Friday, August 29, 2014

Social connections when energy runs low

Most people take socializing for granted, but socializing actually requires a great deal of energy.  When chronic illness is present, energy is low and it is critical that people choose daily activities thoughtfully and with intention.  No one knows this better than someone with fibromyalgia.  Every activity throughout the day must be carefully weighed for priority and necessity.  Socializing may seem to be low in priority so it may tend to take the back burner, but that may be a mistake.  The mind/body connection cannot be dissected from one another and we need to regularly care for both to ensure our health on every level.  Depression and anxiety are common with fibromyalgia so attending to emotional health is so critical and yet it seems that we frequently neglect our brain's needs.  The brain's complexity makes this task even more difficult, because there are needs to be met on many different levels.  Top that with being a highly sensitive person and the task becomes daunting.

We are a gregarious people and social connections are critical for our emotional health and our general well being.  Connecting socially may not be possible face-to-face every day, but setting time aside for socializing is key in managing the depression and anxiety that frequently accompanies fibromyalgia.  I make it a point to connect with someone every day.  There are days when I don't have the energy to connect with others, but social media has made that easier and less energy draining than connecting face-to-face.  On facebook I have rekindled friendships with people I haven't seen in 44 years and facebook doesn't zap energy like face-to-face encounters do.  Same thing with Twitter except it's even less taxing because the messages are so brief.  I hadn't spent much time on facebook or Twitter, but I am now learning their benefits and it has been a positive experience.  I can interact with people and not feel the energy being sucked out of me.  That leaves me with energy to spare for other necessities.

Currently I have been experiencing some stressful events in my life and that naturally takes its toll on my body and tends to put me in a flare.  Bad news.  I inherently know this and have made intentional decisions regarding my emotional health, which also makes my body feel better.  That single act of intentionality saves my mind and my body from traumatic and stressful events.  This may seem to be a no brainer, but I am amazed when I see other people that don't seem to understand the critical nature of this connection between mind and body.  This is an amazing phenomenon!  The other positive element for me is that I have had fun learning new things and my brain gets exercise at the same time.  That is good for my body too!  When my brain is happy, my body is happy too.  The problem with learning new things is that it takes a great deal of energy.  But for me, it is well worth the energy it drains.  I just have to use small amounts of energy and be aware of how much I'm going to need to get through the day and not sabotage myself for the next day too.

So when you find yourself feeling lonely and blue, text a friend, meet a new friend on facebook -- just communicate with someone outside of your immediate environment.  This simple 10 minute act will change your perspective on life and re-energize your mind and body.  May you meet each day with intention, purpose, priority, understanding and awareness of the energy stores that are available to you.  Blessings!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Face of Fibromyalgia

The face of fibromyalgia
As years go by our experiences are reflected in the lines on our face.  There is nothing that writes with deeper lines, darker circles under the eyes and sagging skin more than the story of a chronic illness such as fibromyalgia.  With the passing of each year our face may begin to appear older than our years due to the constant struggle with chronic illness.  The miles spent in chronic pain are expressed on our face just as happy lines become predominant if our miles traveled were in a happy place.  Despite a conscious effort to overcome a chronic, debilitating illness that illness will take its toll and tell its story on our face.

My 22-year history with an injury resulting in fibromyalgia have certainly taken their toll on me and these years have been vividly expressed on my face.  So despite the fact that I have found good medical care and treatment in Prescott, AZ those miles cannot be denied.  I believed that I was overcoming this dreadful illness, but I was only deluding myself by clinging to a younger vision of myself.  Don't we all remember when we were 20 and full of energy and passion for life?  That is where many of us prefer to be stuck and then we are startled when a mirror reflects an image that isn't recognizable.  I ask, "Who is that old woman in the mirror?"  And as I turn away I again regain that image of vitality when I was in my 20's.  Those certainly were fleeting years!

Before Nerium (left) and 4 weeks after Nerium (right) - just after sweating in the garden!
Illness is not the only stressor that can be expressed on the human face.  Any stressor, physical or emotional, can etch those miles in the most unflattering way!  Am I so
vane that I am writing of such things that have little to do with the strength of my relationships and the people I love so much?  I guess that as I get older I just want some of those years back, because my work here isn't done and I have so many things I would like to accomplish that remain undone.

Before Nerium (top) and 4 weeks after Nerium (bottom)
My life journey has brought me to Nerium International and the comraderie, relationships and friendships that have been an unexpected bonus.  How fortunate am I?!  And the added bonus is that Nerium skin care age defying products have given a few years back to me that were lost.  The combination of good medical care and Nerium has turned back the clock for me so I have a second chance to live those years that I thought had been lost.  I want to share this joy with you, because you too can regain some of those lost years.

More images can be viewed on my Nerium facebook page if you use the search term Nerium AD.  It should be the first line to pop up.  If not, you can find me on facebook at this address:
You can also get more information about Nerium at  In addition, you can contact me at 949-939-5295 or add comments to my blog page.  Blessings to you as you travel this sometimes bumpy road of life!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Narcissists practice isolationism

People with fibromyalgia have neurological sensitivities that leave them vulnerable to toxic people and toxic environments.  When exposed to these toxins the result is an increase in stress and a fibromyalgia flare.  One of the most toxic people that anyone can come into contact with is a narcissist.  For someone with fibromyalgia, narcissists are deadly.

Narcissism is a complex disorder that is perplexing to others.  This disorder can appear quite different from one person to the next, but there is one thing they all have in common: a lack of empathy for others.  The lack of empathy for others is the hallmark feature of narcissism, which can be difficult to identify because they are so clever at disguising their narcissism.  A narcissist studies normal human behavior by observing the responses that others have in a variety of situations.  They may appear to have friends, but upon a closer look those friendships are all superficial, and enduring, close friendships are absent.  The narcissist is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

The nuclear family is traditionally the primary support system, but for a person that has narcissistic family members there is no primary support system.  This situation leads to isolation, especially for a person with fibromyalgia that may have few support systems available.  The lack of a primary support system creates stress, which results in fibromyalgia flares and a decline in health status.  If this isolated person attempts to set boundaries on the narcissistic family members' abusive behavior or limits contact with their narcissistic family, these family members in turn purposely isolate the family member even more.  Remaining in this toxic environment with toxic people takes its toll, but the isolation from family takes its toll too.  It's a catch 22 situation.

As long as a person remains in the presence of toxic, dysfunctional people, they will be unable to function on a healthy level themselves.  The person and their fibromyalgia symptoms will be minimized, ignored and demeaned.  This leads to constant turmoil and feelings of inadequacy.  In essence that person must cease to exist to serve the needs of the narcissist -- a person that always has an empty bucket to fill, but the bucket has a big hole in the bottom so the narcissist must continuously feed off others in an attempt to fill that bucket.

There is no quality of life when a narcissist is close enough to cause you harm.  But they can only cause harm if they are in your life -- don't walk; run away as fast as you can.  Your number one priority is YOU.  If  you have fibromyalgia you absolutely cannot afford to have these toxic people close to you.  There are worse things than being alone.  Adopt others into your life and find solace and support within your extended "family".  The best advice I have ever heard is "Pick your family carefully."  Blessings to you and may you find solace and joy and freedom.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Live happy and don't look back!

Life is a series of ups and downs, especially when a chronic illness like fibromyalgia is involved.  Despite the ups and downs, if you aren't happy then nothing else counts.  Am I right?  Happiness has the power to affect everything in our lives, even our health.  I'm not saying if you are struggling with chronic illness that it isn't a tough journey, but I am saying that happiness is tied into the mind/body connection.  If you are happy you have more life satisfaction, life satisfaction leads to better relationships, and better relationships leads to more happiness.  It's a life cycle.  Another life cycle begins with taking care of yourself and making that a priority.  If you care for yourself you feel better, and when you feel better you have a better quality of life, and when you have a better quality of life you have more life satisfaction, more longevity, better relationships, more happiness . . . you see how these cycles work?  Stagnation is a foreign concept in the cycle of life and stagnation doesn't lead to happiness.  Happiness is a dynamic state of being that ebbs and flows as you travel on your journey.

I recently was introduced to a magazine Live Happy.  That says it all.  The newest research has showed that  "when we choose to be happy and take steps toward that state of mind, our golden years are more likely to be truly golden.".  (August 2014, Live Happy, The Golden Age of Happiness, pg 82)  Research has also demonstrated that when we are in the state of happiness that we most likely will live longer too.  Amazing how that mind/body connection works.  We are truly an entity that cannot be dissected merely into body parts. 

Me and my happy little kittie Wills with the cute whiskers!
I read a number of blogs written by people with fibromyalgia.  The focus is frequently pain, brain fog, difficulties experienced in every day . . . that focus can result in a downward spiral and rob you of your life.  Despite life's challenges, and they can be many, if the focus turns to happiness, relationships,and caring for yourself and others, you will feel better.  Happiness is a key that opens many doors and leaves you with good memories.  It's a matter of focus.

This month's Live Happy publication talks about the power of words.  (Rubin, Gretchen.  August 2014, Live Happy, pg. 40)  According to Gretchen, the words we choose are critical to our happiness.  The differences in our word choice reveals how we think and who we are.  If you listen to what you say it will reveal your attitude, level of optimism, your level of empowerment, how positively you think, and your entire mindset.  Listening can be a difficult task and how often do we listen to ourselves anyway?  We should be the first person we choose to listen to!  That's how we get to know ourselves. So, is your glass half full or half empty, do you play the piano or practice piano, do you exercise or take a dance class . . . ?  You get the idea.  Are you a victim of circumstances or responsible for everything in your life and in charge of you?  Being in charge of you leads to total freedom and happiness.  Those words may be nuances to some, but they tell a deeper story that may be affecting life satisfaction and happiness.

Happiness doesn't mean you don't still have difficult or next to impossible days, but it sure helps me get through those days and improves my level of resiliency.  That's the cycle of our life.  Choose that cycle wisely!  Blessings to you on this fascinating journey.  To read more about happiness look for Live Happy and find positive in your relationships, at your job, and in your daily life.

Friday, August 1, 2014

One word: NERIUM and a picture that speaks a thousand words

Conquering fibromyalgia can be a tough thing to face every day, but one thing is for sure -- when I look good I feel better.  I have used Nerium for 3 weeks and I have seen remarkable results.  So this blog post is going to be short, because I'm going to let this picture tell the story about the power of Nerium AD, a revolutionary anti-aging skin care product.  The top photo is the before picture of me and the bottom photo is me after using Nerium for 3 weeks.  I'm 62 years young and I love Nerium!  I'll post more photos in the near future . . . Wow those close ups can be scary!!  To see more results from Nerium or to try the product go to

This is a close up added 8/10/14 both taken in the same light with no flash.

Taken 8/10/14 both with no flash.  Notice the change in the contour of my face.  Amazing!!