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.