Daily Accomplishments with Fibromyalgia

This is a blog post by Amy Mullholand on The FibroFrog.

Do you ever have those days where every little thing you try to do seems almost impossible?  Those days when it's hard just to even crawl out of bed?  I know that with Fibromyalgia, I sure do!  Sometimes, it seems as if it's an effort even to eat.

When a person is in a fibro flare, even the smallest ordinary daily task can feel as if it's almost impossible to accomplish. What many don't realize though, is that all of those little, ordinary tasks that we do, are in fact accomplishments that deserve to be celebrated.  

For some reason, it seems to be human nature to be hard on ourselves.  Those of us suffering from Fibromyalgia and other like illnesses, tend to be even harder on ourselves than healthy people are.  We feel guilty about those things that we don't accomplish in a day, when in all honesty, we should be celebrating those tasks that we do accomplish.

Most people these days, have a dishwasher.  I'm not lucky enough to have that privilege.  I can tell you that standing to do dishes, is one of the hardest tasks for me to do.  It causes an enormous amount of pain in my back, shoulders, and arms.  The only way I can accomplish doing them, is to do them in sections.  I'm usually able to manage washing the silverware and cups, then I have to sit and rest for 15-20 minutes.  I then head back to the kitchen, and wash as much as I can before the pain becomes too much, then I sit and rest again for another 15-20 minutes.  I repeat this process, until all of the dishes are done.  I used to beat myself up that it'd take me a couple of hours to complete a task, that would take a normal person 10 or 15 minutes total to do.  I've learned though, that instead of beating myself up over the amount of time it takes me to do the dishes, to instead congratulate myself and celebrate the fact that at least I did get the dishes done!  

I joke around with my friends and family all of the time, asking them if I should do my hair and make up for the day, or if I should just go around looking homeless.  Let me tell ya, folks ...most a lot of days, I go around looking homeless lol.  Between the muscular pain of fibro on top of osteoarthritis throughout my body, doing my hair is one heck of a chore!  The struggle is real. The arthritis is so bad in the joints where my arms hook onto my shoulders, that I really have a limited range of motion.  On the days that I actually muster up the energy to straighten or curl my hair, I definitely look at that as an accomplishment.  I feel proud of myself when I look into the mirror.  At first, I'd just be all grumpy and say to myself "Why are you proud that you did your hair?" I mean, most people do their hair every single day whether they're leaving their house or not.  Well, I had to stop and realize that I'm not like most people.  I have several debilitating illnesses.  The fact that I did my hair, truly is something that I should be proud of.  I shouldn't cheat myself out of the joy of my accomplishment.  Instead, I should be celebrating it because it truly is an accomplishment!

The next time that you're completely exhausted, and/or in pain, and you manage to even get out of the bed that day, recognize the amount of effort it took.  If you actually get out of your pj's and into real clothes, celebrate your accomplishment!  The little things that you do, truly are accomplishments and deserve a medal.  Absolutely nothing that you do, is too little to be proud of and celebrate.  If you're having a bad day and being too hard on yourself, go to Self Care Catalysts and read their website or design your own self-care program!  Embrace who you are, make the most of it, and celebrate every accomplishment you do no matter how small it may seem to someone else! Know that I am proud of you, and I'm handing you a blue ribbon because in my book, you're a first place winner!