I’ve always been an ambitious person and I always pushed myself too hard and to the limit. I felt confident that I could overcome anything life through at me. Boy was I wrong!
After my father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in my early 20’s it was like a bomb going off and my world was thrown off its axis. Then a few years later I got sick with fibromyalgia. I no longer felt like I was in control of my life or my body. The loss of control over my own life was causing multiple panic attacks every day. I was in so much pain and felt like I hadn’t slept in over a year. My mind was chaotic and I couldn’t think straight. I was moody and couldn’t control my emotions. For the first time in my life I was written up at work for my declining performance. As a perfectionist I felt like a complete and utter failure. My life was spinning out of control and I couldn’t find anything to hold onto.
I was at the mercy of doctors who would not believe me when I said I was in horrible pain and could barely get out of bed. I tried every medication on the market trying to feel better, like my old self. Nothing worked and the doctors said they could no longer help me. This was now my life and I just had to get used to living this way. I eventually lost my job after my employer couldn’t accommodate me anymore. I hit rock bottom. I was fortunate to have my mother’s financial support, but I felt like I had nothing to live for.
I would sleep 12-16 hours a day, I couldn’t hardly clean my house, I lost most of my friends, I barely left my home, I was too tired to cook so I ate junk food, I gained a ton of weight, and my life lost its meaning. Hope also walked out the door and I was alone. I stayed in this hopeless bubble for quite a while. Everything I tried to do was too overwhelming and I’d have another panic attack. I contemplated suicide, but then what would happen to my cats? My cats are my furry kids and my emotional support animals. If I died there was no one to care for them. I decided that if I wasn’t going to die, then I needed to try to live again.
I moved to Dallas, Texas. I thought a new environment would do me good. It turned out I chose the wrong location. For being the friendly state they sure weren’t friendly toward people with disabilities. I found it extremely difficult to make friends and the doctor’s weren’t any help. I fell into a deep depression yet again. After 6 months I’d had enough and decided to move to Portland, Oregon. My sister lived there with her family and promised to help be a support for me. It was the best decision of my life.
I read Tami Stackelhouse’s book ‘Take Back Your Life: Finding hope and freedom from fibromyalgia symptoms and pain’ and it helped restore my hope and changed my mindset on my body and my illness. If she could get better, so could I. I also read Dr. Ginevra Liptan’s book ‘The Fibro Manual: A complete fibromyalgia treatment guide for you and your doctor’ and realized that her clinic The Frida Center for Fibromyalgia was in Portland! One of the top fibromyalgia specialists was right in my backyard! What luck!
I decided to not be a victim anymore. I was going to fight back and take my life back. I agreed with Tami that a shotgun approach was the best way to tackle this illness. I made a spreadsheet of all the treatments, testing, and doctors I wanted to see. I estimated the cost for 6 months and sent it to my mother for financial approval. She said yes and I dove into my plan. I went to the Frida Center and finally got the testing I needed. It came back with a ton of things wrong with my body. Something normal MD’s had overlooked all these years. I finally had validation for feeling so sick for so long. Adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, MTHFR gene mutation, low DHEA production, and a ton of delayed reaction allergies just to name a few. I immediately started following her protocols and taking supplements and medications. I started myofascial release treatments which helped my body pain. I started seeing a fibromyalgia advisor to help me make lifestyle changes and be a part of my support system. I started to see a naturopath that specializes in thyroid disorders and has uncovered additional things going wrong with my body that I’m now being treated for. Getting well has been my full time job lately, but my energy level increased and my pain level decreased within just a few months. It was a miracle!
I was determined to share this life changing approach with others who were suffering and decided to become a fibromyalgia coach. I was actually feeling well enough to do not only the fibromyalgia coaching program, but also a second program to be an integrative wellness and life coach. I learned a lot from these two programs and was able to apply what I learned to my own life. Since starting my quest for wellness in June 2016 I have improved my quality of life at least 60-80%, if not more. I have become active in my local fibromyalgia and chronic pain support group and a social meditation group. I eat dinner at my sister’s house once a week and spend time with my nephew. I’m starting to make new friends and actually hang out with them. I have even started dating again. I eat healthy, I joined an online exercise program for people with fibromyalgia called Zero to Hero, and I’m losing weight. And I have started my very own business being a fibromyalgia & integrative wellness and life coach! So many positive changes in such a short amount of time! All it took was reading two amazing books, writing up a plan, following the plan, and getting support from my family and my fibromyalgia advisor. If I can do it, you can do it.
I spoke with my best friend today and she said that I had really taken life by horns this year. I think that is spot on. Having an incurable illness can strip away a lot of the control you have over your own life. If you are passive or not fully committing yourself to getting better it will continue to win, keep jerking you around and sucking you dry. You’re well being is worth committing yourself to getting well by taking the bull (fibromyalgia) by the horns. It takes an aggressive plan of action and strong support system to win back control of your life, but you CAN do it.
Not sure where to start or need extra support? That’s what I’m here for. I’ve done this successfully so I know you can too. We can come up with a plan together and I will support you every step of the way. Sign up for a free consultation to get started on the path to wellness.