I stumbled upon that picture of my cat from four years ago. Her indoor kitty life has been rather uneventful but my life has been turned upside down between then and now.
About a year after this sweet little kitten came into my life, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I was already in the process of trying to improve my life. Time to grow up, I thought. So in my early 20s, I quit partying all the time and started doing yoga and eating healthy. I shed 80 pounds (half I believe due to gastroperesis, half due to hard work and self discipline). I was running a couple of miles at least a few times a week. I was so happy, healthy and in love.
I am happy, healthy and just as much in love now but learning to be positive despite chronic illness has been a challenge. There are still days that I don’t feel happy and healthy at all. I’ve changed so much, friends from just four years ago wouldn’t recognize me based on looks or personality.
I was an angry youth. Well, sad. Anger keeps you from crying and I pushed people away so I wouldn’t be vulnerable. I was downright mean. I thought I was protecting myself but really, I just caused a lot of pain. Pain for myself as well as the people around me. The world seemed like such a harsh and cruel place. I didn’t know yet that I was an HSP so I smothered my feelings any way I could but nothing could truly soothe my heartache.
I read Atheist Yoga. That’s where I started to evolve into the person I am today. I didn’t expect yoga would lead to meditation. Now, I would consider myself spiritual after identifying as an atheist most of my life.
The first year after my fibromyalgia diagnosis was pretty rough. I’d been in a couple car accidents. I believe that plus the piiriformis syndrome are what triggered the fibromyalgia. I didn’t even know what fibromyalgia was and I thought that Cymbalta commercial was stupid. “Depression hurts, Cymbalta can help.” So, I felt like I deserved it for being a bitch. You really can’t help thinking thoughts like that, at least at first, when you can’t get out of bed and you don’t understand why you’re in such excruciating pain.
Such pain changes the way you think. It’s inevitable. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. I’m more compassionate and understanding towards people. I hated posts like this when I was first diagnosed. I was so bitter. But now, I actually like who I am. I was trying to better myself before I became chronically ill but my spiritual side was dead. I felt abandoned by the Christian God. I felt let down by society. So, in my pain, I did not turn to God for comfort. It just kinda crept up on me and I slowly and unknowingly accepted it.
Meditation has been the most helpful tool for pretty much everything in my life. I’m less angry and anxious. I feel connected to the universe, whatever that means. I feel like I have purpose. I feel like I can handle whatever life throws at me. I don’t feel the need to self sabotage, self destruct. Bad days are just days.
I don’t hate my anxiety and my fears or my chronic illnesses. They are as much a part of me as my better qualities. It’s all part of what makes me special. It gives me a unique perspective and purpose. This is my life now and I love my life. I haven’t just changed. I’ve evolved.