Adjusting to the new normal


I was diagnosed in 2007. It’s not really the new normal for me and yet it is.

I am still pushing myself past my limits. I even know most of the time when I am doing it.

So how do I accept what I can do now as opposed to what I used to be able to do?

Simple. I don’t.

I get pouty about it. I don’t want to accept that I can’t just jump up and hike the Appalachian trail like I did in 1995.  I totally can! Now whether or not I can function the next day? That is an entirely different question.

Its hard to suddenly have to start pacing yourself out on simple housework tasks. I want to get laundry done ,dishes washed and the floors vacuumed all in the same day. Oh and still be able to function the rest of the day.

How do I adjust to what my new normal is? Very slowly and very stubbornly. Often digging my heels in all the way.

The thing about fibromyalgia and even the arthritis is that often what you can do changes day to day.

Some days I can walk and walk and walk and come home and deal with homework and dinner and be fine.

Some days I can’t even make my normal walk, let alone go home and function.

Truthfully I don’t think I really made any progress with acceptance until I stopped working.  It still took me about six months or so to even make any attempt towards acceptance.

I still struggle with it.

Getting to acceptance takes a lot of self reflection, self analysis, and sometimes even therapy.  I know I have used all three.

Because often our symptoms and abilities change daily it requires us to do a lot of self analysis.

I can’t tell you what will work for you.  I can’t even tell you what will work for me six months from now.  Right now walking is often my time for self reflection. It used to be driving, before that I buried myself in books and things just kinda fell into place. Before even that I scrapbooked.

I don’t like to say I can’t do something because of physical limitations.

Sometimes I plan rest days the day before and the day after something that will test my physical limitations. Sometimes that works. Sometimes its two days later before I feel the stress from the physical exertion. I have to trudge on I may get the kid to school and let the dogs out but that is probably all I am going to do.

I used to use medications to help get through a lot of it.  Anything from Soma to Lortab to Ambien. What ever works to get me through the day or the night.

I can’t say I don’t use medications now but I use considerably less. I don’t feel bad about that. I did what I had to then. Just like now I do what I have to. A lot of things I discover by trial and error. Its really frustrating because I think I have come so far. I adjusted to the difference in changing medications. I adjusted to the drop in medications.  Just when I think I have a new symptom or issue figured out. It disappears. Then when I am least expecting it there it is again.

The problem is  illnesses change, evolve , get worse….so we are constantly adjusting to our new normal.



5 responses »

  1. This is such a hard thing to accept. If I do a craft show, I have to sleep for a whole day afterwards. Sometimes two. Heck, some mornings just a shower costs me a few spoons. Other days it’s like there’s nothing wrong. I think part of the difficulty in adjusting, for me at least, is the unpredictable nature of it all. My family can’t understand why today is hard, when yesterday was fine. It makes me question my body’s own wisdom to the tune of, “If I was fine yesterday, I’ll be fine today, dammit.” And I push myself too far. ARGH.


  2. I just read your post. OMG You summed up my life. I was forced to retire im 2011. I stayed working against dr. Advice for several years as I felt I didn’t have anything that would keep me down and with kids I wanted to go to college and everyday expenses I would be letting then & my husband down. To this day I am a stubborn Irish lady that pushes myself beyond lumuts. My dr. Just told myself and my husband we were both in denial ! I felt that Lupus was no different than fibro and then suddenly I found lupus was causing kidney issues & my job was very stressful and not accommodating or understanding & for a government emoloyer did not comply wwith ADA laws and offer reasonable accommodations. My dr. Refused to release me and plainly said for my mental and physical well being the only work papers he would sign was disability papers. So my life changed. Knowing what I know now I should have followed medical advice and retired earlier. Thank uoi for sharing your blog and for letting me vent.


  3. So true for so many and by writing this you are helping people who read our post see “themselves”. I wish you all the best. I love the idea that you schedule rest time after a physical day, and hope that does help bring some relief for you.


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