You can choose to “just numb it all away or Dig Deep.” – Lady Gaga
It’s been a while since I shared something personal, but lately I’ve grown more confident about sharing my own experiences. (That was the whole point of starting this blog… but this is just part of a larger vision!)
Tonight I listened to Oprah’s SuperSoul podcast featuring Lady Gaga and I got to hear two women, who I truly admire, talk about issues that touch close to home. This quote below from Oprah really stood out to me. Lady Gaga had just shared her story about trauma, fibromyalgia, and having to accept that she would be in pain every day. But this acceptance allowed her to move forward.
Oprah then says, “This idea of radical acceptance applies to every crisis, every difficulty, every challenge in your life…, all stress comes from wanting something to be what it isn’t and it doesn’t change until you first accept it for what it is and then make a decision about what do I do next.”
Now read that again.
YES!!! Problem solving. And I am a born problem solver. Thank God. Otherwise, I’m not sure I would have gotten this far in life!
According to Lady Gaga, fibromyalgia “makes your body hurt through your brain.” She says, “I’ve found through neuropsych research and my relationship with my doctors that fibromyalgia can be treated through mental health therapy. And mental health is a medical condition. It should be treated das a medical condition. It should not be ignored.” She goes on to explain how trauma is connected to pain. And that fibromyalgia has something to do with the immune system and is connected to neuropathic pain. There are similarities to autoimmune diseases but fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune disease. Then she says that she is committed to getting the smartest scientists, doctors, researchers, etc. together to solve this mental health crisis. (All of this I knew, but I am no Lady Gaga with incredible resources!) 😊
She also confirmed what my therapist says about being careful with your words because “if you speak things out into existence you are feeding back something to your brain that you don’t want to.” And this is why I named the blog Not. My. Fibro. I was taught to not own the fibro because it is only a temporary state that must be rectified. And hopefully with more research, we’ll find a true solution!
Lady Gaga believes that everything she’s been through happened for a reason. She says that God showed her what pain is so that she can help other people who are in pain. And hearing her say this, I have to admit I got a little emotional. She is a public figure, and she can influence the lives of many! But I also have a vision. I created this blog to share my own story in hopes that it could possibly help someone going through something similar and bring awareness to those who have no clue what fibromyalgia is!
Recently, I’ve found even more joy in cooking and I’ve been able to spread this joy through social media. It feels awesome to be able to create something that is delicious yet healthy! The challenge of being on a restrictive diet has only fueled me to be more creative. And seek more answers! (problem solver 😉). I also took a mental health day recently and drove out of town, enjoyed a massage, facial, and body scrub, then went for a walk on the beach where I took this picture.
I am full of hope that there are people trying their hardest to crack the fibromyalgia mystery. I believe it is a multilayered mystery and just as Lady Gaga says, we need to seek good doctors and therapists for help! My own therapist taught me about the connection between trauma and fibromyalgia. She used Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to help release trauma that I’ve been storing in my mind and body for many years! A great therapist can help you get to the core of the issue!
Lady Gaga makes another great point about learning to be wise. It’s important to be mindful of whether you are operating from an emotional or rational space from day to day. As a very emotional person, I have spent years operating from an emotional space and probably acting irrationally because of it! This is another area I spent hours in therapy working on and learning strategies to help me operate from a more rational space. I can’t say it’s easy, and my default is definitely to be emotional, but I have come a very long way in the last few years! Lady Gaga says when you are both emotional and rational at the same time you become wise. And I like that because I believe my “emotional intelligence” is what makes me a better teacher. And now that I am more in touch with my emotions, I feel that I am more in control of them as well. But I have definitely grown to be more rational over the years and therefore struck a balance. Most of the time anyway, haha. I’m a work in progress!
Quick story… My therapist and I were able to go back to some of the first fibromyalgia symptoms I felt, when my body completely changed and I quickly lost a lot of weight in 2011. At 24, I had just moved back from Asia and was suffering from some kind of reverse culture shock! I went from my life being rather routine, yet wonderful in Taiwan to a whole host of uncertainties back here at “home.” My whole life was flipped upside down again and this time my anxiety flared up monumentally.
I had a stable job, stable income, a nice condo where I lived alone, great friends, and all in all, a well rounded life. But I was in a foreign country. So I never expected to make it permanent. And I was a tad lonely. There weren’t many dating prospects in a small costal fishing village on the east coast of Taiwan. Ha. Ha.
Loneliness didn’t make me sick though. Loneliness actually drove me to ride my bike more, go to the local gyms, swim laps, seek out activities with friends! It was anxiety that made me sick. Very sick. And the anxiety came when I couldn’t get a teaching job in Florida without going back to school and getting another degree. And that was going to take nearly two more years of my life! I also decided to go back to waitressing to pay my bills, which caused anxiety as well! I was a mess! Then the icing on top of that anxiety cake was the fact that I was in a tumultuous relationship.
Well, here we are, it’s 2020! I’m 33 now! And even though the fibromyalgia sometimes doesn’t feel like it’s getting better — it sometimes feels like it’s evolving with time — I have hope. I know that diet helps! I know that Plexus has helped heal my gut in ways that have changed my whole life. And I know that I am still able to get up every morning, shake off the aches and pains, and get to work to teach those kids! And I love what I do. So I have to stay healthy for them! I’m blessed to have a job where I get back what I give! The harder I work, the better writers and speakers they’ll be! And maybe just maybe when they grow up, they’ll make the world a better place! That’s a piece of my vision. Thanks for reading.
I recommend listening to the whole podcast! It’s excellent! Also, here’s an article I read about ways that Lady Gaga practices self care. Good tips! I’ve also been practicing an “attitude of gratitude” and it’s extremely helpful!
“Gratitude even in the midst of this pain.” – Lady Gaga ❤️