Pssstt…. Yes, YOU there…. the Warrior who’s reading this… do you know what’s coming up on May 12th? No? I’ll give you a hint: it’s a very important day. The kind you put on your calendar
No! Not International Chocolate Day! Though I highly recommend putting that one on your calendar too.
Here’s another hint: read the title of the article! Ha!
May 12th, 2017 is the official day for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day! Woo-hoo! Go us!
Ok, so I know what some of you are thinking: Why on earth do we need a special day to “celebrate” fibromyalgia?
I know you’re thinking that because I used to think that too. And let’s be honest, I still sometimes think that way.
I mean, after all, there’s truly nothing to celebrate about Fibromyalgia!
Fibromyalgia is one of the most misunderstood ailments out there. If you were to put together a crowd of 100 people in a room, and asked them each what fibromyalgia was, I can guarantee you that you would not get two identical answers.
Ask those same 100 people what a broken bone is, and chances are you’ll get around 90 identical answers. The remaining 10 would still be right, but they would either have a more technical answer or a simplified answer.
The fact remains that fibromyalgia has been trying to earn its place among the top medical diagnosis for a little while now. And still it is one of the least accepted afflictions in our modern societies.
Why is that? Well, probably because the population at large is not aware that fibromyalgia is real and is becoming a widespread epidemic. And how can we remedy this lack of knowledge? You’ve guessed it: by having a Fibromyalgia Awareness Day!
Now that we’ve establishes that a Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is a necessity, what’s next?
Let me break it down for you, my fellow Fibro Warriors.
Fibro Warriors of the World, Unite!
There are undeniably several schools of thoughts when it comes to fibromyalgia. But here is the deal: we can all agree that the lack of education regarding Fibro is evident. Who cares if you think that it’s a neurological disorder or a musculoskeletal syndrome? In the end, we all have fibromyalgia!
So for the good of the greater Fibro community, let’s all band together in a display of solidarity that will show the world that we have values, we have character, we have strength and we have determination.
The more of us join together to denounce the lack of education regarding fibromyalgia, the louder our voice will be. What does that mean concretely?
Well, for one, people will know what Fibro is. But more importantly, the more noise we make, the more likely we are to catch the attention of the medical community and more importantly the research community.
And if the researchers start hearing about fibromyalgia through our efforts, they are more likely to realize that we have potential and that a cure, or at least an effective treatment, are a must.
Napoleon was right.
And I don’t say that just because I’m French. Here is what napoleon said: “The basis of all education is repetition, repetition and repetition. “
And there you have it, folks. There is no better to get a point across than to repeat it over and over (and over).
In fact, it’s no secret that psychology and behavioral experts tell us that to implement a new habit, we should practice it for 21 days in a row.
On the 22nd day, we are supposed to have repeated the behavior enough times that it is now ingrained in our brain and muscle memory takes over.
What does that have to do with Fibro Awareness Day? Simple. The more we drill down the idea that fibromyalgia is real and that it is a devastating condition, the more likely the general public is to remember it.
In other words, while we don’t need to convince ourselves, we are trying to make the idea of fibromyalgia so mainstream that no one will ever think twice about taking it seriously. Wouldn’t that be nice?
We have a lot of work to do to get to that point, and the first step is to tirelessly continue to advocate for ourselves loud and clear. Eventually, we will be heard.
You don’t ask about what you don’t know about.
The idea here is that we cannot expect people to know about fibromyalgia if they have never heard about it.
Imagine fibromyalgia is like a book club. Granted, not a fun book club. More like a book club for appliance pamphlets or something.
A boring, painful book club. But I digress! Imagine fibromyalgia is like your neighborhood book club, and you want to talk about a particular book you hold dear.
Talking about fibromyalgia with someone who has no clue what fibromyalgia is would be like trying to talk to someone about a book they’ve never read because it was never released in stores. That just would not be reasonable.
What would be a good solution if we wanted to discuss the story line with someone? My first instinct would be to ask if they’ve read it.
And if they have not, I would either offer to lend them the book so they could read it for themselves, or I would offer to give them the Cliff notes by giving them the main points and ideas.
Why should Fibromyalgia Awareness be any different? We cannot expect people to understand what we are going through, and much less be sympathetic to our daily struggles, if they don’t know the last thing about it.
And just like in the book club analogy above, if we don’t share the material we want to discuss with them, how can we expect them to know?
We need to treat the world as a big giant book club. Fibromyalgia is like this book that is crucial for the survival of all of humanity.
We need to share it with the world. But we have the only copy. So what’s a Warrior to do? Share the BOOM with others of course! Make copies, distribute them in the school pick-up line, leave copies behind on the park benches and talk about it at the office!
As Fibro Warriors, we cannot idly wait for the world to catch up to us and our knowledge of fibromyalgia. We need to proactively share what we know so that more and more people are educated about the condition.
People will never ask about something they don’t see. If we participate in fibromyalgia awareness activities, people are bound to be curious and ask questions. And when that happens, BOOM! We swoop in and drop our knowledge on them! Man, we’re an awesome bunch…
By participating in a Fibro Awareness Day, we increase the visibility of Fibro Warriors.
Let’s face it: if we’ve got it, we need to flaunt it!
Be selfless. Or be selfish. Same thing.
Here it is, friends. My nugget of wisdom. The best reason to engage in Fibromyalgia Awareness events lays in the relationship you have with yourself and with others.
I can hear you from here, rolling your eyes until you see you brain. I mean, can it get more cliché than that? Nope. It can’t. But just like there is no smoke without a fire, there is no cliché without a bit of truth behind it.
Look, it’s not complicated. Either you are selfless because you feel that sharing knowledge about fibromyalgia will help someone you love; and yes, that someone can be you. Or you are trying to help yourself by educating the people around you. And there it is: selfless or selfish, it makes no difference in the end.
So go ahead, spread the word and be every Fibro Warrior’s champion! Yay you!
Don’t be a cannibal soul eater.
I think I might have to explain that header…
CJ Jung once said, “Shame is a soul eating emotion.” Isn’t that the truth? You don’t need to be ashamed of who you are, ever. Hmm.
Almost ever, because if you are a bully or a dictator and what not, you should probably feel a bit of shame.
But even if you’re a serial killer, you should never be ashamed of having fibromyalgia! (Just don’t kill anyone please)
I’m joking around, but you know exactly what I’m talking about. Some people have a talent for making you feel like you’re nothing, you’re insignificant, you’re a bug on their pancake and all they want to do is smash you down!
You know the type. Oh you have fibromyalgia? Might as well become a hermit now. Just in case it’s contagious. You never know.
It could be like heartburn, something you catch by looking at people who have heartburn.
Wait, what?!? What kind of nonsense is this? Ah, glad you asked. It’s the ridiculous kind of nonsense, that’s what that is!
Look, people are sometimes ignorant when it comes to fibromyalgia. We have been told year upon year that fibromyalgia is this made-up, everything but the kitchen sink, catch all diagnosis that amounts to nothing. It’s like a fancy way of saying you’re a hypochondriac.
Changing the public’s perception about fibromyalgia is some sort of uphill battle. Fighting has brought us the recognition of most doctors.
That’s huge, but that’s not enough. We need to keep fighting the good fight until everyone we meet knows what fibromyalgia is, and more importantly, knows it is real and serious. But we can’t do this if we’re ashamed of admitting that we have Fibro. I get it. It’s hard.
No one wants to voluntarily offer information that may lead to being made fun of and bullied. But here is the deal: if we keep in the shadows because we are ashamed to declare proudly that we are Fibro Warriors, how can we expect to change public opinion?
Get out there! Tell people you have fibromyalgia! And be prepared to answer questions. I know it is politically correct to say that there are no stupid questions, but you and I know that’s not even close to being a fact! Still, until better awareness (ding, ding, ding! Buzz word!) – sorry… as I was saying, until better awareness is achieved, we cannot waver and be afraid to affirm ourselves as Fibro Warriors.
Get out there, Warriors! You are much stronger and braver than you give yourself credit for!
You are NOT fibromyalgia! You ARE fibromyalgia!
I’m the queen of contradictions. Get used to it. Here is what I mean by that: your fibromyalgia diagnosis does not define who you are as a human being. Yet you are the Fibro Warrior you know best!
I don’t know about you, but personally, and quite frankly, I am annoyed beyond words at people who associate patients with their conditions, and nothing else.
Never in a million years would you hear anyone say, “Oh you have cancer? Are you sure it’s not just acid reflux?” Or, “Oh you broke your arm? Are you sure it’s not just a poison ivy rash?”
Come one now, people! Those same folks have no problem saying, “Oh you have fibromyalgia? Are you sure it’s not just (insert choice of arthritis, depression, fatigue, stress, etc)?” Why is it that people cannot wrap their beds around the fact that fibromyalgia is not a myth and it’s not a lie?
Here is where you come into play: you are not your diagnosis. You are much more than that! Unfortunately, until we make progress in terms of awareness and legitimacy of the diagnosis, we need to bear our cross and accept the fact that we are responsible for educating the public.
Don’t ever let Fibromyalgia define who you are as a person, but don’t hesitate to proudly wear your fibromyalgia in plain view. Fibromyalgia Awareness Day allows you to do just that!
It should be Fibro Warriors Appreciation Day…
Just saying… We, as Fibro Warriors, deserve respect and compassion! Unfortunately, until the awareness is omnipresent, we are kind of stuck behind this ugly word.
But known this: you are now part of The Fibro Warriors’ community. I cannot stress enough how wonderful it is to have like-minded people by your side during this journey.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for always being there for one another (and for me!), and for never judging others. We all have different lifestyles, different interests and different levels of knowledge. But if we keep working together, we can make a difference!
We WILL be the ones who tip the scale of knowledge and send ignorance flying out the window! We ARE the faces of fibromyalgia, and we should be dang proud of ourselves for having the resolve and will power to educate others and encourage one another.
Purple is beautiful.
I love me some purple! The “official” fibromyalgia awareness color is purple. And I think it’s a wonderful choice.
I may be reading too much into it, but to me purple represents the softness of pink, the cool-headed blue and the boldness of red all mixed in one (convenient!) color. And it is absolutely perfect to symbolize what Fibro Warriors endure day in and day out.
On May 12th, 2017, to commemorate Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, and to acclaim and honor Fibro Warriors worldwide, proudly wear purple!
A purple shirt, a purple hat, a purple bracelet, whatever floats your purple boat! But wear it with a spring in your step, knowing you are making a difference in someone’s life.
That someone could be you, as you muster up the energy to share your story with people. And that someone could be any and all Fibro Warriors in the world who are too unsure to affirm themselves.
I would absolutely love seeing your Fibromyalgia Awareness Day pics in the comments below or in the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/147205362478346/ Show me your purple pride!
I always appreciate emails and would love to hear from you – firstname.lastname@example.org
You are beautiful. You are strong. You are a Warrior! Keep fighting the good fight!