Tracy Strand found herself out of luck when she tried to find a support group for people like her who deal with the everyday challenges of chronic pain, depression, anxiety and other invisible illnesses, like fibromyalgia.
So, the doTERRA Wellness Advocate, from Sammamish, Wash., asked her church if she could start a support group there to serve all the community and then she promptly launched the Sammamish Presbyterian Church Hope Women’s Support Group (Hope SPC). After all, Strand was a member of the doTERRA Cares initiative that connects wellness advocates with worthy causes worldwide.
doTERRA is a global leader for sourcing, testing, manufacturing and distribution of CPTG (certified pure therapeutic grade) essential oils using single-plant extracts and proprietary oil blends for personal care and spa products, dietary supplements and healthy living products.
“Chronic and invisible pain can be a silent, painful burden to carry. Some of us try to do it all by ourselves so we don’t wear down our loved ones,” Strand said in a press release. The Hope SPC group provided her with a safe place to receive support while also reaching out to others with similar conditions.
People with chronic pain due to fibromyalgia know very well what an invisible illness is: a disability or condition that is not apparent from the outside — individuals look perfectly healthy but carry daily burdens of disabling symptoms. Many times, symptoms can lead to mental illnesses, like depression or anxiety, that bring additional layers of debilitation.
Chronic diseases such as cancer, severe COPD or stroke can be obvious. But chronic migraines, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune diseases, Crohn’s disease, MS, diabetes, and others show no proof on the outside. Some patients are dismissed by society because they look fine, others dismiss themselves to lonely lives because they feel anything but “fine.” Divorce and even suicide rank high among risks.
Hope SPC’s aims to help women living with invisible conditions get through days, weeks, months and years together. With Strand at the helm, Hope SPC offers Strand and other women in the community support and friendship. Together, they make a tight-knit group that travels the journey of life together.