I couldn’t really tell you how long I have had Fibromyalgia (FMS). There are symptoms that go back to 13yrs old. This was when RLS first came into the picture, and I was experiencing bouts of debilitating stomach aches as well as IBS. My childhood was by no means equal to a few of the horror stories I’ve had the privelage of hearing over the years, but there was sexual abuse and emotional neglect. I met my husband when I was 15 years old, and because both of us were coming from abusive pasts (D’s story is probably the worst story I know), we were less than capable of creating a healthy relationship with each other. But, we were each other’s best friend, and it was him and I against the world.
I was married at 19 and had my first child at 26. Two years later I had my second. Now, things had been slowly deteriorating between ‘D’ and I. There was no way it could not with two damaged individuals on their own trying to create what each thought was the ‘way it was supposed to be’. We started to attend a church with a very unusual pastor who was skilled at the art of counseling, and began a long journey of destroying the old and rebuilding the new. We went through some seriously hellish times, but came to a place after a few years where our marriage was able to withstand us then going to work on ourselves and our pasts both individually in counseling as well as together in a ‘couples group’.
It was at this time (around 12 years ago) that I began to work through my past in a sexual abuse group, as well as one on one sessions with a counselor. Things got bad, really bad, both physically as well as mentally. The old saying, ‘It gets worse before it gets better’ is true. ‘D’ and I were still not on the other side of our past together, memories were resurfacing, confrontations with my parents were had, and the stress of everyday life with two small children was taking it’s toll. I experienced severe depression, feelings at times of ‘going crazy’, anger that manifested as rage, and the start of what I know now as full blown FMS. I started to have; severe pains in my lower pelvis (which turned out to be endometriosis and large uterine fibroids), rapid weight gain (30lbs in 4 mo. without a change in diet), severe IBS, migraines, extreme fatigue, all over body pain (especially in shoulders/legs/feet), dizziness, nausea, PTSD symptoms, ect. Of course, the doctors had no idea what was wrong with me and looked at me like I was, at best, a hypochondriac, or at worse, unbalanced. Finally in 2014 I found an excellent doctor who was able to give a diagnosis.
‘D’ and I are now on the other side of all the work we did together, both in our relationship together, and individually on ourselves and our pasts. The only reason we are here and can tell our stories with hope is because of Jesus Christ (you may not believe in Him, but your belief is not a requirement of His reality). Our marriage is better than it has ever been, we are still each other’s best friend, and like all wounds that heal, the scars that they leave behind no longer hurt to touch but remain a visible reminder of where we’ve been and how we can help others who may still be bleeding out. However, years of stress on the nervous system and a nasty bout with Epstein Barr causes damage, and FMS still remains.
‘D’ and I ~ 2014
Needless to say when I read the hateful articles and comments of those individuals who would judge FMS as ‘imaginary’ or ‘all in their heads’, it angers me to no end. There will always be ignorant people, and there will always be those individuals who knowingly choose to be toxic and cruel with their words. But we are here. Our stories are real, and so are our ‘invisible illnesses’. Thank you all for the stories and struggles you have shared on your blogs. There is a strength of spirit and hopeful perseverance in those written words, and I am grateful for the encouragement I receive from them. FIGHT ON MY SISTERS and BROTHERS!