Focusing on the ‘I Can’

Focusing on the ‘I Can’

Through the Fog

Chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia can throw your life out of whack, wreak havoc with your plans, and distort how you see yourself and your future. Staying discouraged, though, is counterproductive.

It’s super important to take good care of yourself. Practice good hygiene as often as your energy allows. Find shortcuts that work well for you. I find that I have to time my shower just right, knowing that I will be unable to do anything for about two to three hours afterward. When I’m not up for that, a good old-fashioned sponge bath will do. Also, I don’t brush my teeth every day, as it’s sometimes hard to stand for even a few moments. I do keep floss on my bedside table and use it every time I eat something.

I know how very frustrating and embarrassing it is to have to cancel plans or appointments at the last minute, especially if it was something you were looking forward to. Last year, for our anniversary, my husband surprised me with a sleigh ride. It was really wonderful, but I froze even though I was bundled up. He booked it again this year, but I know I’m not going to be able to physically handle it, and that makes me so sad. Instead, we’re offering it to my son and his wife.

Losing the ability to do more and more things can be really depressing, but I work hard at keeping a positive attitude through prayer, and being mindful of all I still can do. In fact, I recently challenged the women in my Facebook group to create an “I Can Do” list. Something they can pull out to remind themselves of what they can do when life threatens to overwhelm them.

Some things on my “I Can Do” list are:
• I can see, even if it’s with glasses.
• I can walk, albeit slowly and at times with a walker.
• I can hear and enjoy conversation, and listen to music.
• I can talk, sing, and tell people I love them.
• I can write and get paid for it.

Those are just a few things on my list. I encourage you to get a notebook or pad of paper and create your own. I really think it will help.

Fibro is a disrupter of dreams, an unpredictable disease, a wrecking ball of our best-laid plans. But we can, and must, stay positive. I’m not saying we won’t have horrible days or times we break down from all the stuff we deal with. But, sometimes, we can be our own worst enemy, right? What can you do today to improve your mindset?


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. Pamula Furness says:

    I’d LOVE to be able to get paid for what I CAN do too! I produce highly colourful little canvases, write poetry and the odd story, plus I can sing. Your article has inspired me, so thank you for that. Wish me luck, as I seek somewhere to sell!

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