Many of my patients discuss feeling at the mercy of their body and their pain. Not knowing whether you are going to wake to a good day or a bad day makes it almost impossible to plan. You can be left feeling out of control of your life. So how can you take back some control and start to live your life? Here are the tips I have discovered along the way:
- Get a good therapist – find someone who is on your side and who gets it. Find someone that listens, who is experienced in their field and is committed to helping you.
- Make your Fibromyalgia separate from you. Give it a name, a face or even get a physical toy or object that represents it.
- Write it down – Your nervous system is in overdrive, it is like someone has turned the volume up on the radio and we need to find out how to turn it down. Document the things that trigger different flare ups, they might be times of day, activities, foods, moods, sleep or even people.
- Start to retrain your nervous system – with the help of your therapist, start to expose yourself to these stimuli in small and controlled environments. Use distractions of things you enjoy such as singing whilst starting to do some gentle squats or rewarding yourself after exposure.
- Track your progress and keep the goals small, even the smallest step forward is still a step. I have had patients unable to walk more than 2 mins before having to sit because of pain to eventually being able to have the dog they always dreamed of because now they can walk as long as they wish.
Feeling vulnerable and at the mercy of your pain is exhausting and can make your days feel challenging. Taking back control is always possible with the right people beside you on your journey.