Fibromyalgia and the five stages of grief

Do you ever feel you’ve read all you can on chronic illness? When you’re diagnosed with a new condition, they say you go through the five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. We grieve for the life we have lost as we struggle to work out how to navigate a landscape we had never imagined, never mind planned for.

5 STAGES OF GRIEFAfter the initial shock and confusion, we start grieving. We cope in the only way we know how and throughout all five stages, we’re learning skills and testing theories and tweaking routines, all in the hope of perfecting our coping strategies and reaching acceptance.

It’s been seven years since my diagnosis and I’m pretty sure I’ve been through all the pieces of the grief puzzle. But, what I can’t quite work out, is when or if I’ve reached acceptance. To me, acceptance is understanding the condition, recognising the impact and being happy with the way things are, and – thankfully – I reached that place a long time ago.


But I still have days of frustration (anger?) and days of sadness (depression?) and days where I think my diagnosis is wrong and I’m actually fine – or dying (denial?). So perhaps the five stages of grief are less of a structured process and more of a scattered experience – like spinning five plates and dealing with the one that happens to smash first.

I’ve managed to keep this blog going for three years, just by writing about me and my chronic pain journey. If I’d reached acceptance (and stayed there), wouldn’t I have stopped writing? Wouldn’t I have run out of things to say? Sometimes I have. Sometimes I search my brain and my pain and I just have nothing else to add; it’s already been said – if not by me, then by some other blogger. So what’s the point of it? Surely the aim is to accept the condition, tweak the routine and get on with life. Why the need for the running commentary?

Well… I don’t know. Maybe it’s because this is how I’ve reached acceptance. Maybe this is how I keep the plates spinning without the sound of a crash. Or maybe it has nothing to do with my pain, maybe I just can’t keep my mouth shut and this blog gives me an excuse to voice my opinion on anything I fancy.

Does it matter? Probably not. I like doing it and, hopefully, you like reading it. So let’s continue and see where it takes us.


11 comments on “Fibromyalgia and the five stages of grief

  1. Marianna

    So glad that you plan to continue. I’ve only just discovered your blog and find it refreshing. You blog about how to LIVE and that’s what I’m all about. I may have fibro but it will not rule me. (At least on most days!) Thanks for blogging.

  2. Or the days you wish you were dying as it’s more acceptable to everyone else and you wouldn’t have to live with it all any more, including the apologizing.

    • Do you know, I wrote that in the original draft of this post. Great minds!

      • Then you get scared and run away from it, because well, it’s just too scary to think about…keep smiling, it will confuse everyone you meet x

    • so agree. Today is one of those day I did not want to wake up ! The cycle just starts over and I am in too much pain to even get out of the house. It has gone on so long now. Ready to give up ! While others are traveling and enjoying the holiday- just looking at facebook is depressing when you see people have a life.
      And don’t even get me started that my family and friends don’t understand. If I hear one more time “Oh, if you would get out you would feel better, I am going to ht somebody 🙂

      • Beverley

        Hi Dee, my last flare lasted 6 months and is only just settling, but there will be more, there is always more. However, think of it this way – you survived the last one and you will survive this one too. I learnt to meditate many years ago, but it really helps me. If you have never done, then the middle of a flare is not the time to do so, but your body’s quieter moments try it. If you need to want some help to get started let me know. It is not a religious meditation, but a quieting and accepting of the body as it is in that moment. I notice your post was several days ago, i hope you are feeling better today ❤

  3. Pingback: We All Have Days Like This – My Wonky Life

  4. dreamswilltravel

    I just recently ran across your blog and find it quite charming and refreshing. Love that you’re taking charge of your pain, although I know how hard it can be on certain days. I too have fibro and recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis along with some issues in lower back. Keep sharing!

  5. Pingback: 5 ways to cope with chronic pain – A LIFE LESS PHYSICAL

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