It was definitely a mistake to look at Google yesterday. I’m still annoyed. It’s been a year now since I started on this quest to get an understanding of why I’ve hurt my whole life and how I can hurt and be perfectly healthy at the same time. I understand it – pain does not equal injury, I should do anything I want, and just understand there will be consequences. Does it make me a wimp? I don’t care. Does it slow me down? Yes, definitely. Do I have to put extra effort into life? Absolutely. Do I want to lay down and take a nap right here and now? Hell yeah. But the big question is and always has been: Is this all real or just in my head? Am I just lazy? I see people from the Facebook fibro support groups wrestling with feeling inadequate or feeling like other people think they’re inadequate, that chronic pain paranoia that gets under all our skins and stems mostly from our own fears of inadequacy.
I can state irrevocably – fibromyalgia is a real thing. It is a physiological phenomenon. Not only are our chemicals and hormones out of whack, there are permanent changes in our brain structure, permanent changes to our pain processing centers. No, I can’t say why this has happened, what the underlying cause is – possibly genetic or a combination of genetics and other factors. It’s real.
Yes, my mood can make the pain worse; stress can put me under the table. Psychology plays a real role in being able to keep functioning despite the pain. Psychology can make me curl up in a ball and groan all day, if I let it. Psychology can make me clench my jaw and say dammit I’m going to work no matter what. One day at a time makes a week. No matter how closely psychology is tied to my ability to function day to day, it is only peripherally tied to the condition itself.
I didn’t will myself to be in pain back when I was 15 years old. I didn’t say to myself, hey this will be an easy out if I just can’t stay awake at my desk. I certainly didn’t will myself to go through the best years of my life feeling like I was breaking bones and joints whenever I did something fun. If doctors ran the tests on me that researchers run on fibro patients, they will see those out of whack chemicals. If they image my brain, they’ll see decreased gray matter. If they test my pain processing system they’ll see those changes as well. Fibro is real. Nope, I don’t know why it is, but I can say absolutely, yes, it is.
And now, I’ll let it go. It doesn’t matter what people think.
See the main website and the library for articles about possible root causes of fibro. There are a few pages that I need to get written, but the basics are out there, and the research is cited in the library.