Looking on the Bright Side: Good Things About Fibromyalgia
Whenever you hear about fibromyalgia, or any other chronic illness for that matter, you will primarily hear about all of the negative aspects of it. That is because there are a lot of them. Being chronically ill is an extremely difficult thing to deal with and can easily lead to depression.
That it is why it is so necessary, vital even, to pause and reflect on some of the benefits and positive aspects of chronic illness. I know, I know, that sounds like an oxymoron. You're thinking, "What in the world could be a benefit of having a chronic illness?" Well, let me tell you.
I believe that there can be something positive found in any situation. At least I believe that most days – I have plenty of dark days when I have difficulty imagining that there is anything good in the world. But then I snap out of it and remember I have many things to be grateful for. I genuinely believe there is always something to be thankful for!
1. You Find Your Inner Strength
Chronic illness makes you realize just how strong you are. You will have moments when you will think you cannot take any more, when you feel that you just cannot go on. You will consider giving up and not fighting anymore. But the next morning you wake up and you start the fight all over again. You will find an inner strength you never knew you had.
I found a quote several years ago that I love and that has been a true inspiration: "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."
Most people view strength as someone who can lift heavy things, or maybe someone who is never affected by the bad things that get thrown their way. But being sick has taught me that is not what true strength is. True strength is being affected by life, but not letting it stop you. It is not ever giving up no matter how tempting it is.
The true meaning of strength is fighting to have the best life possible, even when faced with tribulation. True strength is putting on a happy face in spite of the pain you are enduring. Having fibromyalgia has shown me that I have that strength. Having fibromyalgia has shown me that I am a warrior. Having fibromyalgia has shown me that I can conquer anything.
2. You Can Sympathize With And Help Other Sick People
When you have an illness you suddenly understand other people who have illnesses on a whole new level. You can be more sympathetic for others pain, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional. You can put yourself in their shoes in a way you were never able to do before.
No, I don't know exactly how someone with cancer feels. But I can imagine their fear, frustration, and anger. I know how exasperating it is to go from one doctor's appointment to another. How infuriating it can be to deal with doctors, insurance companies, and pharmacies. I know the confusion of deciding which treatment method to go with.
I also know they are tired of others' ignorance, and of the barrage of questions. I know they sometimes want to talk about something other than their illness, and pretend to be normal for a while. I know what to say and what not to say. I know to show interest and concern, but not to overwhelm them.
Therefore, by my being sick, I can possibly be of help to someone else. Maybe something I say, or don’t say, can be encouragement to them. Maybe my story can help them. Maybe my positivity despite a negative situation can be an inspiration for them. Maybe I can show them that it’s not all downhill, that there are some good things on the horizon.