In the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who when David Tennant regenerates into Matt Smith, the Doctor takes inventory to make sure he is still intact.
Some mornings I limp to the bathroom. Other mornings, I make it with some stiffness and there are mornings where I need to use the walls for support because I am afraid to lose my balance. The thing about mornings is that there are not unpredictable. While I know that I will wake up in pain, I never know the extent of that pain until my alarm clock goes off. I have not had a pain free morning in over two years. However, I do have good days on the mornings where I awake with some achiness and stiffness so they are, if anything, indicators of better days. But I don’t actually recall a pain free morning and if anything, mornings are reminder that remission is so far away for me.
Aside from the pain, I deal with what I call “fibromyalgia mornings.” These are the mornings where in addition to pain, I wake up with an upset stomach, nausea, a headache and/or neck ache, and of course, pain – like I have run over by a truck while I slept. These are the days where I really want to call in sick and just sleep, but I don’t think my employers would keep me if I did that every time I felt this awful. To me, those mornings are the most challenging.
I know that I am not immune to illness and pain. In fact, I am reminded daily and while I want to give into the pain and the ill feelings, I know that I can’t. The worst thing I can do is to give in and lay in bed all day. I need to get up, go out and live my life. I need to show my body that I am capable and that my conditions don’t get to win. I need to succeed to feel to somewhat “normal,” and I need to feel like I can work towards improving my health. Letting my diseases win won’t going to get me anywhere but bedridden.
The only advice I can offer here is not to give into the bad days and to keep moving despite painful mornings. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the cycle of impossibility and strive for little victories because little victories can become bigger ones. I have learned that I can still set achievable goals; hold myself accountable for all my responsibilities, and I can still be successful. My definition of success may have changed but I have not. I am still as strong and as stubborn as I have always been.