I went to a party on Sunday and had a great time. Having ME and Fibromyalgia does mean that such things always take their toll but I love going out to meet friends. Nothing like a party to feel alive!
This illness has been hanging around me like a spectre for the best part of ten years, and a few years ago it had got to a point where it was hard (if not impossible) to leave the house without the aid of sticks.
I had a long chat after the event on Sunday with an old friend who remembers me struggling all those years ago. He asked how I had managed to bring about a cure, and the truth is I haven’t. I did have a long chat some time ago with another mutual friend – someone else suffering similar problems – who made me see that nil desperandum is not just a saying. There is nothing to be despaired of. That if you allow a condition to define you then you are no longer you.
Over the next couple of years I learned coping strategies.
First of all learning that my pain does not lessen whether I have the sticks or not – and that leaving them at home whenever possible made me feel better about myself. Second lesson was that the coping mechanisms I have developed will only take me so far.
Newton’s third law “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” can (with a little jiggling) be applied to so much in life.
What has that to do with parties? Well – we got home very late (or early, depending on how you view 3 am), and yes I did very little yesterday to compensate. Today my energy levels are bumping along the bottom line and pain levels just beneath screaming.
I say all of this not to engender sympathy but to explain to the uninitiated just how ME and Fibromyalgia impairs the life of sufferers. It creates obstacles that can become veritable mountains given the right (or wrong) circumstances.
Not everyone can do as I have and make the decision not to be defined by this condition. I am sufficiently blood-minded to trundle on regardless (and perhaps not so affected as some to be able to follow that choice), but that is not to say it does not kick my arse if I try to ignore it completely. And yes, one party really does take me a week of recovery. I am assured by the medical types that there is no ‘cure’ for what ails me – that it will go in cycles of deterioration and improvement – that rest, light exercise and pain killers are the only treatments available. The NHS promotes CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) – in other words developing coping strategies.
Which brings me back to parties and Newton’s Law – that every day out (regardless of the reason) will be paid for by several days in. Was it worth it? Of course!