Today is not a good fibro day. (Although, is there even such a thing as a good fibro day, or is that just an oxymoron?)
If you’ve ever seen the TV commercial for Lyrica where they show the inside of a person that appears to be nothing but endless pathways of fire, that’s pretty much what fibro feels like for me: burning pain that radiates from the tips of my index fingers, up and down my body to the soles of my feet. It’s like someone took a cigarette lighter and jammed it down into the deepest layer of muscle in my elbows, shoulders, knees, and other, euphemistically-named “trigger points” (I guess “spots where you’re lanced through with white hot pokers forged in the deepest fires of hell” is a little off-putting), and then left it there to smolder until my entire body caught fire.
My body reacts to this pain as it would to being punched. It steals my breath. I collapse into myself and brace for another blow. Everything in me constricts until I am just a mass of fiery knots being pulled tighter and tighter.
But it’s not just my body that closes off; my brain also closes down into survival mode. I’ve learned that in really bad flare-ups I do, temporarily, lose my mind. I am locked out of my higher brain functions because it’s taking all of my resources to just keep breathing through the crashing waves of pain.
So one of the coping techniques I’ve had to learn is how to create even a hair’s breadth of inner space where I can separate myself from the pain and figure out how I can help myself feel a little bit more comfortable. It is not easy. It is a practice, one of the hardest ones I’ve ever undertaken. It’s a muscle I’ve had to consciously build up over the past 6 years.
Breath by breath, in tiny ways, creating little moments of relief.