My Story: Merry O’Leary-Sahl

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

After I gave birth to my daughter back in 1997, I started to notice that I just didn't feel right. I knew instinctively that something was wrong, so I went to doctor after doctor, trying to find an answer. I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia a year later. Thankfully, it was a very mild case for many years, and I was able to continue to work full-time until 2012, when my symptoms started to amp up. I was forced to apply for disability.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

I had to quit my job, which was difficult for me since I have always tried to be a very independent person. Because of my chronic pain and weakness in my legs, I've had to use electronic carts at the grocery store. My house isn't as clean as I would like it to be, and I've had to give up so many things that I previously enjoyed doing, like cooking. My husband modified our bath for me, putting in a shower chair, and a shower wand.

Who has been there for you? How?

I have a wonderful support system. My husband, mother, daughter, and numerous friends are very understanding and empathetic. I always have someone to talk to, and give me a big (and gentle) hug when I need it.

My husband has changed the most during the last few years. He comes home from work, cleans, cooks, and helps me keep the house running. I honestly don't know what I would do without his strength, and enduring love. I am truly blessed to have him.

Even in my darkest moments I try to find a glimmer of humor.

We are not alone, and we are all fibro warriors. There is hope.

We are not alone, and we are all fibro warriors. There is hope.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I started a blog about my journey with depression, and fibromyalgia about two years ago. Although I don't always write about fibro, it is one of my main topics of discussion. My goal is to promote fibromyalgia awareness, and to help others who might stumble upon my blog. We are not alone, and we are all fibro warriors. There is hope.

My Story: Merry O'Leary-Sahl

Be easy with yourself, rest when you need to, learn how to say no.

What's your advice to someone else living with Fibromyalgia?

Anyone living with fibromyalgia needs to learn self-compassion. I am still struggling with this myself. It can be so hard not to feel sorry for myself, and feel so many various emotions. There is a grieving process involved. My advice is to talk about it, and let yourself experience these feelings openly. Be easy with yourself, rest when you need to, learn how to say no, and try to focus on what you can do now, not what you can't do anymore.

Is there anything else we should know?

I've always used humor to deal with life’s challenges. If you're laughing, you feel better. It isn't always possible, but even in my darkest moments I try to find a glimmer of humor. I've found that making others smile makes me smile too.

About Merry O'Leary-Sahl

My Story: Merry O’Leary-Sahl
I'm a wife, and a mother to a 17 year old daughter, plus my two beautiful dogs. I've recently started ghostwriting as a way to supplement my disability income, and have had a blog for the last two years, mostly dedicated to fighting depression, and fibromyalgia with humor. I love to make people laugh.

visit Merry O'Leary-Sahl's blog

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