Surviving – and Enjoying – Important Events With Fibromyalgia
I’ve suffered from fibromyalgia for six years and I like to think I’m pretty positive about coping with the condition. I mean, I hate it – obviously – but I recognize the need to understand my new body and find coping strategies that work for me and my life.
The only time it really gets me down is when there is an important event, like a wedding or birthday party, and I know I won’t be able to enjoy it in the way I once could. That can be a pretty depressing thought.
This year most of my friends are turning 30 and six of them are getting married. That’s a lot of celebrating. So, how do we cope?
Respect Your Condition
Firstly, it’s at times like this that I remind myself I have a disability. Fibromyalgia is not a condition to take lightly, especially not when you’re going to be on your feet all day and all night. You have to respect it and prepare for what will, undoubtedly, be a very difficult day.
You might not last all day or all night, and you may just have to accept that, but approach the day with care and above all else, prepare. Make sure you’re as ready for it as you can be.
I’ve got two bachelorette parties and two weddings in May, and I’m maid of honour at one of the weddings, which falls on the last weekend of May. I’m not going to lie… I’m scared. Really scared. I’ve almost convinced myself that by the time the last wedding comes around I will be a broken woman and I won’t be able to follow my bride up the aisle, never mind dance at the reception.
Then I take a deep breath and tell myself not to panic. I will do all I can to prepare for the month, and I will cope as best I know how. It is what it is, and there are practical ways to cope, so I remind myself to focus on those rather than adding stress and anxiety to an already challenging month.
Build in Rest Time
If you know you’ve got a big occasion coming up, make sure you build in proper time to rest. I’ve taken a week off work in June because I know I will need to recover from my hectic May, and I’ve made sure my April is pretty empty so that I’m not busy in the lead up.
Unfortunately, we can’t save up our energy to use at a later date, but you don’t want to be exhausted before you start, so stay as rested as you can.
Next page: four more tips for enjoying events with fibromyalgia.