Learning to Accept Fibromyalgia, Part One: Coping and Career

Like most experiences in life, the difficult or challenging ones can be a source of learning and personal growth. Ask most who have had a chronic illness for a lengthy amount of time, and they can attest to the fact a grieving process is necessary toward learning to cope. The purpose is to move forward from denial, fighting against oneself, depression and anger to a state of acceptance.

The process begins first with acknowledging that you do, in fact, have fibromyalgia. I was fortunate because my primary care physician saw the symptoms and diagnosed me. I say “fortunate” because most have to go through different doctors and suffer for many years before receiving a proper diagnosis. I was dealing with a divorce at the time, and remember having fatigue that stayed with me most of the time. I thought nothing of it because I was working a lot, and expending a lot of emotional energies. Sleeping or resting an entire weekend seemed logical, especially since my energy levels returned at times. After a car accident, my symptoms escalated and I began having chronic backaches and non-endometrial related pelvic pain, neither of which responded to therapies such as heat, meditation, chiropractic manipulation and massage.

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