lonely Swabian Alb

I no longer work for a big car company. Some of the people I met there are still in my life. I can't deny that I learned a lot there. Still, I think I should have been much more determined to find what would have been right for me professionally. That's easy to say in retrospect. I live in the country. It's a real blessing. Here in the Alb, the air is good, clean and fresh. I can drive some distances by car and be alone on the road. The Alb is known as "rough". That changes a little. Nature is very diverse. There are many things that do me good: the landscape, the vastness, nature.

I have modified my diet several times. At the moment I am on a predominantly vegan and gluten-free diet and I fast about 2 times a year. In the beginning, it was hard, but I think my body has got used to it now. https://shamethepain.de/gut-essen-mit-fibromyalgie/

I try to find things that give me pleasure and help to distract from the pain. For example, writing, or being active in self-help. I was no longer able to lead my group. More diagnoses were piled onto the fibromyalgia and all the work behind running a group became too much for me alone. Nevertheless, I am still a little bit involved in the self-help scene.

In a way this blog is part of that.

Do I quarrel with God?

My neighbour, who is very devout, told me not to quarrel with God because I am sick. I never really did that. My husband married me with fibromyalgia and other diseases. I had more time for my daughter, because of the illness, as I was no longer trapped in the professional hamster wheel. I have met many wonderful and inspiring people - including doctors and therapists. Unfortunately, I have also lost friends. Especially during these past few months, I have realized that I no longer have many social contacts. I am discovering new talent. My aim now is to try and to shape my life with the diseases and not to fight against them anymore. (I am not always successful in doing this).

Sometimes I scream

That may sound like kitchen psychology and calendar sayings. You hear enough of those. Yes, living with fibromyalgia is a tightrope walk and I don't always have the choice to make the best of it or not. When the pain is so omnipresent that nothing else penetrates, it's no use knowing that it won't kill me. I am very grateful for a lot of what I have and cherish my life, but there are moments when I don't want this life any more and I say or shout that out loud. Most of the time there is no one there to hear. Every now and then my dog comes trotting up to check "if everything is ok", at least that's what his eyes seem to say. The despair passes. Yes, it's a tightrope walk between acceptance and despair, but you can't do it without hope.

On the Instagram portal of the Rheumatism League Switzerland, someone posted "Fibro is an asshole, but it makes you a superhero". There's something to that.

"Battling the stress of coping with chronic illness" an article on the site "Healthline" is about how to deal with the diagnosis of chronic disease. https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/chronic-illness#4

"Being chronically ill does not mean losing one's integrity as a person and one's courage to face life." Kunstmann, A. (2013). How to cope with a serious diagnosis. Click to tweet

Being chronically ill does not mean losing one's integrity as a person and one's courage to live - I think this message is important. But a chronic illness is a long process, and this can include phases every now and then when you say: "It's a great injustice that I'm ill, and I just think it's terrible."

Kunstmann, A. (2013). How to deal with a difficult diagnosis. Retrieved May 15, 2020, from https://www.brigitte.de/gesund/gesundheit/chronische-krankheiten-wie-sie-mit-einer-schweren-diagnose-umgehen-10148648.html-how-to-handle a severe diagnosis-10148648.html

What does my picture say?

We want to, but we can't always. Still, there is hope. Click to tweet

The picture: I drew a girl looking out from behind a birch tree. I chose the birch tree because it stands for love, life, and happiness. It symbolizes a new beginning. The light in spring. Maypoles are traditionally birch trees. The girl represents timidity. This is to illustrate the feeling of having fibromyalgia. We want to take part in life, but we can't always, yet there is infinite hope. 

Picture by Dawn