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Fear and Fibromyalgia ~ How To Overcome Fear’s Death Grip

Fear in chronic illness is normal.

Fear and fibromyalgia go together like Pam Poovey and bear claws (don’t worry if you don’t get the reference, it means you’re far more cultured than I am…and probably a better person).  Fear is a normal response when facing a possible lifetime of dealing with this ‘chronic’ condition.

Fear itself is not the problem. Everyone feels fear (except maybe for psychopaths…don’t be a psychopath). It is when fear is allowed to take control for a prolonged period of time that you begin to have issues. Our goal as Spoonies is to manage our condition to the best of our ability. When fear rules the day, symptoms intensify and add to an already difficult ‘life situation’.

'Fear' in itself is not the biggest issue. Fear in 'control' is where the problems begin... Click To Tweet

Please believe I am not trying to make light of your fear. I get afraid too. Fear can start a vicious cycle inside my mind and body that digs a hole so deep I feel like I’m losing my mind a little:

  • Fear that the ‘really bad pain’ will become the new ‘normal’, and I will have to live with it for the rest of my life~
  • Fear that my condition will worsen, and take its toll on my appearance (which as I rapidly approach 50, I would like to hang on to for as long as possible!)~
  • Fear I will develop even more serious, possibly fatal co-morbidities ~
  • Fear my most intimate relationship will suffer the consequences of chronic pain and illness even more than it already has….and the list goes on and on…

I can’t offer any guarantees. No one can. Life could get worse. Hell, it can always be worse! But you know what? Sometimes it doesn’t. In fact, my personal experience has taught me this: ‘Reality’ is never half as bad as the horrific places my imagination can take me.

'Reality' is never half as bad as the horrific places my imagination can take me... Click To Tweet

Fear and fibromyalgia ~ How to overcome fear's death grip.

Fear and Fibromyalgia ~ How To Overcome Fear’s Death Grip

  • It’s never as bad as I imagined: There are times when ‘the worse’ did happen, but most of the time it did not. And even when it did, I found my way through it to the other side, just as with every problem I’ve had to face.

  • The ‘what if’s’ are generally far worse than the ‘what is’: Try OH SO HARD not to let your mind seek out and explore all the horrible possibilities (a techinique I have mastered, my young ‘Padawan’…). Those scenarios will more than likely never be, and all you’ve done is waste your precious time & limited energies on ‘things of the imagination’.

  • Quit ’tilting at windmills‘: This has been a biggie for me lately. Don’t fight battles that aren’t real. So before going into ‘300’ mode, ask yourself: “Is this a real war I need to fight? Is this person/doctor/group ect. truly going to have the negative impact on my life I’m thinking they will? Or is this just another ‘mountain out of mole hills’ situation?”…Some things are worth fighting for, some are not, and some don’t even really exist.


Finally, stop trying so desperately to swim against the ‘current of hardships’. I have done this all my life. I have spent so much time and energy in controlling (or trying my damnedest to) situations to avoid: pain/trial/conflict. Guess what? Right behind the difficulty you just went through, is another one making its way down the pike.
I’m not saying I’m ‘making friends with my pain’, or some other nonsensical platitude. What I have decided to do, is ‘flow with the current’. Learning to relax on the journey. Knowing I am not alone. Giving and receiving courage from others who are experiencing the same trouble I am. Accepting the waters when they are calm, and mastering navigation techniques I will need when they inevitably turn to the churning, turbulent rapids we all end up riding.
used by permision..that's right, Gemma told me I could!

used by permision..that’s right, Gemma told me I could, so back off, ‘Rule Keepers’!

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  • Reply
    August 23 at 2:52 pm

    Thank you for that! Sometimes things happen or come along at the most perfect time…this is one of those times! I swear sometimes, I think my entire Fibromyalgia life is completely intertwined, consumed, and controlled by fear. Ok, maybe not consumed! And possibly only partially ruled by fear! Lol! But it’s there, everyday, in one form or another. Possibly, my #1 biggest fear, is having company. Even if its just one person! Why? Because I’m afraid I’m going to start having too much pain while their visiting. Or I’ll become too tired, or both, or worse! And I hate having to xplain why! I hear myself giving an explanation and it drives me crazy! And going to

  • Reply
    August 23 at 3:03 pm

    Ooops! So sorry! Going someplace with a friend, or just visiting a friends house converns me. Because it doesn’t take long before my pain level starts to climb, which I then try to push thru, which of course leads to more pain and then the fatigue. When I’m to the point to say good bye I’m then bombarded with “Really? You just got here!” Or “Come on! One more hour! Sit down for a few minutes, won’t that help?” Here comes the need to “explain” again. YUCK. And that’s just a couple of examples of how Fibro Fear has crept in and wants to take over (whatevers left) of me & my life! I’m trying NOT to let it win though. And reading this article has been very helpful, thank uou.

    • Reply
      August 24 at 12:04 am

      Thank you so much Debbie, I’m glad it helped. I know exactly what you mean where company is concerned. I’m ok for about 2-3 hours, then I’m toast. I just want to be alone and be able to recuperate. Hang in there ♥

  • Reply
    August 23 at 7:56 pm

    Yes . Thé fear factor. It keeps from going out many times. Im affraid to get too sick. Or ask question like. You look so good. You dont look s8ck… 5he fera of réjecté on. But I Will concor. I 2ill fit. I will learner to live with this thimg . One step at thé time. One win at thé time. ?

    • Reply
      August 24 at 12:12 am

      That’s all you can do sometimes Susie, ‘one step at a time’. 😉

  • Reply
    August 28 at 3:36 pm

    Although I don’t have fibromyalgia, I do have a chronic disease. I don’t know that I am necessarily fearful, but I still mourn the life that I had built, and the things that I cannot do anymore. Some days are easier than others, and with time it has gotten better but some days it’s still really stinks. I agree that any chronic disease takes a toll on your relationships, and it is so hard to let people down because you physically or mentally cannot do something they would like you to. But my life has also gotten a lot smaller and the parts and pieces in it, people and things, are so much more precious. So there are good things and bad things to a chronic disease, my mind has opened and I’ve become more creative. But there are still days when I mourn the first 45 years of my life.
    Nikki recently posted…Stunning Shots – Pink MarigoldMy Profile

    • Reply
      August 28 at 7:13 pm

      Know what you mean Nikki. That’s one of the most difficult parts of having a chronic disease, is knowing that things will never be the same again. But, as with all things that change, new things come in to fill the gaps. Thanks as always Nikki! ♥

  • Reply
    Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories
    August 28 at 5:23 pm

    Every bit of this is so true. I grieve for the person I was and am fearful of many things, that my kids will inherit my RA mainly and how the future will be when I hit menopause (and I fear the change in hormones will make me feel like a constant flare) and how will that impact my husband?

    I try not to dwell on the what if’s too much. I’m fiercely overprotective of my kids when they show any sign of illness and I am doing my best to manage my disease in any way I can to prevent further damage. Some days are harder than others to pull myself out of the downward spiral of negative thoughts but actually writing on my blog and reading are the ways I stop the cycle.

    Thanks for hosting Small Victories Sunday Linkup with us and I hope you linked up with our Piretty Pinterest Party too. Pinning to our linkup board and hope you found some great posts to visit this week!
    Tanya @ Mom’s Small Victories recently posted…Small Victories Sunday Linkup {117}My Profile

    • Reply
      August 28 at 8:33 pm

      Thank you Tanya! I am enjoying co-hosting! I have been in menapuse for 2 years now, with supplements and good nutrition I find it manageable. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 3 at 1:07 pm

    Everyday starts as a good day for me. I am always on the right Sid of the dirt when I can see the sun rise every morning 😉 As the day goes on I do what I can for as long as I can without out causing me to much discomfort and nap as I need to. What a day 🏋🏽🏋🏽

    • Reply
      September 3 at 7:47 pm

      That’s the way to look at it Judy! Have a great week 🙂

  • Reply
    September 6 at 4:41 pm

    Hi Kristine,
    This is such a helpful, comprehensive guide to overcoming fear! Thank you for sharing Fear and Fibromyalgia ~ How To Overcome Fear’s Death Grip at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I’m Pinning and sharing!
    Deborah recently posted…Grass, Interrupted: Getting Rid of Ugly Brown Patches on Your Lawn ForeverMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 6 at 7:54 pm

      Anytime Deborah, thank you 🙂

  • Reply
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