The book A Return to Love talks about the idea of writing a letter to your illness and letting go of all the negative thoughts you have towards it, the “why are you doing this to me” thoughts. When I read this I thought it was interesting and I thought I’d write a letter to my illness, Fibromyalgia. However, I kinda put that thought on a shelf where it sat for a while. I brought it down on occasion thinking I should do that.
You suck. Plain and simple. You’ve ruined a lot of lives and at times I’ve felt you ruined mine. We’ve known each other for a while now and I’d love to say you’ve been there for me, but the truth is you’re not a very good friend. You’ve pushed me in a lot of ways, and a couple of times you’ve almost pushed me over the edge. You’ve brought me to the point where I considered suicide as an option to escape the pain you cause, but I realized that the pain I’d leave behind for others would be worse than the pain you cause me, so I chose to fight back. You and I have been fighting for years now. I’d say that overall it’s a draw, but I still have some fight in me and some hope that I can win.
What I realize as I look back over our last few years together is that you’ve taught me a lot, and I actually have a lot to thank you for. Thanks to you have a lot more empathy for those who are disabled. I no longer look at an overweight person in an electric cart and assume they are just lazy. I know there are many real things that may have lead to their state, and that they may be suffering quite a lot and unable to reverse their situation. Thanks to you I am a better person both mentally and even physically. Thanks to you I am stronger. Thanks to you I have the ability to tolerate pain that would bring many men to their knees in tears, and I can do it with a smile. Thanks to you I am a much better actress.
Thanks to you I have a new drive to finish school so that I can use the pain you’ve caused me and all my experiences in life to help others in a profound way. Thanks to you I have become an advocate not just for my own health but for the health of others. Thanks to you I am no longer blind to the effects that the environment has on my body. Thanks to you I have learned that health is about much more than how much you work out. Thanks to you I am making better choices with what I put in my body. Despite all my health issues I am a much healthier person and behave in healthier ways. Thanks to you I make better choices about who I choose to spend my time with and how I spend that time. I have a much better sense of what is important in life. I know who my real friends are.
So Fibromyalgia, we will continue this dance for the rest of my life. I will fight with you, you will bring me down. But, I will get back up again. I will fight you and I will win and along the way you will continue to teach me that I have much to be thankful for.