Clawing my way back to any sort of quality of life presented a daily struggle. The initial relief of being given a diagnosis had long worn off as my body failed to respond effectively to any treatment. The more I researched the condition the less I understood. At that time there were very few of what I would consider reliable sources of information.
I had one friend I discovered with the same condition. She died, God Rest her kind and beautiful soul. Fibromyalgia was not the cause, (it is not terminal) but I believe in my heart of hearts if she hadn’t suffered with it, she would still be with us today. The Specialist’s words echoed back “It won’t kill you but the pain might!”
I had to stop expecting that I could live the life I had once taken for granted. I adopted a new attitude.I read Buddhist teachings on attachment, I learned to let go. As my physical abilities declined my spiritual beliefs began to grow. Belief in a Higher Power gave me strength to deal with the agony, frustration and disappointment. Prayer and meditation became as important as the medication.
I began to focus on what I could each day. I allowed myself to be sick, I stopped berating myself for spending time on the PlayStation – and felt vindicated when I saw a documentary showing how effective gaming was for distracting patients undergoing severe treatment, from their pain.
I picked up a pencil and returned to Art. Mentally it was one of the most difficult steps I found to take. It was as if I was accepting defeat in regard to carving the slate. I chose a picture of the Dalai Lama and line by line learned to hatch and crosshatch. It took me months of work, some days I could only manage 10 minutes but I found the Dalai Llama such a source of inspiration with his wisdom around suffering, I just kept going.
Thankfully I had no idea of what I was about to face into…