I needed an attitude adjustment after this last flare. I was becoming more and more discouraged, disgusted, and depressed because I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. And to be honest, change is hard for me all the time .. but when change is required due to something so totally out of my control, it makes me angry. I can't stand that there are piles of dirty dishes on the counter because I just don't have the energy to deal with them. I can't stand that there are mountains of laundry piling up all around the house. I miss going out with my friends. I am embarrassed when someone comes over and sees the dust bunnies rolling around the living room floor and they smell the litter box because it hasn't been changed for a couple of days and .. well .. everyone here probably gets the point.
so ... two things happened. 1) I realized that I needed to make some changes about how things get done around here. 2) i was aware that change is hard ... ESPECIALLY when it's forced on me. here is what has helped so far:
1) it seems that everyone i know has a suggestion about how what i put into my mouth can affect my FM. (try no wheat, no dairy, no alcohol, no soda, take a ton of vitamins, no caffeine, no processed sugar....) good LORD .. there went all my vices! lol. so ... instead of eliminating everything and feeling guilty about everything I eat, I decided to do baby steps. LESS caffeine, LESS processed sugar, ONE GOOD MULTI-VITAMIN for now ... that all seems way more manageable for me. So instead of filling my BIG coffee mug a couple times every morning, I got a pretty one that hold about 6 ounces ... and I allow myself one of those each morning. (When I totally cut it out the caffeine headaches alone made me crazy!!!)
2) I try to be 'green' .. so don't use paper plates, cups, plastic silverware, etc. HOWEVER ... the NEW GREEN in my kitchen was MOLD! ick. So, I bit the bullet, bought some paper plates, cups, etc and DO NOT BEAT MYSELF UP about throwing them away for now. Flares don't last forever ... I can be GREEN later, and I still recycle, turn off lights, do other things ... but for now, I have given myself permission to make more trash and be ok with it.
3) ASK FOR HELP, (and accept it). Oh boy .. that's a hard one for me!!! But guess what, my sons who are 14 & 12 are HAPPY to help. (And so is my five year old daughter, by the way!) And they are so trainable! So ... they now know how to wash towels, sheets, their own clothes, and rugs. It took me about 45 minutes to explain the whole thing, and now they are helping with the laundry. They know how to cook .. i taught them that years ago, but then got out of the habit of letting them help in the kitchen. Now they help more, and we get to spend time together while we make supper. OH MY GOSH! What a blessing. What a relief!!! As it turns out, people who know that I am hurting ALSO know that I have too much pride to admit that I need help ... so they stopped asking after being told "No, I can do it" so many times. So .. I asked my mom to make a dinner for me one night a week ... she was THRILLED to do it, we picked the busiest night of the week ... and now that is one less thing I have to worry about. NICE!!!
4) Rest when I can. seriously. I have been going to bed between 7 and 8 every night. which makes me feel awfully guilty .. i am missing my time with my family!!! but I need to sleep .... so I gave myself permission to rest when I can. That was a hard one too ... but I am feeling more restored and less grumpy. And i invited the kids to come into my room for a while before I zonk out ... we read and talk about the day, and then I fall asleep and they just kind of vanish. (Well, not the little one, she sleeps with me)
5) ACCEPT that this is REAL and it is NOT the end of the world. BOTH are hard for me to swallow. I am working on it. Being able to hear from real people on here, helps with both.
6) quit feeling sorry for myself! yes, this hurts. bad. yes, it makes me grumpy, and tired, and frustrated. however, I can still snuggle with my little girl and read books to her. I can still watch my sons play basketball or play their instruments. I can still do my job, and help to support my family. I can feed my dogs (even if I can't walk them anymore) and they are happy to sit with me no matter what kind of day I have had. i need to tap into my creative self and figure out ways to cope instead of cataloging all that has changed and all that is not the same. i CAN still be myself in this sore, tired body .... i think i had forgotten that!!
7) be realisitic in my goal setting. seriously, I do too much and I know it and honestly, I have always been a little proud of being the mom that can juggle 5 crazy, hectic schedules and keep things running smoothly and volunteer in classrooms and .. well .. you know .. be the bionic woman. I LOVED doing all those things. I LOVED the feeling of pulling it off WELL and having happy kids and a clean house and yummy meals. But that is not happening now. We eat "heat and eat" meals a lot, the house is a wreck, and I forget EVERYTHING. so ... i got a dry erase board and we all write down our schedules so I don't forget. I realized that 'heat and eat' stuff from the grocery store is pretty good ... and it's better than nothing ... and it's a LOT better than running myself into the ground ... so, I am thankful for pre-made foods and a working oven! :) I don't plan a months worth of activities that are so long I need a 15 minute interval planner anymore, I get up, evaluate how I feel, figure out what HAS to happen that day, and STICK TO THE PLAN. I am learning to not over do it, and sometimes that means that nothing on the list gets done, so I am learning to deligate too.
for the first time in a LONG time, I am looking at these changes as positive, pro-active steps to enhance my peace of mind and my health instead of feeling like "poor me, this stinks, i can't do anything like i want to and life is never going to be the same". I am climbing out of the depression the best I can, and trying really hard to remind myself every day that it's not the end of the world. It's just different. And I can CHOSE to change or resist it, but either way, it's coming. I prefer to try to embrace it on the days that I can, but I still give myself a little time each day to grieve if I need it. no more pity parties for me ... but the reality is, life is different .. and it's ok to miss hour long workouts and hikes in the mountains and being able to ride bikes with my kids ... of course I miss that stuff. but there are lots of things to be thankful for ... and if I don't appreciate them, they will go away too. and THAT will be MY fault, not the fibromyalgias!!!!