Movies: The Fibro Equalizer

Movies: The Fibro Equalizer

Christine Tender Points

I look forward to seeing movies in January every year. The best films often appear during the last few weeks of December in a mad rush to get them qualified for that year’s awards. Those are the very times I choose not to go. Long lines and noisy theaters are not my ideas of a good time. Instead, I await the January award shows to tell me what’s noteworthy and what’s not. Only then do I seek out the least crowded, least expensive showings of the contenders that sound interesting to me. Whether you’re influenced by the award nominees or you prefer to use your own standards of judgment, you will have no shortage of new movies to attend this month.

Moviegoing is the social equalizer for people who have difficulty participating in society for whatever reason — be it a chronic illness like fibromyalgia, time constraints, or other issues. Few activities allow such flexible participation. Even people with the most unpredictable of symptoms or the tightest of schedules can participate if they wish. The fact that there are so many showings of every movie is what makes it so doable. A variety of movies can be seen at hours throughout the day and night at a large number of locations. So, if you’re not feeling up to going on one day, you can go on another. And, if you find it necessary to cancel a viewing with companions because of illness, you can always catch a later showing by yourself. Attending alone is perfectly acceptable.

I consider moviegoing to be the perfect fibromyalgia activity. It requires no physical effort — other than getting from the car to your seat in the theater. These days (at least where I live) you can even print your ticket at home to save standing in a line once you arrive. And, although the price of movies has increased along with the price of everything else, they still remain one of the more affordable treats out there. The budgets of many fibro patients determine their activity level even more than their physical limitations do.

For me, the most satisfying thing about movies is that even if I only see a couple of the nominated selections, I have a stake in the world of award shows that appear on network television in the spring of every year. You can participate in the excitement of the ceremonies even if there’s only one movie you’d like to see win — or not win. Your life may be physically limited and more isolated than you’d like it to be, but this is one area in which you can participate on the same level as anyone else. As such, movies are great social connectors to healthier family members, old friends, or new acquaintances. Even if you don’t attend them together, you have something in common to discuss.

If you don’t make it to any of last year’s movies before this year’s award ceremonies, there’s always the DVD version in a few months. Watching the movie in your own living room is an even less expensive option. It’s also a reason to host an affordable social event. Invite some friends (whether they’ve seen the movie or not), pop some corn, and have some fun. It requires very little effort, very little money, and guarantees that you’re an informed participant in future conversations.

So, now we know how I’ll be spending my time during the highly anticipated month of January. The only thing that could make the experience more interesting for me would be the inclusion of an occasional character affected by fibromyalgia. I could definitely relate to that one. Hmmm … maybe it’s time to reconsider taking that course in screenwriting.


Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.


  1. patricia fraser says:

    I would love to sit and watch movies all day long and also go to them. However, that is exactly what I cannot do because it stops you from moving and doing productive tasks to make you feel better mentally and physically. So I have to “treat” myself by doing tasks I hate (light housekeeping) then I can proceed to treat time. Right now I am once again sitting in front of computer so I don’t have to go and do tasks I hate, i.e. post office, grocery store, doctors, cooking. I agree going to movies is wonderful but after the movie is over with reality sinks in, so get stuff done hate (in moderation)then treat time. My favorite treat is to sit down at 10 PM and watch TV and eat.

  2. I just want to say that those of us with fibromyalgia have less money than most and cannot afford subscriptions to this newsletter once it is charged and cannot afford cinema for myself, i mainly do karaoke or free dance clubs with friends since i like that but cannot afford anything else as this illness and other neuro conditions limit my earning potential. i can only teach and tutor at college level and i am adjunct and online, not a steady income

  3. Stephen Golder says:

    Interesting. I used to like movies but my pain makes me less likely to be able to focus or care about what’s going on. Also, I squirm around in movie seats and have to massage pain there so I tend to see them on Netflix or Amazon or DVD. I also need to get up and move around more than every hour and half. And what about those noisy trailers LOL! I walk out for them or close my eyes and put hands over my ears, also because I hate to know what’s going to happen in a movie before I see it or it’s a waste of time IMO.

    • Cindy Hilderbrand says:

      Hi Stephen! I’m glad you mentioned your problems with focusing though I wish you didn’t have to deal with that. I too have difficulty focusing on movies and do my share of squirming about and having to move about. Movies and reading used to be some of my most favorite forms of entertainment yet I have problems doing either for extended periods of time. Loud sounds can also be a problem. For those with limited budgets, remember matinées can be very affordable and offer a means of getting out of the house for a nice change of scenery.

  4. Denise Bault says:

    I was a life time movie goer, UNTIL I DEVELOPED FIBROMYALGIA. Every theater around here has the sound turned up so LOUD it feels like torture to even go. So I watch what I can at home, where I have control of the volume. So happy you haven’t developed a sensitivity to noise – yet.

  5. Sandy says:

    I am really disappointed that you are now charging to read your articles. I just recently found this site and two days later you want money from me to read anything. I will now be taking myself off your email list as it does me absolutely no good. I can not afford to pay.

  6. Who can afford to be charged? if you suffer from the disease ore than likely you do not work! With thi day in age with all the info you can find anywhere who would pay you for info we can find on the internet? As for the movies many of us can not afford to go and sitting that long is very painful.

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