How to contact me

If you have anything to say,

This is where you will find you how to reach me. Anyone with any questions, complaints or just want to start a dialogue with me may email me at,

elyse@naturallyfibro.com Let me introduce myself

I am looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you for the time you have spent to contact me.

 

5 side effects I was feeling with clutter

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Relief is what I feel

I can feel a difference in my physical self as well as in my emotional self when I enter my closet/office now. Even though the job of organizing is not completed yet the decluttering job is done. No more miscellaneous objects from my children are on my closet floor. No more electrical cords from various devices lay on the floor for me to step on. I’m telling you it was getting crazy. All of that extra mess caused me a lot of stress and all together unhappiness throughout my day. Due to the storage for so many things being in my closet, I enter my closet several times a day.

So when you read an article about decluttering being good for you because clutter can have many negative side effects on our health, believe it. If you even get Fibro Fog just by looking at a messy counter or floor, it may be time to go ahead and put everything away. Living in clutter is something I have done for a very long time. Especially since I have had Fibromyalgia. I know the pain and exhaustion have kept me down. Because of those side effects I know I have not stood up and taken care of the mess around me. It is very hard to get the energy and non-pain days to take care of what you have to let alone what you would like to take care of.

My Fibro Tool for Decluttering

If you are ever able to have a day without a Fibro Flare please do yourself a favor and clean up the clutter. Sometimes I use a reacher grabber. Who in the world wants to use their spoons to bend down and grab things off of the ground when you don’t have to. I am telling you this tool has helped me out so many times. My kids like to leave laundry on the floor and under their bed. I am not bending down to get that stuff. Not only does it take extra everything I have but then I also have to move my fingers when they are stiff or swollen. Heck no!! The reacher grabber comes to my rescue every time.

My favorite "Fibro Tool" for cleaning

The reacher grabber as shopping internet companies call them, has been my favorite “fibro tool”, do you have a favorite fibro tool? Any ideas to help us in our daily lives should be left in the comment section so all of us can find the relief you have found with something.

I am so excited about the positive feeling I get while in my newly decluttered space that I am wanting to go throughout my house and declutter other rooms. I know my fibro won’t allow me to tackle the whole house today but decluttering one room a day, on my good days, shouldn’t be too hard on me, right?

While decluttering I also have the urge to get online and buy every container possible for every little mess. If only I had the money for all of that. See I have this problem of wanting to buy everything I need for projects all at the time that I am inspired to do the project or the project just does not get finished. I have been disorganized for years and I have always wanted to organize the mess but I never remember to get everything I need for that project because I lose my fire for wanting to complete it. I’m not alone in this problem of mine, am I?

When Fibromyalgia takes over our bodies it also can take over our minds. I know many of you do not want to give everything up to Fibro, which is why we must try every little thing out there. SOmethings that help people without medical problems can also help us. We are still human after all and just because others are not suffering from Fibromyalgia does not mean they can’t help us in one way or another.

5 side effects of clutter

A post from the HuffingtonPost says clutter can affect you in many ways and the ways it affected me were/are:

  1. Stress, yes that is a big one for me. Clutter means I can’t find things right away or that certain thing isn’t in the place it is supposed to be. Plus sitting around clutter adds to my discomfort which leads to stress because I sit there during a flare and just think of how much I want to clean that mess up.
  2. Clutter wrecks your diet, I would also have to agree with this statement. I know I eat a lot more snacks on the unhealthy side when my house is a mess because my mind is a mess and I am stressed about everything around me.
  3. Clutter threatens your safety. Yes, but in my case, it isn’t a fire hazard in front of my door or windows. It is the clutter on the floor I step on or trip over.
  4. Clutter upsets your kids, I know for one of my children this is very true with certain objects. There are some things, like bookshelves that my son just cannot stand to see unorganized.
  5. Clutter makes you miss work. That has been happening to me. The clutter of my life has made me not want to write lately.

Five out of twelve negative side effects may not seem bad to some but for me, it does not feel good to have these side effects of clutter in my life. Those are side effects I would rather live without. I am sure you wouldn’t want the clutter in your home to add to your stress either, we have enough stress with fibro. Stress has also been linked to causing a fibro flare for us. So anything to do with stress we must stay away from.

I am grateful I took the time to declutter my closet/office. After feeling these positive feelings about my decluttered space I am getting ideas on what else I can declutter throughout my home. My next project is going to be my laundry room because I know I have not been happy to be in that room for a couple of weeks now.

Every little thing we do can affect us and our fibro. Keep moving towards your inner happy place.

Living with Clutter

Clutter affects fibromyalgia.

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My house is a clutter mess

For people without medical problems clutter can add to the stress of their daily lives. Then you become someone with Fibromyalgia and you know for sure, having clutter around you definitely affects you negatively.
I walk around my house with children asking me where is this toy or shoe or coat. I look around at all the mess around my house and the stress and Fibro Fog start creeping up on me. I also start feeling exhaustion and discomfort which leads to pain. Every time I declutter my house, car or purse I realize life is better without the clutter. Although with Fibro it may take more effort and a longer period of time to clean anything. So to make me feel better about one of my favorite rooms, my closet, I started an experiment today, and this is how it went for me.

I went on an adventure today, I started the process of reorganizing my closet per my husband’s request from several months ago and my desire to like my closet again.

How the mess began

To let you in on why my closet became so disheveled I will let you know, we keep things hidden from our children in our closet. From one child we have to keep extra food out of his reach because he has a fixation on food. Our same child also has a fixation on crafts so we have a cabinet for all of his crafts in our closet.

Our closet is also where our family computer is because another child has a fixation for always being on the computer if he can see it. So that means I also do work in my closet. (No, we are not rich our home is built for those with handicaps so the master bedroom, bathroom, and closet are quite large so a wheelchair can easily maneuver around.) So everything we hide from our children is in our closet plus the clothes I have started buying due to my desire for a new wardrobe has added to an already busy closet.

Since I am going from jeans and a T-shirt as my daily wear, to what I call girly clothes, my closet is getting a little messy. The girly clothes require more accessories and additions to outfits but dressing girly does make me feel good. I have also found that dressing girly is also gentle on my body. I do not buy anything tight or rough on my skin so I do have fewer fibro flares from the new way I dress.

The big accomplishment

Today I was able to straighten up all of the clutter in my bedroom plus the floor of my closet. I have some of those plastic containers with three drawers to put things in but I would really like something nicer to look at. There is still some work to be done but I need to buy more organizational tools to help me with the rest of the closet.

No matter how tidy I make a pile of sweater dresses the pile always becomes a mess and I am very tired of that. I really need help with organization, I have no clue how to organize my house and I think that started when I was a child. My mother is very tidy but I have no idea how to keep my house as tidy as my mother did when I was a child. My three kids are quite a bit messier in the whole house than I remember being.

I have always been this way

As a child, I did have a very messy room. My mother would permit my mess as long as I had a clean trail from my bed to the door. Luckily she did just realize this was one thing about me that would be easier for all involved if my room just stayed a disaster.

When I was older the messiness of my room went down to such a degree that the trail was now a trail of clothes on my floor and the rest of the floor was clean. Mainly I think the mess went down because I had less stuff to clutter my room up with.

Then as a young adult, my house was mostly clutter free. I didn’t have much to clutter my house up with at that time either. To make this story shorter I will go ahead and tell you, I have never been a clutter-free person. I do enjoy organization but I have never understood how to organize things all that well.

My family never had more things in our house that we had a place to keep it and that storage was almost always provided to us by the house. So I didn’t see many containers or shelves around.

In my later teenage years were spent living in different classes of RV’s. If you have ever seen the inside of an RV you know there are tons of storage compartments and there is not any room for anything extra.
As an adult with three kids, I have clutter somewhere in my house every day. No matter how much organizing I do I am always finding things through my house from the kids.

Help me…

Clutter affects fibromyalgia.

Adam (my husband) and I were just talking about how much we cannot wait until our children are a little more independent with their daily routines like getting ready for bed. After spending most of my time picking up the kids clutter after they go to bed or reorganizing my room because of the various things I have to hide in it from the kids, I am saying I want them to start putting things away more than anything else.

I know no other way to organize my house than by buying different containers or shelving. I need ideas on how to organize my house in a comforting and maybe even an eye-catching way. I want the negative side effects of clutter to go away but in all truth, I have clutter everywhere I turn. I consider a few papers on my counter to count as clutter. I need to become an A-type personality and completely organize everything!

I look at other blogs for organization ideas but so many ideas look complicated or expensive. What I really need is a magical fairy to come into my house and take care of all the mess and find a fantastic way to organize my house that I will love the look of. Could you imagine also always knowing where everything is? Maybe one day my kids will stop askin

g me where things are if everyone would just put things back where they got them. My mother used to say that all the time.

The reward,

Besides me liking the space better due to de-cluttering, Adam came into the bedroom and closet and noticed right away that I did something! Don’t you just love it when you do something and someone else notices without you saying a word about it?

Medication before paperwork

For anyone who has seen my social media posts last week, you have heard about the issue I am writing about.

My recent experience

Last week I went to the Doctor’s office to have some paperwork filled out. This Doctor was completely new to me so her need to look at my medical records before she filled out the paperwork made sense. However, Doctors continuingly to ask me am I sure I don’t want them to prescribe me pain killers or muscle relaxers. So, it is ok for them to take my word when I say I have Fibromyalgia so I can receive painkillers but they won’t fill out paperwork without seeing my medical records. That seems a little backward to me.

I even brought in the packet that was filled out by a previous doctor so this new Doctor would be able to see how to fill everything out. The previous Doctor was a military Doctor and this new Doctor is a civilian Doctor so the military office wanted to make sure she would know how to fill it out the way they wanted it. Even though the previously filled out packet listed all the diagnosis I was telling her, she still questioned the fact that I even have Fibromyalgia.

Past experience

As many other Fibromyalgia patients, I have seen many, many doctors over the years. I have met the ones who believe and the ones who do not believe in Fibromyalgia is a real diagnosis. The continuation of being questioned and sent to various specialists for many different reasons, none of the Doctors have proven that I do not have Fibro.

So my frustration here is based on the fact that Doctors will prescribe me medications for my pain but some of them will not believe me nor my medical records when we are both telling them the same things. I have Fibromyalgia! Who would want this illness? And when we are having a problem with addiction to prescription pills in society, I really want to know, why would a Doctor take my word that I have Fibro and write me a prescription?

Why are my choices not good enough?

Also, when I tell them I use natural remedies why do Doctors still try to push prescriptions? Why is it that my natural remedies are not enough for them to believe I have found something that works for me? To also add, with the addiction to prescriptions, why wouldn’t a Doctor be happy that this one patient is not one for them to worry about abusing prescription drugs?

I want to start questioning Doctors even more. I wish they would join a Facebook Fibromyalgia Support Group I am a member of. If they just joined to be a fly on the wall, they would see how many of us have shown an improvement in our lives by living naturally and eliminating certain foods from our diets. There are still members of this group who like to use the prescriptions to help them feel better at times. Either way you choose to take care of yourself is just fine. It is nice to see people support one another in each one of our individual choices of personal care.

In the end, all of us just want to be able to live life, away from our chairs or beds. My body likes the way I have chosen to take care of it. If my body did not like the way I take care of it then my body would tell me with continuous pain as well as the other endless amounts of side effects Fibromyalgia causes.

As long as we all feel better and are able to live then why do Doctors try to make us feel less than if we do not use prescriptions to help us live life? In all this time as a Fibromyalgia patient, I have met very few doctors who do not try to make me feel wrong about my choice of personal care. I wish all the doctors would listen to us more and actually hear what we are saying.

Why the frustration

And if it is that easy for me to walk in and say I have all these medical conditions and the doctors are more willing to give me a prescription than to fill out paperwork, what is this world coming to? Because the doctor is right I could be anyone just saying I have this painful medical condition and most doctors I have met would gladly give me pills before they read my medical history. This makes me sad on many accounts. My eldest son will have to go to doctors offices without me one day and although he does not have Fibromyalgia, he does have ADHD which many doctors have given him medications, I did not truly understand at the time he was given them. Now I know not to trust everything a doctor says.

I know there are many good doctors out there, I however just have not had the privilege of being their patient. I am not trying to bash doctors as a whole, I am questioning the majority of the doctors I have been a patient of. My own family history has drug and alcohol addiction in it, which is information I put on the paperwork I fill out at the beginning of my appointment with each doctor. If doctors are reading this paperwork, wouldn’t they want to warn me of the possibilities of me becoming addicted to these medications? Not one doctor ever has. Which is why I started taking them at the beginning of my life with Fibromyalgia. I trusted doctors, why wouldn’t I? I was never told anything negative about doctors nor did I see that many doctors before Fibromyalgia became part of my life, so I had no idea that I should question anything they were telling me.

At this time I am thinking, doctors need to be more vigilant. I wait in the patient rooms for quite a while, why hasn’t the doctor at least skimmed over the paperwork I filled out? Prescribing me medications with a family history of addiction could be very horrific for me and my husband and children. We are all trusting doctors to take care of us when we see them. But are they really taking care of each individual patient or just focusing on the mass majority?

A Husbands Perspective

Fibromyalgia changes everyones life around you.

                 In the Beginning         

Perspective is a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. As Elyse has navigated through her fibromyalgia journey, we’ve had our ups and downs, we’ve learned a lot and she eventually was able to come to a place where she can manage her fibro and function as a wife, a mother, and as the matriarch of our household. Every day she is in some degree of pain, experiences some degree of brain fog, easily exhausted, and easy to irritate, BUT she is able (most of the time) to find a way to get through most days just fine. I’ve adapted as a husband and we’ve adapted as a family. But it wasn’t always this way, it’s taken a long time. It wasn’t easy – it’s been a long hard road. My perspective has changed, rather, evolved over the years.

 

Befoer Fibromyalgia my life was different
Us before Fibromyalgia

The first time I realized that something was wrong with Elyse was when she was pregnant with our third child. The first time in my life where I felt powerless and helpless. I never felt so scared and weak. I don’t remember when EXACTLY during the pregnancy that it started but around the first trimester she started experiencing indescribable pain. I don’t believe it started off immensely severe, but indescribable in that she couldn’t describe exactly what kind of pain it was. It escalated and grew to the point where she would just lay in bed and cry because the pain was so bad. From my perspective, this was the scariest part. I didn’t know what was going on. None of the doctors we went to knew what was going on. I didn’t know if or in what way this was affecting the baby. I didn’t know if she (the baby) was in immense pain also. And it wasn’t just pain; the difficult part was that she experienced a multitude of different issues during this pregnancy, we and the doctors couldn’t figure out what could be attributed to the pregnancy and what (if any) was due to the pregnancy. There are the obvious ones such as fatigue, irritability, moodiness, that we attributed to the pregnancy. But the brain fog, the heart palpitations, the extreme lethargy, and most certainly the pain – nobody knew what was going on.

 

Fibromyalgia changed my life too

        I tried to be a supportive husband and partner, tried to be there for her and support her. I was fortunate that I was working at a job that was very flexible. I was able to take time off when I needed to be home with Elyse. Most times it was spur of the moment – I’d wake up, take a shower, get dressed for work and then have to make a decision to call in or not based on how Elyse was feeling. However, it got to the point where I’d be able to tell the night before if the next day was going to be a rough one for her and I’d call in that night. I’m very grateful for having the opportunity to do that. If I didn’t have that flexibility I can’t imagine any other way I’d be able to take care of Elyse and our other two boys. From my perspective though, there were some days I’d (selfishly) rather go to work than stay home and take care of everyone. The household was stressful, chaotic, and full of tension. Going to work was my “getaway”. Our two boys were a handful (still are) and I didn’t really know how to take care of Elyse and the baby. I’d try, but a lot of the time it’d be the wrong thing, or not what she wanted, or done in the wrong way. It was a lot and in hindsight, I could have been better. I attribute a lot of it to just not knowing.

        Fibromyalgia changes everyones life around you.During that time, I had to become responsible for a lot more than I ever had to do before. I had to balance work, kids, and a sick pregnant wife. Things around the house backed up; laundry, dishes, cleaning, food, etc. The two boys (ages 2 and 7) still needed a lot of attention. Elyse needed a lot from me. It wasn’t easy, and I didn’t always want to do it. I know there are “super moms/dads” out there, I’m not one of them. But, I’ve learned from that and I’ve grown since then. Elyse is a strong and determined woman, she’s endured a lot and I admire how much she has grown.

 

If you are looking for information on having fibromyalgia and being pregnant please follow the link in the second paragraph under when she was pregnant Melissa with melissavsfibromyalgia.com is a great resource. 

An additional side effect for those of us with Fibromyalgia

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I have found a new side effect

Since April this year, I have noticed a new problem in my life. There has never been a time when I would do this to the point I am at now. A little view into my life, I have three children, one special needs and another being seen for behavioral problems so home life can be stressful. Other than that and my medical problems life is great, yet I still feel unhappy about something. 

The new negative addition to my life I am talking about is emotional eating. We have all eaten for comfort, (I have never met anyone who hasn’t eaten comfort food) this new way I have noticed myself eating is awful. I do not just have a special treat during PMS or some other emotional day. With Fibromyalgia, you know we have a lot more emotional days than ever before. I am eating for no reason at all and when I do eat I have to eat past the point of being full. This is something completely new to me. 

For anyone to constantly eat until they are full, plus more is unhealthy. I have always paid attention to not overeating. Once I start feeling full I stop because I know my stomach will be even fuller in a little bit, so why push it? I wish I knew why I am doing this to myself. I need to end it but I feel as if I do not know how since I have no idea how or why it started. 

I am still Vegan, so I do not eat any unnatural foods. I can overeat on a yummy salad just as much as I can on anything else I make. I eat this way with everything eat, except for when I eat breakfast. I just realized breakfast is either very light or I stick with the proper portions. I wonder if it is just later in the day the stress for one reason or another has become too much for me.

Some possibilities as to why

The weather is getting warmer outside, I am in the NW of Washington State so the heat is a lot for me to deal with unlike other parts of the world. I say that because when I have lived in areas where it is warmer year round, the summer wasn’t so much for me to deal with as it is here. This is the only time of year it is warm here. I have had more consistent fibro flares this season than I have had in many years. 

Lately, there was a disconnect in my marriage but we have fixed that. This problem may take some talking to someone about, in order to fix it. Or maybe as easily as it came into my life it will leave. If you have had this problem and fixed it, I would love to know how. Please leave a comment below the post. I would appreciate your insight very much. I am sure there are others of us who would be as excited as I am to fix this problem. 

Helpful Resources

There are many resources for us to turn to but hearing from someone who has been through it would be amazing. Some of the resources are classes, many classes can be offered at a local college. As well as many online classes. There are even seminars if you enjoy those types of events. 

Another way to find out some possibilities on why we participate in emotional eating is books. Self-discovery is a great way many of us choose to try and fix things about ourselves. There is also the option of joining a support or therapy group. Others may think their time would be better spent going to therapy for this problem. 

I have not yet chosen how to tackle my emotional eating problem. Personally, I will probably lean towards talking it out. Having another person help you find out what triggered the negative behavior gives me a better chance of getting it right sooner rather than later. Besides when a book describes certain reasons why you may be doing something some of us do not realize we have the problems the book is talking about and in turn will not be able to fix our problem. 

Some of the books on Amazon would be a great choice to start. 

It is always very nice when you get to find what you are looking for quickly and for less. 

Here is a list of some helpful websites you can read right now.

  1. Dr. Axe tells you the difference between mindful eating and emotional eating.
  2. Psychology of eating has 50 helpful websites for you to discover.
  3. livingstrong.com has 10 ways to break up with emotional eating.

Let me know if you find anything helpful. I need all the help I can get!

 

 

 

 

 

Why and how do you deal with it?

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How scary my first diagnosis was

At first, I was told I had a muscle disease. How scary that was for me, I cannot put into words. I had three young children including a baby girl I wouldn’t be there for. All of the milestones I would miss, that thought brought tears to my eyes and broke my heart. Then the thought of the memories my children would have of me would be sick. Needing help to do everything and eventually leaving them. I started setting up other women who could be like a mother to them. Asking family members to help with certain things I wanted them to know.

What it feels like to have fibromyalgia

So when I was told I actually have Fibromyalgia, I was relieved, to say the least. I knew it meant a lifetime of pain. How much and to what degree I did not know. Then you have the additional side effects, the ones no one tells you about.
The muscle pain is one thing but then you add the exhaustion, eyesight issues, migraines, sleeplessness, brain fog, nerve pain, joint pain, dizziness, active labor pains, and countless others. The list of side effects created by Fibromyalgia is truly endless. We are finding out new things about our personal FIbromyalgia every day. No two cases of Fibromyalgia are alike, something that helps me may not help you. The amount, degree or type of side effects are also all different.
Then you add in all the people, including most Doctors, who do not understand anything about Fibromyalgia. Which is understandable in some ways. Look at all of us having different side effects to different degrees and this medical problem is very confusing for anyone, including those of us who actually live with Fibromyalgia every day.

I have heard many comments from people with Fibromyalgia about their families leaving them behind. Can you imagine going through something that can keep you out of daily activities with others and then they leave you because of that? Many people have said that their family believes they are faking. Anyone who is of sane mind would not want to fake this illness. I am sure there are some people out there trying to use our illness to gain disability, they probably think it will be easy because Fibromyalgia is hard to detect visibly. But for those of us who are not lying, we all know we are telling the truth about our pain and daily difficulties. There are times when we just cannot get out of bed. Then you have the other days when it hurts to live our arms so we can brush our hair. My husband has had to wash my hair for me several times over the years. I am blessed to have that help.

coming together to unite fibro warriors

The yo-yo effect of fibromyalgia

For most of us with Fibromyalgia, we have days when we can brush our hair and shower. Then we have what is called a flare-up or as some call it, a fibro flare and those are the days it is hard to get out of bed. For anyone who does not believe Fibromyalgia is real because we have some days better than others, you are wrong. We are in pain every single day of our lives. The only thing that makes certain days better than others is the degree of our pain is less on the better days. I have not been pain-free in seven years. There are many others who have had it much longer and most of us looking back can remember side effects earlier than when the daily pain started. But to us, it was normal because we had been dealing with the side effects mildly off and on for so long they felt normal.

Each day I find a way to live life, just like countless others I have talked to with Fibromyalgia. You just have to sometimes force yourself to smile (the fake smile we all know so well) and decide to be happy that day. With as much happiness as you can possibly muster This task may seem small but it is indeed a large accomplishment for us.

Why would you go around smiling all day when you have pain, brain fog or exhaustion hounding you? There are not many people who can achieve this great accomplishment. So just because someone you know who has Fibromyalgia is smiling that does not mean they are happy and everything is wonderful that day. It means they are trying to force their day into brightness.

How honest we should be

When most of us are asked how are we doing that day and we say good, it means, “At this moment my pain is manageable and I may be able to do something today.” Which is maybe a new way we should say it. Maybe if we said, “My pain is less right now but if you want to go out will you drive so I won’t have a flare-up?”

I would say this to the people who are a part of my understanding circle. Like my Husband or my Mother-in-Law. My own Mother and I would have to draw straws on who feels better than whom that day. We all need that circle of people we can trust. Those people who make us feel less abnormal than everyone else. We deserve just as much happiness as other do. Regardless of a visible illness or not. I am not less human because I have Fibromyalgia than you are. If we ended the judgment of others our whole world would be a better place to live. We need each other to build us when we fall and love us whether we are whole or chipped. Love is love, there is nothing better or greater than love.

My list of helpful favorites

As I go through life with Fibromyalgia I carry with me, my heating pad, melatonin (time release), GABA, light exercise and medicinal food. When I flare-up I choose to use a cleansing bath with Epsom Salt, Baking Soda,

My favorites for a fibro flare up.
My favorites for a fibro flare up.

and Lavender Oil. Plus I talk to people who know or at least try to understand what it is I am going through. These are the ways I have found that help me. What are some other ways you deal with your Fibromyalgia?

Please let us all know so maybe you can help someone else feel better today.

As always let me add, I am not a medical professional any advise or options expressed are not medical advice. These are my disclaimers.

Is your marriage in disconnect?

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Does any of this feel familiar?

     Do you feel as if your spouse is lost to you? Have you spent more time watching TV than watching and learning about your spouse? Do your responsibilities at work run into your personal time? Do you or your spouse feel less important to each other?


     Our daily lives can bring so much resistance to the prospect of us working on our marriages. Look at how busy every family is these days. It is no wonder how sometimes our relationships can become disconnected. But taking the time to change things is always very important for all of us.

These can take time from a marriage       In my marriage, we have the stress my husband’s job, our stressful and busy children, my medical problems, lack of sleep, the house, and lack of energy. To explain the stressful children, our eldest is Autistic with ADHD, and our middle child has been very explosive with his behavior. We moved into our new house in March and things have been very hard for him ever since.

What is easy is not always best

        All of us go through a lot of activity and pressure every day, so how do you find time to connect with your spouse? Zoning out in front of a screen is very relaxing and easy. Trying to do anything besides relax after the kids have gone to bed seems like too much to ask of us. Those of us with young children are exhausted and ready for bed before the kids have gone to bed. We are the ones ready for that 8 o’clock bedtime. Or how about even 7 o’clock? That would be a great day!

What happens to a marriage when it is not taken care of

         So now we have a marriage where we no longer feel that true and pure connection. We no longer know very much about the person we share our life with. When you come to that crossroad it can feel unnatural or help you develop insecurity. Knowing where your spouse is in the marriage, and with you, is of the utmost importance.
         How can you work on something when you do not quite know what the problem is or if your spouse even wants to work on things with you? Very simply, love yourself and your marriage enough to speak up. Talk to your spouse about everything that is bothering you. If you cannot be open and vulnerable with the one you share your life with, then that is a bigger issue that must be worked on.

What will your change bring?

          If you get out a piece of paper and titled it, “Why we may not find the time to work on us” what would be on your list? Do you have money concerns, medical problems, no sitter for the children, are you two no longer getting along?                                                                           There are many different objects that can stand in our way of a well cared for marriage. But if you want to work on your marriage then start the work one way or another. If your spouse is so unhappy that they are unwilling to work with you then you do what work you can by yourself.                                                                                                      There are many books out there with marriage help ideas you can do all on your own. If the book idea does not suit you then maybe a relationship coach? We owe it to ourselves to be happy, content and loved. No one is going to do these things for us, we must first show ourselves how valuable we are. 
            Showing myself value is something I have been hearing a lot of lately. In messages, both verbal and written, these make me think about the younger me. I used to let others talk down my value. Letting people say anything to me and I might wonder, “am I really unlovable?”. I now know that I am not unlovable and have known that for many years. But when I did wonder if I was loveable, my life showed it. I had many problems with situations in my life and none of it made me happy. Now I live a different life and wish for you to know you deserve more than feeling less than.

How we have decided to help us

           This week, with both my husband and I feeling a disconnect we decided to challenge ourselves to give our marriage the most focus we could. Our goal was to change our feeling of disconnect. The feeling of disconnect was brought up by me. But my husband is participating none the less. Happy wife = Happy life.
For the challenge, we decided on two hours at night after the kids have gone to bed. (We both get up at 5 o’clock in the morning so staying up late is not great for us.) We are planning for all seven days of the week to be of use for our challenge. Next Monday is our start date. Starting on the day that starts off the work week just makes it feel more official.

        Our marriage challenge plan  

        On Monday we are challenging ourselves to no TV and conversation. Guidelines on topics for conversations have not been limited because when I limit myself it feels as if the conversation cannot grow organically. Therefore I feel as if there is something fake in the conversation. I found out this issue for myself when we were at a marriage retreat for a weekend. When we were told to tell our spouse three things we thought they did well I did not feel accepting of any of it. I like for my husband to tell me things as he is feeling them, not on the spot. And for me, I felt forced to say something and nothing great was coming to mind. He had been home for a month since his last deployment and we had not found our rhythm yet.
          Tuesday we are planning on no TV and painting some bedroom decorations we have in a closet to surprise our kids. We took the option of doing an activity we already have around the house rather than buy something new. Which are many things but we chose to paint. Painting is relaxing and can brew up a small conversation.
          Wednesday is movie night. We have a movie we bought just waiting for us to watch it. The rule for that one is, we have to watch it in our bedroom. Nicely stretched out and relaxed together on our bed.
          Thursday is game night, we will pick a card or board game from our hall closet and enjoy ourselves. Mostly we enjoy card games because of the connection we seem to receive while playing. Board games can get more rambunctious and silly fun. Both options have great attributes for us.
          Friday we have Date Night!!!! Who doesn’t love a great night out with your loved one? What we are going to do is still unclear but it will probably be something we have done many times before. My husband and I were born older than our ages and we enjoy that fact about us.
          Saturday just happens to be a day we have Baseball tickets for so that day will be amazing for us. There is just something great and relaxing about being outside watching a game. A good back of fresh roasted peanuts and the one you love next to you. Can life get any better than that?
          Sunday we are looking at reading the same book and having a discussion about it. Nothing to fancy is on our list because it is that time of the month when money is getting tighter. If the Baseball tickets were not purchased last month we would not be doing that. So no reason to think that reconnecting takes a lot of money, it just takes time and the desire. 

What are your challenge ideas?

          What will you do for the challenge?What would you include in your activity list for you and your spouse to reconnect? If you have Fibromyalgia, did it keep you from completing your challenge in a week?

 

Socializing with Fibromyalgia

Impossible to socialize

The reasons we can feel as if we can not socialize can be an overwhelming amount. I have to bring this for comfort, I can’t eat that, not drinking alcohol, exhaustion, fibro fog. The list can go on and on. However, the problems with us socializing do not lay all on us. We have to change the way we do everything during our daily struggle with Fibromyalgia. Which would also include socializing. Yet many people who do not have Fibromyalgia do not seem to be able to believe our problems are real. Just because Fibromyalgia is not visible to the naked eye, does not mean we are lying.

One possible way to help

Unless it is an event that is a milestone marker, (wedding, anniversary dinner, baptism, birth, funeral, etc.) I stay at home. Kids birthday parties are not on my list of must do’s. Every year we have a small family affair for our kids. Sometimes they will get a party with other kids but the number of kids is very small. We will usually limit it to the kids by our house. It is a bonus for us as well since we know the parents. (A very easy way to socialize is to get to know a neighbor.) We do not do it this way because I dislike children but because all the noise and activity is too much stimulation for people with Fibromyalgia.

How I get through the social issues

Through this whole struggle, I have never cared if anyone accepted my illness, as long as they respected it and my limitations. Getting into a debate on whether or not it is real has never happened to me. (Not including Doctors, I have debated with them.) Through support groups I have found out not having to defend yourself is not normal, which is horrible. Let me apologize for all of the mistreatment you have received from anyone because of your Fibromyalgia.

I am very lucky in this way I do know. My own family has multiple people with Fibromyalgia so no one in my family has ever said my illness is not real. My husband’s parents have both been very accepting of everything. They listen to me and try very hard to be very accommodating. This next year we will be moving across the country closer to my husbands family and my Mother-in-Law has already agreed to throw our seven-year-olds birthday party.

She is great at throwing parties for the kids so when I know we will be with her sometime close to one of our kids birthdays I let her have her fun and invite everyone she knows. All of my In-laws on the east coast have been very accepting of all the limitations I have. They ask me questions just so they can make sure I have things to eat or that I am comfortable.

What we can do for us

Due to the way Fibromyalgia sufferers have been treated by some, we all need to ban together and meet one another in person, even when we aren’t feeling our best. Because we all need people who underLets come together to socialize in person.stand and care. There are many places we can look for this opportunity at meetups.com and groups on Facebook. I myself have started a group in my local area. Posting things on Facebook is all well and good but that old fashioned face to face communication is the best!

Who wouldn’t love to meet at a coffee shop and get to know someone? Have someone to get manicures with, who understands why you called them last minute to schedule. Create a book club who all understands why you did not read what you all agreed on to discuss this week. I wrote a post about taking care of yourself that just might help you with ideas on what to do and maybe even find new friends.

Why should we feel all alone? Especially on our really hard days. Many of us have friends who have left us. We need to start a movement of action, meet the people you need to start feeling better about the way things are.  

All of us are capable of more than what we think we are capable of. Don’t keep yourself down with self-doubt or thinking you can’t do something just because you have fibro. Keep trying, even when it hurts. If we all came together to push each other to live, all of our lives might be easier to live.

Life can be an amazing adventure but it is nothing if we feel as if we are stuck in a chair or our bed. Sitting and laying around is not living, at least not for me. I want more out of life than seeing the same walls, tv shows and faces. I start to feel like I am in a prison when I do nothing but stay home with my pain. I have noticed that going outside helps me, being active in any way helps me feel better and be better. 

I am going to start a socializing pledge. I am going to become parts of groups that go out or have gatherings of different sorts. As well as engage with someone one on one once a month. The one on one time will be in addition to the gatherings with groups. 

Last week I was invited to a potluck lunch. I am very glad I said yes and stayed. I met several new acquaintances and one that I believe will turn into a friendship. 

What pledge are you willing to take for your socializing happiness? Make sure to leave your pledge in the comment section of this post. I am excited to read your pledges and also the outcomes of your pledges.

It has been said that people who exercise and socialize are actually happier and healthier, especially as they get older. So join me in making your life healthier by adding more friends to your life.