When you have a chronic illness you have bad days... heck even the good days can feel bad! You can also have a flare which is like an extended bad day that can last for a few days, a week, a month or possibly even a year. I once had a flare that lasted 8 months and did not realize it was actually a flare until I suddenly felt better.
If you are like me the bad days include either increased fatigue, pain and stiffness or cognition problems or a combination of all four. It's so easy when you feel bad to beat yourself up for not getting anything done, for lying on the lounge, for retreating to your bed, for not coping with the world at large, etc.
I'm here to tell you it's okay and NOT to go mad at yourself.
Firstly you DO have a longstanding illness that you cope with EVERY DAY. You manage to get up and look normal most days and eat breakfast and cook dinner and all the other things you do when you are feeling pain, stiffness, tiredness, lack of restorative sleep etc. Most people have the flu when they feel like this. Many people take days off work when they feel like we do normally and WE battle on. Our normal is most people's sick.
Secondly your verbal internal commentary and general feelings of badness - guilt, disappointment, sadness, anger, and "Oh Woe Is Me" - are only going to make the situation worse. Negative self-talk can actually make us feel worse - thoughts are a form of energy and negative thoughts can sap our energy. It has been proven in research that self-talk does have an effect on motor performance.
WHAT I DO WHEN I'M HAVING A FIBRO FLARE
When I'm having a bad day I try to go easy on myself. I look after me and no one else.
- I stay in my PJ's or softest comfy clothes and clear an area just for me.
- I gather all the things I might enjoy like a new book or a friendly old book, a cup of tea, a TV series to binge on, some delicious fruit, my laptop.
- I clear the decks by taking the phone off the hook and locking the front door.
- I get a water jug and cup and any extra pain meds I might need.
- I look after myself like I would look after a young child that I love.
- I try to say some nice things to myself like "you are ok", "you are going good", "you'll get through this", "you've been here before", "this too shall pass".
all you can do
is lie in bed,
to fall asleep
you fall apart.”