Let’s be real


It’s been a really interesting couple of months in the world of me, my body and my blog. Fibromyalgia flare ups have kept my body in constant battle with my mind, and even though I know it’s cyclical and soon I will recover (the best a fibro body can recover) I still have to live in the here and now. My body in pain makes things difficult for my mind, and my mind in return is making life more difficult for my body, shouting at me and worrying, making me ever more tense and in even more pain. Still now after over four years of this I don’t know which comes first, the anxiety or the pain? 

Shortly after writing my last post, I started thinking about the huge number of blogs in the world. I like so many for so many different reasons, and I always compare mine to the ones I love. (If there’s ever an opportunity for comparing myself to others, and inevitably then feeling green with envy, I’ll take it. Enter anxiety.) I wondered what makes blog readers take such an interest in the lives of people they’ve never met, checking back each day for new updates. For me it’s laziness (my post work evenings aren’t particularly action packed) and an inherent interest in what makes others tick. Yes yes, that’s a nice way of saying I’m a nosy bugger. 

I then started to think about why blog writers feel the need to so publicly write about their private life. When blogs first came to the world of the web, I thought they seemed ludicrous. Why would anyone care what you think? If you want to write down your inner most thoughts, keep a journal. To a certain degree, I still stand by that. I’m not so arrogant that I think my writing is particularly good, and I know for sure that I’m not saying anything new. I don’t think my photography is any good – though I’d like it to be – and although I’d love to think I was somehow approaching this with some kind of innovation, I know I’m not. 

So why do I do this? Why do so many people the world over do this? Well, I can’t answer the latter, and I’m not sure I can answer the former but I’m going to try. 

Initially it was about control. Oh, who am I kidding, it’s always about control. I hate the thought of giving in to my health – physical or mental. And I am fully aware that trait only makes things harder. By allowing my body to fight my mind to fight my body to find my mind, both of them come out a little bit more wounded than they were before. And regardless of who wins each fight, I end up in more pain and in less control. I know I’m not unique here; we’re all going through something or nothing that impacts our daily behaviour, and my philosophical better half would no doubt explain it far better than I can. But no matter how many people tell me to give in a little every now and again, I don’t. I won’t. I don’t know how. I’m hoping that maintaining this blog will allow me an element of controlled control. 

I’m not trying to set any kind of example, and I’m not expecting to get famous with this. That said, I think part of me does want to raise awareness. I want people to know that when they tell their friend “I have fibromyalgia” they will be met with concern and support, instead of the more familiar blank stare because they’ve never heard of the word, or worse, the slight scoff and look of incredulity. More than anything, I want the workplace to have an understanding that a certain amount of flexibility and understanding is required. Don’t make me stop working, don’t make me stop fighting, but please give me the tools I need to make this whole thing a little bit easier. 

Finally, I want to make sure this blog is real. I was so nervous to write non-sarcastically about fibromyalgia because I didn’t want to be the girl in rain playing the violin. (That’s my analogy for feeling sorry for myself, just in case that isn’t clear.) I want to keep blogging about food but I know I haven’t done that in a while, and I want to keep doing fibro-friendly things, but that’s pretty hard to do at times as well. So I’m just going to keep blogging about whatever takes my fancy on any given day, and when it doesn’t take my fancy I guess I’ll stop. Along the way I hope some of the things I write about take your fancy too; I hope to gain new readers, and I know I’ll no doubt lose some readers too, but I will always do my best to do this; keep it real.