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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Don't ever let them see you sweat!

The beauty of having an invisible illness is you can fool all the people all of the time instead of just some of the time.  Of course there are those little cues that may give you away, but most people aren't that observant.  I was able to fool people for 15 years and during that time I was able to put money away for retirement and get the Masters degree I always wanted.  I wasn't able to work full time and go to classes too so I found a great online university that gave me the flexibility I needed to take care of myself and continue to work.  Those were really hard years, but it was worth it.  Because of those years I know exactly what I'm made of.  I ultimately had to retire early, but life is still good for me.  I roll with the punches and I never let anyone see me sweat.  My strong will and determination have served me well and gotten me through many life miles and I'm not ready to be put out to pasture just yet.  Sure I have limitations, but I don't make that my focus and I just work with it throughout each day.

We can't wait until everyone understands us and our fibromyalgia.  We need to keep moving forward and living our lives.  I work every day to educate others about fibromyalgia, but this is a crusade of patience and persistence.  When I was first injured 19 years ago I was in severe pain.  I decided to learn more about chronic pain so I bought a book.  I don't recall the name of that book and I don't even recall much about that book.  My take away from reading that book was inspite of your pain, don't make faces.  That was an ah-ha moment for me.  No one wanted to see me focusing on my pain and they certainly didn't want to be friends with someone that was whining all the time.  When I tell others that I have fibromyalgia, they give me a blank stare and they don't know what to say to me.  So I ask them if they know what fibromyalgia is and they always say "no".  So I start to educate them little by little and bit by bit.  You know that Rome wasn't built in a day.  I am the face of fibromyalgia and I courageously greet each day with grace and purpose.  I am tougher than any illness could ever be and my identity does not include fibromyalgia.  I have fibromyalgia, but fibromyalgia does not have me.

So I continue to live by the rule "Don't ever let them see you sweat!"  And when people get that mystified look on their faces when I tell them I have fibromyalgia it makes me laugh.  I was able to fool them still, even though this illness tries to defeat my body, my mind and my spirit.  It's simply proof that this illness has not gotten the upper hand and has not defeated me.  I will never let fibromyalgia take my life away from me.  Fibromyalgia just isn't tough enough for that!

We can still get our message out to the world by uniting, and together we are able to change the world.  We work to educate others one by one and in larger audiences.  We are the faces of fibromyalgia and we never let them see us sweat; that takes real courage.  Blessings to all people with fibromyalgia that don't ever let them see you sweat!
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