I realised something a few months ago. Kind of roughly when I got diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Before I went to the doctors I researched the condition putting in my symptoms on google (doing the thing you are just not supposed to do) and it came up with the condition immediately. It was a Sunday I remember it like yesterday. I was sat up in my bed it was the middle of the day, or late afternoon and it was as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I actually had a name for a condition that I had been suffering for I think many years. I remember ringing one of my best friends, Keely or actually texting her and telling her thats what I thought I had and on the Monday I went to the Doctors and spoke to Dr Alan and he confirmed what I already knew absolutely. The condition comes with lots of ailments. Its an invisible condition, you can't see it from the outside and its misunderstood a lot. You have morning stiffness, that for me used to be really bad. I should have known but I remember when Ailysha and Michael were babies I could never get down the stairs easily in the middle of the night to get their bottles, I would be so stiff. It also comes with something called Fibro fog. I have had this for years, where I get my words mixed up. I can't think of the word or I say something completely different to what I mean. My kids are so used to it that they just laugh, or they answer to any name as its just me. Even my childminded kids laugh. For example, I could be thinking of getting something in from the garden and ask Rebecca to go but in that split second I am getting milk out of the fridge, say to make a cup of tea and so, I ask Rebecca to go and get the milk from the garden or , go and get the jacket from the fridge....... it has happened for years. It has got a lot worse later, and when I told me friends they would laugh and just say its age, or your going senile. However at one stage I was very very worried about it, I would never tell anyone how worried I was but I was scared, was this what I was going to be like when I was old. Was I going to get dementia or alzeihmers. Both those diseases scare me to death. When I realised it was fibro fog I was pleased! I was so releived and pleased and now it makes me laugh. One of the worst things about the condition is the fight or flight mode. I am constantly in it. For years I cannot relax. The only time I ever relaxed and my muscles just went heavy and my brain switched off and that warm fuzzy feeling took over my body was when I had a glass of wine. The wine would make my body stop, shut off, it would make my mind quiet and that was the best feeling of all. Just before I gave up wine, I found that I had to have more and more of it to create that warm fuzzy feeling and make my body and mind turn off and this is how I got to be a dependent drinker. Whatever stress I was going through throughout the dayI would just tell myself it wasn't long until I could have that much needed glass of wine. Now, I havent got that. I am finding now that my body is in constant fight or flight mode, and for me I have to learn to use other methods to get that warm fuzzy feeling and other methods were working. I am on fuoxotene. Its a drug that stops anxiety. I have 20 mg a day and I also have something called propanalol that I can take if I am very jittery. I don't like drugs, I don't like taking them they make me feel like my body is failing me. I have to take levothyroxine as i have an undersactive thyroid and when I got diagnosed for that (just after having Ailysha) I found it very hard to take the tablet as it made me feel old, like my body was failing me. Nowadays I take all of my tablets, except the propanalol. I take multi vitimins and tablets for my nails and hair (which Amber got for me, as I have the most shocking weak and brittle nails) . Nowadays I don't watch any soaps. Nothing. I used to love Coronation Street but I find i can't watch it anymore as I just cannot switch off. I am tense the whole time and I get bored and frustrated with the characters. Towards the end I would find it a chore to actually sit down and watch it.
So I stopped, why perservere with something that you are not enjoying? There is no point is there? None. Now I watch movies that I enjoy, I watch series on netflix and I read. Also in my toolbox for recovery was meditation. Omg the first time I tried that I was like, what a load of shite. There is no way I can concentrate on breathing and what my arse or my toes are feeling when I can here Ailysha having a screaming fit or one of the bloody dogs singing. the dulcid tones of Matthew trying to cook, Rebecca's incessant you tube channels or Neil trying to sing. I just couldn't do it. I would lie there and listen to the noise of the house and grow more and more frustrated. However what I would say is persevere. Keep trying. If you don't like the voice of the guy, change the app, change the meditation. Do it when everyone is asleep and you are lying in bed, chuck in some earphones and just try it. Try it with an open mind. Meditation is a skill. And if I can learn it anyone can. In fact, I don't use it as often any more as it makes me too sleepy. But it is one of my tools I use to get that warm fuzzy feeling.
The reason I am writing this now is because I am sat here with my kids, watching the Chronicles of Narnia and I have to keep checking myself. Keep untensing my shoulders and my neck, my back and my legs. I am in constant fight or flight I can't even watch a film lately. Being like this all the time is exhausting and it would be so easy for my to just think fuck it I am going to have a glass of wine, but it wouldn't solve anything, yes I would get that respite but for how long? How long would it be before it would creep up and up and I would need more and more wine to get that feeling? So for me, if my toolbox is getting stale then I need to go and buy more tools. I need to go to the virtual B & Q and get more tools or clean up my old tools and try new things with them, find another hobby, take a long bath, use a hot water bottle, try a new meditation app, try some new exercise so I am so physically exhausted that I have to relax, talk to a friend, make a mental list, Analyse my feelings and consciously try to relax. Its no fun. Its no fun being so tense and thats how i have felt the last 3 days. Yet last week I didn't feel like this, and so, what I am trying to say is that its a learning curve. Each day is. I need to try harder to live in the moment, to enjoy what I am doing when I am doing it and not rush forward to the next activity or be thinking about the next activity. Enjoy what I am doing and if this lockdown is going to teach me anything its going to teach me that. To slow down and if I consciously have to check myself, take deep breathes and force my body and shoulders to relax then so be it. Thats what I am going to do I am not going to reach for that wine. So for me today, I watched the film but I wrote this blog and my shoulders did relax as my fingers were busy. So without thinking I have added another tool to my ever growing box. My blog. Writing in this helps me relax and if it helps someone else then thats only a good thing. I need all the tools and all the help I can get. Please send me an email or a message or a text or anything because your support means the world to me.