Now that my fibro has sort of leveled out and I’ve been able to catch myself up to myself, I’ve been looking back over the past five years to kind of review and integrate everything that’s happened to me.
And while at the time I was living through them those years seemed completely chaotic and random, in hindsight I see that each year was actually focused around a pretty specific theme.
2008 was The Year Of Being Deathly Ill, And Then Finally Getting A Correct Diagnosis
2009 was The Year Of Fury, Rage, Pushing Against, And Feeling Utterly Betrayed By Life
2010 was The Year Of Denial, Bargaining, And Magical Thinking
And then after all of that, the best way I can describe 2011 is, The Year Of, “Huh”.
It reminded me of a scene from the very first Harry Potter book, where orphaned Harry is living with his extremely non-magical aunt, uncle, and cousin. They cannot stand Harry, and so they do everything in their power to mistreat him, especially his spoiled rotten cousin, Dudley.
In the scene I’m thinking of, Dudley has just been informed by his father that Harry will be moving out of his cupboard under the stairs into Dudley’s “second bedroom”, at which time Dudley pretty much loses his sh*t.
“Next morning at breakfast, everyone was rather quiet. Dudley was in shock. He’d screamed, whacked his father with his Smelting stick, been sick on purpose, kicked his mother, and thrown his tortoise through the greenhouse roof, and he still didn’t have his room back.”
That is exactly how I felt at the beginning of 2011. I had raged and ranted, screamed, shrieked, agonized, emoted, dramatized, thought, willed, given up, started over, cried, resisted, denied, accepted, forced, surrendered, basically pulled out all the guns in my arsenal in my attempt to BEND THIS ILLNESS TO MY WILL. But no matter what I did, it didn’t work.
So by the end of those first three years, just like Dudley, I was stunned, and rather quiet inside. There was nothing left for me to try; I had to admit that, at least for the foreseeable future, this illness was sticking around.
The question then became, given the reality of my situation, how was I going to live with it? How could I manage the pain, and the fatigue, and the not-being-able-to-plan past-the-next-five-minutes, and the limitations on what my body could do, and the frustration of constantly having to start writing and stop writing and start writing all over again depending on my unpredictable pain levels, and create an everyday life for myself? A life that maybe, possibly, perhaps I could actually enjoy.
So the theme for 2012 has turned out to be The Year Of Investigating Possibilities And Exploring My Capacity.
I’ve also been able to travel a bit which is nice, because we now have a nephew on my side of the family and a niece on my husband’s side. So I’ve had a lot of fun exploring what it’s like to be an aunt.
Additionally, I’ve been learning how to focus a bit more seriously on my writing. I took some great classes, and I’ve been working on how to choose an idea and then stick with it, developing it over a longer form than just a blog post. And I received the wonderful surprise of being named one of the top 21 Fibromyalgia Blogs of 2012.
But for the past few months or so, I’ve felt as though I’ve been experiencing a sort of identity crisis when it’s come to blogging here as Cranky Fibro Girl. Because I am a completely different person, in a completely different place, living a completely different experience of fibromyalgia than when I first got sick.
When I started blogging as Cranky Fibro Girl back in 2009, everything about this chronic illness experience was new. I had no idea what I was doing, I was ground down with pain, and I was pretty much pissed off at the entire world. Luckily for me, this provided me with a never-ending stream of things to snark about.
But now I am feeling a lot better (relatively speaking-I am currently in the fourth month of a nasty pain flare-up that shows no signs of going away anytime soon, but I know how to take care of myself now). I’m not so angry anymore; I don’t need to rage against the world like I used to. I have a great support system, great doctors, and treatments that are helping.
So now I’m wondering, how do I “be” Cranky Fibro Girl now?
How can I be feeling better and still be funny and snarky?
What do I want to write about now that I’m in Year Five, rather than Year One?
How can I keep the essence(s) of expressing myself as Cranky Fibro Girl while the shape of my illness is evolving?
I don’t know.
But I suspect that working out the answers is gonna be a hellavu fun ride.