I was officially diagnosed with my mental illness in 2004. Before that I guess that it was unofficial. Not that it did not affect my life. Ever since I could remember I just did not fit. Unlike others around me, I could not make friends easily, keeping a job was next to impossible, and I would have unexplainable mood swings. The diagnosis put a name to my  illness and allowed me to find a treatment team who knew about my illness and what worked.

I thought, maybe prematurely that I was getting better. I was back in school, feeling like a mom to my kids, able to pay my bills. Yet, the illness is always there. I cannot change what happened to be or how other physicians and nurses treat me when they see what medication I was taking. I could work hard though, get good grades, practice, and study as much as possible.

When I started to tell my internist about the aches and pains that I was having I was told it was all in my head. I just needed to relax. I am not sure how a person who is actively having symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder is supposed to relax, yet I must have not accomplished the relaxation well enough for the pain to go away.

When I went to see a new doctor last year, I just hoping that she would at least tell me it was not all in my head. I was happy to go have some tests done, maybe they would show something. Long story short the tests did show some arthritis in my back and a herniated disc. The only problem was the specialists did not think that those were the cause of all my pain. Finally 7 months and I do not know how many tests later a doctor told me it was fibromyalgia. Even though, I was in nursing school, I thought maybe there was an easy solution. A pill, a surgery, something. That was not to be. Since my diagnosis I have been to warm water therapy. It made me feel worse instead of better. I need to use a cane for balance. I have been told that if I work up to it, I may be able to complete 20 -30 minutes of exercise a day in 6 months to a year.

There is no way right now that I can stand on my feet for 8 hours or feel comfortable enough to assist anyone with walking. I can barely make my own bed. This is from a person who danced for 18 years, who went to the gym, who went back to school to take finals right after having an appendix out. I have always pushed myself with school. This time, my body is pushing back. Do to much and I cannot get up, my back hurts, I get pains shooting up my legs. Don’t exercise enough and I become weaker than I currently am. I thought the can would be temporary. That was September. I know there are people that have it worse. I just wished that I could have finished school. Instead I am researching pain management doctors.

Luckily, I have people in my life who understand what I am going through and accept me and all of my flaws. I just wish that I could accept myself. To me, I have failed.



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