What I Would Tell Myself on Diagnosis Day

What I Would Tell Myself on Diagnosis Day

Through the Fog

Have you ever thought about what you’d tell yourself if you could time travel to your diagnosis day? With what I know now, I’ve been thinking about what I would have told myself.

I would have told myself that it’s not only OK, but also important to grieve your past life and the person you’ve left behind. Don’t act like it’s no big deal and stuff down those feelings. Anytime we experience loss in life, we need to acknowledge it, feel it, and then move on. But don’t rush it. It’s not a one-and-done kind of experience, either; it will continue to assail you from time to time. That’s just the nature of grief.

I would have told myself that pushing beyond my limits comes with a price, which sometimes means days in bed. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Sometimes you can do something today that next week would be completely impossible, and that’s OK. Along these same lines, you need to learn to say no without feeling guilty. Other people are not necessarily going to understand, but don’t make that your problem. Your health needs to be priority No. 1.

I would tell myself that it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. When I don’t ask for help, I rob someone else of a blessing. People don’t always know what you need, so it’s OK to let them know. Don’t let your pride get in the way; it can be a real stumbling block.

I would say to be kind to yourself. Figure out what is important to you and let go of unrealistic expectations, be they yours or someone else’s. Being kind to yourself is not selfish; it’s a necessity now, and that’s OK. Do more of the things that bring you joy, understanding that those things are different now. Writing is one of the things that bring me joy; I would never have tried it if I didn’t get sick.

I would be sure I knew to make self-care a priority. That means saying no when I need to, taking naps, lying down when needed, or leaving an event early when my body tells me that I’ve had enough, just to name a few. Things are not always going to go smoothly; there will always be last-minute adjustments to be made based on your symptoms and energy level at any given moment.

Be intentional with the life you’ve been given. I know you didn’t choose this journey, but trust that God has a plan and a purpose in it. Find ways to encourage others, be as social as you’re able for your emotional health, trust yourself to make good decisions, and make sure your doctors are willing to have a dialogue, not just dictate. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s because everyone is different.

What are a few things you would tell yourself? Please share in the comments section so we can all benefit.

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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.

8 comments

  1. caroline says:

    asking for help is sometimes not an option people around you can stand by and watch you struggle but do not ever offer help . its not matter of pride its the fact you put people in an aakward postition because they dont want to say know but equally dont want to help . no one knows how we feel that every thing you try and do caused pain . if your leg was permanently broken then that would be different you can see it so realisation might dawn that this person needs help . i offer a neigbour sprouting potatoes todday he said just stick them in the soil in the arden he does not get it that i might not be able to do even that . we need a national register of people who would be able to give up sme time to helping people who are incapable of doing stuff even though they as in my case look 20 years younger than i am but shut in this pain mail .

    • Robin Dix says:

      Caroline I’m so sorry that there aren’t people around you that you can comfortably ask for help. I love your idea of a national registry of people willing to help!

  2. Dr Réagan L.PhD says:

    I think a national registry is a great idea. I also do not mean to be controversial but i will never let fibromyalgia ruin my career or my fun. that is why I manage pain with medication, healthy eating, yoga, tai chi, exercise, being active, dancing, ad loads of vitamins and supplements like vit D, C, B12, turmeric, glucosamine, selenium (to increase glutathione levels), and watch C reactive proteins. I aso use topicals, collagen, and shea butter. I am a professor and utor with a PhD, and 4 masters. I ask for help from friends, husband, family and I have other disabiities besides fibromyalgia. I also have birth disabiities like CP, ataxia and neuro impairments, and arthritis from poor gait ad a car accident. Thus i will never cancel events or leave early. I have one life and i want it to be long and fun. i will not stay in bed. I had a friend with fibromyalgia and she died from lying in bed and being inactive, her insides inverted. that is not living

    • Robin Dix says:

      I’m very happy for you that you are able to do all these things, truly. For some of us that is an impossibility, especially if we are dealing with ME/CFS as well. As long as it works for you, keep doing what you’re doing 😊

  3. Mary says:

    22 years past my “diagnosis day”, I would have told myself that it’s really important to have support from others with the same condition, especially in the early years. That being said, it’s equally as important, particularly in a group situation, to “hang” with others who live in the solution, not the problem. I’ve left groups and individuals who seemed only to be able to complain, and loved others who accept and move forward as best they can!

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