Ask Me How I Feel

Ask Me How I Feel
I’ve been thinking about the challenge it must be for our friends and family to deal with us as fibromyalgia patients. If we’ve interacted with them on a daily basis over a long period of time, chances are they were around when we went through some really bad times — maybe even experiencing the symptoms that ultimately led to our diagnosis. These people know that we feel miserable much of the time. If we’re lucky, they also know that occasionally (rare that it may be), we feel almost normal. Of course, everything is relative. What feels like normal to us might feel really bad to someone who’s accustomed to feeling right as rain every day. Those who don’t live with us and see our day-to-day struggles are most confused about our health. As with most other aspects of life, people avoid the things that make them feel uncomfortable. Because they don’t know what’s going on with us health-wise, they hesitate to ask. When they see us looking well after an unexplained absence, they must wonder whether another reason explains why they haven’t seen us in the past few weeks, instead of our usual excuse of being ill. They may think they'd misremembered that we'd been unwell, that we had other commitments, or that we’d just been making excuses. Rather than risk feeling uncomfortable, they may mention nothing at all about our health. There was a time when I felt slighted by omissions like this. Didn’t these people care that I was sick? Did they think I was faking my illness when I had to cancel the last three events we were scheduled to attend together
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