How frustrating it was to be considered neurotic, hormonal or “just” depressed. After all, who knew for sure what fibromyalgia was? For sure, most thought it was a “woman thing” or just plain malingering.
“But you look so good,” acquaintances, friends and colleagues often commented, when they learned I was on medical leave.
Survival and searching for a cure—and failing that—something or someone that could help me manage the horrid pain became my full time job. What I wouldn’t give to sleep through the night, instead of constantly awakening to stabbing and aching agony. I longed to focus enough to escape once again into a novel, a magazine or even a television show I enjoyed so much before the fibromyalgia brain fog. Even driving, shoulder checking and parking was a painful challenge.
My world was shrinking before me.
After school, most Fridays, I joined fellow teachers at a local bar. There we discussed our successes, trials and tribulations of the week. No longer teaching, I was now an outsider. I could not even remember the students I had taught and passed along to another grade. There were new teachers and new discussions, and I was out of touch. Even sitting in the booth was an ordeal. Shortly thereafter, I stopped going and my world became even smaller. But the more I lost, the more determined I was to find the help I longed for.
Finally, thanks to my Uncle Bill who recommended them, I experienced the beautiful mind, body, spirit wellness work of Joy of Healing founders, Tamara and Andrew Overlee. Thanks to them, my world has expanded beyond my hopes and prayers. I no longer live within the confines of pain, confusion and depression—Fibromyalgia no longer limits my freedom and activities.
My world is forever growing and I am forever grateful.