Last night I expressed concern relating to Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. Tonight I will address said concern and share what’s been on my mind of late.
After reading many posts relating to today, I am reassured. The bulk of pieces I found were uplifting, honest, and educational. I am consistently impressed by the strength of the chronic pain community, and grateful for my fibrofolk friends. I am proud to be a part of a community which is proactively taking steps to inform those unaffected by chronic pain and other invisible illnesses about…
Of what are we working to inform them? For what do we wish to raise awareness?
This sounds like a harsh question, but it’s had me doing some serious introspection over the last few weeks. And I believe, if we can’t answer it selflessly, we have no need for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.
Do we want someone to feel sorry for us? Or do we want someone to understand fibromyalgia?
Are we concerned people think we are crazy and/or weak? Or do we wish they knew fibromyalgia is an explanation, not an excuse?
Can I honestly define the purpose of an awareness day? Or can I simply determine my interpretation?
Am I completely missing the point?
I am, however, hoping the positive energy I’ve seen on the blogs today sticks with us as we go throughout the rest of the week, month, and year. I hope we can share it with fibrofolks who are struggling, caught in a flare, or feeling lonely. And, as I mentioned on Twitter today, I pray we set a high standard and don’t lead others to think fibro is an excuse for, or result of, laziness.
I hope we recognize it is our responsibility to help others understand fibromyalgia; we need to provide (and/or seize) opportunities for education, instead of simply complaining about symptoms. And, when confronted by someone close to us (or otherwise) who doesn’t “believe” in fibromyalgia, I wish us the ability to calmly say “You’re right. Fibromyalgia might not exist. But, it doesn’t matter. The symptoms do.”
Thank you for your powerful example of strength and honesty.
Come back Thursday for my meaning of today. And now, whatever your interpretation of the meaning of Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, please share it… along with a link to your post.