Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Dangers of Self Pity and Support Groups

Far too often in many Fibromyalgia groups there is a common link that has nothing to do with the disorder itself. It's the common ground of self pity.

The majority of us wake up in the morning and the first thought on our mind is our health and lack of happiness because of it. We do a quick run-down of what hurts to move and the severity from 0-10. Then we spend the rest of our day trying to get through work or raising babies or even getting the gumption to get out of bed.

And that is simply the wrong attitude to have. It also happens to be what helps keep our flares up and our morale down.

I get a lot of friend requests and even IM and email compliments about my positive attitude and it shocks me how surprised most people are about my upbeat "go-get-em" fighting stance against Fibro.

I shouldn't be a rarity but the norm!

The problem with support groups is that they are usually filled with more than just questions about the condition. It is full of pain rants and ravings and desperate calls for help. It is always good to help out those who have a burning need to find out information or to be comforted by those that understand what they are going through. THE PROBLEM lies in the gift itself. Talking with those who have Fibro is a gift, make no mistake, but it can also be a curse.

For example... someone asks about their elbow tingling and if it happens to anyone else. Others answer that they do, its normal etc. But the majority of responders will add more. Their own tales of woe, or how they spoke to their doctor about the pain and he put them through a bunch of tests and nothing they do can get rid of the agony they now feel as the "tingling" developed.

Okay the responder was trying to make the questioner feel better but in fact, the response was so detailed that it ended up making the questioner afraid that her own tingling elbow was about to get worse and never go away, plaguing her for the rest of her life. Thus bringing up a new round of self pity with the horrible prospect of an unknown future. More stress, more sickness, more self pity or worse...hatred. "What's the point of getting out of bed? It will only hurt more and I'll get worse and feel worse and...and...." The vicious circle continues!

Let me just say...oi.

It happens all the time and spending too much time around Fibro patients can be a real downer. It was part of the reason I started this blog for people to go to ask questions and get one positive answer and I have promised to silence the negative nancies.

Fight back on your support groups. Don't let people start a negative chain. Call them on it. "I can't do anything, I feel so horrible I don't want to move today." Well then you're not trying.

Keep things in perspective. I donate to St. Jude's Children's Hospital. And if those kids can fight through their sickness to get enough energy to play for an hour we can get our butts out of bed and fight a NON-FATAL condition like Fibro.

We're all in pain. We all suffer. Our pains are alike but they don't have to evolve similarly. We each can take control of our Fibro by customizing our meds to fit our own beliefs and symptoms!

Don't let self pity and worry drag you into despondency and despair.

Fight! Fight every day! If today is a bad day, deal with it, do research, get yourself pumped up for the fight the next day and know that someone out there is determined to fight all the way to the top to find answers for us all. And I'm not just talking about me. There are others out there as determined as I. We'll get there. I have no doubt about it!

And while we fight for a cure in the future, we can get better now. We can feel better by taking control and I'm proof of that! Stay strong and positive my friends.

All my best,


  1. I agree about the negativity. I belonged to an online support group called Daily Strength and everything you mentioned happened pretty regularly. I left the site cuz it actually made me feel worse not better.

    Not just the horror stories and tales of woe but the rants about Big Pharma, the CDC and FDA and other conspiracy theories regarding the "real causes." Yeah, sometimes Fibro patients just give more weight to the nay sayers who claim we are whiny hypochondriacs or ppl who suffer from mental illness.

    I discovered a way to takes vitamins and supps that were easier on my GI tract. I now get a powder form that can be added to liquids and drunk or mixed in with yogurt, oatmeal etc. It has reduced the amount of pills I must take and the gastric side efx. You can get it at any health food store or online.

    Hope this was helpful to you and good luck. :-)

  2. Yeah, I'm definitely looking into some liquid and powder forms. My gag reflex really hates taking pills and since I take about 15 of them a gets pretty ugly. LOL

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!