The Dangers of Suppressing Emotions
I don’t know whether other people react in a similar way to me when they are given their diagnosis, but I am willing to bet that they feel the need to share their thoughts and feelings in some way. There are so many ways to do that and it is important that each person finds the way that is best for him or her. Bottling up one’s feelings is not a sensible option, in my view. Believe me, I know! I spent a lifetime (well, nearly 45 years) bottling up my feelings and I have the scars to prove it!
I have long-term depression and anxiety. I had several periods of depression prior to it settling in for the long haul and have tried different therapies to alleviate the symptoms, with varying degrees of success. I had developed a pretty strong fortress within which to bury my feelings and it took a huge amount of work, firstly, to access those feelings, and, secondly, to learn not to automatically bury them there when I am troubled.
Hence, my need to find an outlet for my feelings about my diagnosis and its likely effect on my future. As I say, for me, my Fibro Diary fulfils that need.
In my view, it is vital for everyone with a chronic condition such as fibromyalgia to find some way of giving vent to their feelings about both their diagnosis and the effects of the condition on their lives. These are vast, life-altering situations, not only for the sufferer, but also for those closest to him or her.
Since my diagnosis, I have found very many places online offering help, advice, resources and somewhere to talk. There are sites giving information about FM, including the latest thinking on possible causes and treatments, forums, support groups and more.
Although I haven’t really used sites like those, I have used one called Patients Like Me, which allows me to keep a record of how I am physically, my medication, my mood and many other aspects of my health. I have found it particularly useful when visiting my GP to be able to look back over any given period to see how I have been. I know I could keep a written record, but I also know I wouldn’t keep it up. The beauty of that site is how simple it is to use: I receive a daily email with a link to click.
I have found that I don’t particularly wish to talk to other sufferers about my FM. FM affects everybody differently and I think I am coping with mine fairly well by writing my Fibro Diary blog. I think I am slightly afraid that sharing with other fibro sufferers will mean that I am confronted by aspects and symptoms of fibro that I don’t want to know more about at the moment. It is my version of “Ostrich Syndrome,” i.e. burying my head in the sand.
I am extremely lucky in that I have very little pain, at the moment. The thought of suffering excruciating pain scares me witless so I don’t want to spend my life worrying about it – there will be plenty of time for that when or if it happens. Does that make me selfish? I don’t know, but it sure as hell stops me from being overwhelmed by fear of FM and that, for me, is definitely a very good thing.