Sitting here on my bed, I can feel my body absorb the cold air after my warm shower. My skin is starting to dry and itch and hurt. Shane has opened the curtains to the window in our room and I’m thankful that the sunlight isn’t hitting me. If it were up to me, I would shut the curtains, even though we haven’t seen very many blue skies this winter like the one outside today. The light bothers my eyes and my brain. I’m trying to remember the last time I showered. Was it last Friday? No. The Wednesday before that, for Shane’s birthday? No, but I can picture myself with my hair down so it could not have been that long before I washed it. Tuesday Morning? I take out my phone to look at my calendar app. Did something happen that Tuesday that would force me to bathe? Oh yes, there it is. Tuesday December 10th. Ten days ago, I had an appointment with my Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. So, I’ve gone ten full days since my last shower. This would be astounding if it wasn’t so common. In reality, outside of my current comprehension, this may be the longest I’ve gone hiding my greasy hair and my body odors from my family and friends but there’s no way to know for sure. It’s not uncommon for me to go a week. What’s a few more days really?
The sunlight is getting closer to me.
Fibromyalgia. FIbro. FMS. The “F” word. My best friend has a name…
Sometimes I think the only faculty she graciously leaves to me are my words. My words that go beyond my body, beyond my heating blanket, beyond my room, and then she takes those too. This is the hardest time for me to love her. Because she is my jailer. My confidant. My abuser. My home. I have tried to hate her, but she always turns that hate back on me.
She gets me to accuse me, “I hate my skin.” I say, “I hate my brain. I hate my muscles. I hate my bones. I hate that I’m always tired and slow and foggy and angry. I hate my body. I hate myself.” But I have learned that she is nicer to me when I am nicer to her. I stop stressing and worrying about her next move, the next night she will keep me awake long after everyone else is asleep, the next day I won’t be able to get out of bed, the next person I yell at for touching me without permission. She is nicer to me when I forgive her of her transgressions.
There is no cure. She has inserted herself into my life and she is here to stay. But I am striving to see her for her true self. I ask her to show me her face and tell me her true name. She only whispers but I can make out her word, “Compassion.”
The suffering and pain and loneliness that she causes me, that never leaves me is felt and endured by millions of others around the world. To you, I want to say, “I’m sorry. I understand. You are not alone.”
Shane has left the room. I’m going to get up and close the curtains and turn off the light now.
To be continued…