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Fibromyalgia is defined as a neurological disorder, which causes widespread musculoskeletal pain. It impacts the Central Nervous System, which impacts the body physically, emotionally, and mentally. According to research, fibromyalgia causes the brain to process pain/nerve signals differently. Fibromyalgia causes extreme fatigue, inconsistency in sleep patterns, fibro fog (loss of memory), and mood swings. The pain and symptoms range based upon the individual, but can be maintained with medicine, lifestyle changes, and holistic approaches. 

Prior to being diagnosed, I suffered sharp shooting pains throughout my body. I felt physically drained, irrational, and some days I could barely remember the sentence I was trying to complete. However, without a clue for what was happening, I just deemed it all as me being delusional. Trying to explain my pain to others made me feel even more delusional. Was I making this pain up? Was my mind playing tricks on me? The active part of my life slowly started to disappear. It wasn’t as easy to do things that I once did without a second thought. However, I wasn’t crazy, I was actually far from it. My body was experiencing the first signs of a neurological disorder. 

At the age of 23, I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia. After two years of suffering, I finally knew what was going on with my body.  My diagnosis changed the way I lived my life going forward. I had to create a plan for meeting my physical, emotional, and mental needs that would accommodate this disorder. Finding emotional and mental solutions came easily; it was a matter of changing the way I was thinking. I had to figure out my emotional triggers and find ways to reduce my stress. However, physically I was plagued with finding moderate activities to keep me moving. Here are some ways, I embarked on a journey to become a warrior versus a victim.

  1. Exercise, Exercise, EXERCISE. Physical pain, cramping, and stiffness are caused by a lack of inactivity or extensive activity. Consider alternative measures to meet the needs of your body. Set obtainable goals and remain consistent.
  2. Non-traditional Exercise. Research options that will allow you flexibility while still maintaining a physical health regimen. On my journey, I discovered that yoga and meditative exercises work best for me. They allow me to achieve my physical goals while meeting my emotional/spiritual well-being.
  3. Change your MINDSET. Don’t allow your diagnosis to determine your life. It’s understandable to feel bad initially, but don’t stay in that place. Accept it and find a way to make that diagnosis work for you. You’re still capable of achieving those goals, do not put restrictions on yourself. 

I didn’t want my diagnosis to be my endpoint; I refused to let my life slip away from a scientific term. I wanted to be more than a statistic on a piece of paper. Fibromyalgia wasn’t an end for me—it was a beginning. With research and a new mindset, I discovered various physical heath measures to improve my pain tolerance. Every disorder/illness can’t be seen; it’s always more to what the eye can see. I have fibromyalgia, but it doesn’t have me.