Sharing Our Stories of Fibromyalgia
by Cynthia Webber
Searching for accurate information about fibromyalgia on the Internet isn't always easy, yet there are many web sites that will provide either stories or links to sites that may help someone who has been recently diagnosed. Even those who haven't had a proper diagnosis, yet have been told that they have fibromyalgia since their doctor can't find anything else to relate their symptoms to, will find comfort in knowing that they aren't alone in their struggle to find answers.
Sometimes just reading another's fibromyalgia story can help us to feel that we aren't crazy or that our pain and fatigue is a psychological condition. Also, even those of us who have lived with this condition for years can find support and comfort in the reading of others' stories. As C. S. Lewis said, "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, What! You, too? I thought I was the only one."
I've made many online friends through my own personal web site, and have been blessed to have actually met some of them in person. At times, we may feel that we are totally alone in our pain and fatigue. However, when we can read another's story about their condition, and feel that someone else is going through the same things that we are, we feel better about ourselves.
I read several online journals written by people with fibromyalgia or other chronic conditions, and it helps me to not feel so alone at times. These people may be unknown to me, but their pain and discouragement is the same as mine. Their joys and triumphs also help me when I feel that no one really understands me.
I may be the writer of these articles, but I also live with fibromyalgia daily. I have flares, pain, and fatigue that keep me wandering back to bed on more days than I'd like. I don't have all the answers for fibromyalgia anymore than the researchers do, and at times I need to take a break from the questions from others. I also tend to be cautious with recommending a particular medication, treatment or supplement, since we all respond differently to such things. What may give me more good days than bad ones may not help someone else. However, taking the time to wander through others' web sites, follow links which sound helpful, and either sign a guestbook or e-mail the person can open the door to a new online friendship.
Recently I spent some time reading all of the sites devoted to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome and I not only could relate to the stories, but I found some good links and information.
It is amazing what a group of women can do to make a difference in the lives of others, and this group not only offers support for each other, but it helps many by having particular causes listed on separate pages. I encourage all to take some time to visit these sites and know that you are not alone in your daily struggles, and you just might meet a new friend along the way.
© Cynthia Webber
Cynthia Webber was a contributing editor to Suite101.com's Coping with Fibromyalgia site.