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I’m a married 31 year-old who has been diagnosed with fibromylagia for 12 years. I am on a quest to raise awareness and help others by sharing information and staying positive. Read more
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Felicia Fibro - Life with fibromyalgia, EMPOWERED!

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Eye Opening Revelation

I recently had an eye-opening revelation in regards to support from family and friends. I realized that there are quite a few situations in life that you can’t fully understand unless you have gone through them yourself. This can create a disconnect between what kind and how much support someone having a hard time needs and what someone who wants to support that person thinks that person needs. This disconnect comes from the supporters perception of what the person going through a hard time is going through and what the person is actually going through.

This was a huge revelation to me because sometimes I felt as though my friends did not care as much about me and what I was going through. I had wished they had checked on me and/or the situation much more often than they had. This left me feeling sad, confused, stressed and sometimes even lonely. Now I realize that my friends simply didn’t realize how much impact the situation I was going through was having on my life. They probably felt as though they were providing sufficient support to me. In the end, I am grateful my friends have been spared from the stress and pain that comes with the situations they have not experienced.

Here are just a couple situations I feel that you can’t fully understand unless you have gone through them.

Living with a chronic health condition – Even if a chronic health condition is fairly under control, it is always there. It is something that dictates how you think and how you act. It isn’t something you can ever completely ignore. It can prevent you from doing things you love or being with those that you love. It changes your life and therefore you somewhat change with it. It can cause people to completely re-design their life goals. The diagnosis can be very difficult and there is often a grieving process one has to go through.

Loosing your hair – For a woman this can be especially stressful. Society has us believing that having beautiful hair is part of being a woman. After the shock my body went through in Switzerland, I recently was diagnosed with telogen effluvium. This causes my hair to thin/shed. When I wash my hair I can feel groups of hair strands slither down my body. My drain clogs. Blow drying or brushing my hair leaves loose hairs stuck on my fingers and on my clothing and counter. Besides being annoying, this is an undeniable statement from my body that it went through something bad. This experience gave me an entirely new perspective on women who loose their hair due to chemotherapy, or other medical issues. I can only imagine what it would feel like knowing my hair loss was due to an ongoing medical issue or its treatment.

Other situations that I feel are similar are having fertility issues, post-traumatic stress syndrome, loosing a child, having extreme debt/bankruptcy due to medical bills, experiencing racism, living with or having a family member living with a fatal health condition, etc… Remember, there are just some things that we don’t fully understand until we go through them. This eye-opening experience has helped me be more grateful for the good times in life. Please keep a caring heart and try to support those going through hard times as well as understand that not everyone understands what you are going through.

human eye

Eye opening!*

*Image Credit: Image from


Comment from christina
Time November 2, 2010 at 6:48 am

Nice post. i understand what ya mean. we all need to open our heart.


Comment from Maija Haavisto
Time November 2, 2010 at 9:34 am

People may not always understand what you are going through, but the truly empathetic folks will do their best, while the less empathetic won’t really care. I’ve even realized that even some ill people are unable to support others who feel ill. I had a friend (emphasis on the “had”) who said I wasn’t really disabled because I could walk.

I know what you’re saying about the hair loss. I’ve had bad hair loss for about seven years due to CFS/ME (possibly also my hypopituitarism, but it’s also caused by CFS/ME). I also have several other issues with my appearance that don’t look like they’re caused by illness (more like “I don’t take care of myself”) and it hurts, even if it’s not as serious as some of my other symptoms.


Comment from FibroFly
Time November 9, 2010 at 8:01 am

Hi Felicia,

A true and difficult post to come to terms with emotionally.
I relate to so many of the items you mentioned..
I also feel that these life changes, in my case completely unexpected and not due to any cause that was in my control, brought a lot of sadness due to the diversion from my perfectly planned life that was so on track. After the derailment and the fighting against it, I realised and then responded with decluttering the people, places, situations that no longer fit in with my new non negotioable priorities..
I also had to include changes to my self limiting beliefs like people like me because of my beauty, hair, great figure. I literally had to loose a lot of my hair, gain excess weight that I couldn’t shed easily due to extreme fatigue and pain for me to see my beauty and light is from within. The people I need and want in my life see that as well.

Thank you for this post.. In these unfortunate circumstances, its a great comfort to share with people who can relate.


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