Why H.O.P.E.?

Fibromyalgia is a funny thing. Funny strange, not funny ha ha. One day you’re feeling well, you’re feeling optimistic that you might actually recover from it, and the next day, you’re in bed, feeling as if you’ve been hit by a truck.

I realized not too long ago that I was starting to feel hopeless. I just started feeling that I might never feel like a “real person” again. I knew two things: 1. I couldn’t live the rest of my life feeling so hopeless and 2. I had to figure out some way to live, and live well within my new parameters. As I thought about the most important thing the fibro has taken away from me, my hope, I started thinking about the best way for me to reclaim it. Part of it, of course, is doing things that help me physically, but I also needed to address my mental/emotional and spiritual needs. That’s when H.O.P.E. (healthy diet, optimism, prayer and meditation, and exercise) was born:

Healthy Diet – Let’s face it – a well-fueled body is going to serve us better than one that exists on junk food and sodas. Just as we wouldn’t put kerosene in our car’s fuel tank and expect it to run, we can’t put only junk in our bodies and expect them to perform at optimal levels. That’s true for anyone, but especially for those of us who live with a lack of energy anyway. I know there are times when I feel as if I have absolutely no energy at all, and I know if I pay closer attention to my nutrition, I’m at least giving my body a fighting chance to pull energy from somewhere….©

Optimism – When you have chronic pain, it’s not always easy to feel optimistic, but being able to have a hopeful outlook is paramount (for me at least) to being able to live well. I don’t want to just get through my days; I want to live them.

Prayer and Meditation – I’ll just be honest – I don’t know how I would get through this without prayer. Knowing that I can reach out to God anytime day or night is a life saver for me. Meditation is another life ring. It’s easy, particularly when I’m having a bad day, for negative thoughts to circle around and around in my head like a hamster on a wheel. Meditation gives me the opportunity to put the brakes on that wheel and send that little hamster flying.

Exercise – Okay, I can hear you groaning from here….. The doctors always tell us to exercise, that it will help with the pain, but the reality is that when you’re already in pain, that’s the last thing you want to do. I know from experience, though, that the doctors are right. If we can get through the initial discomfort and make exercise a habit, it will help with the pain, not to mention our overall health. Some days, however, “official” exercise just isn’t in the cards for me. Some mornings, I wake up and know that I need to take a recovery day. I’ve discovered, though, that if I’m completely sedentary, the next day, I’m much more sore. On my recovery days, I take it easy all day, but I get up every hour or so and just move around the house to get some blood flowing to my muscles and lubricate my joints.  As Dr. Nicholas DiNubile, author of the Framework series says, “Motion is lotion.”

Putting all these things together probably won’t cure me, but it will help me live the life I want to live. My hope is that it will help you as well, whatever your situation. How will you reclaim your hope today?

62 comments

  1. Oh my. You are so correct about movement. It is so hard to motivate to move when hurting but it is so helpful. Vital even. The get up hourly is essential for me. I’m trying to impress upon my 89 year old mother that she should get out of her comfy recliner about every hour so she doesn’t freeze up like the tin man on the Wizard of Oz. Keep on keeping on.

  2. Hi Terri!
    This is a wonderfully supportive site for victims of this disease. I have met other victims of this disease online as well as you. I’ve learned more about it by reading blog posts such as yours.
    I met you at Danny Ray’s Meet and Greet.
    I came to meet and greet you.
    Maybe you can check out my blog if you need any blogging tips. That’s what I write about. I also have six blog parties a month including meet and greets like Danny and I host giveaways. I blog over at http://mostlyblogging.com.
    Janice

      1. Hi Terri,
        Thank you for your reply. Please click the link I left to mostlyblogging.com. Sometimes when people click my avatar, it takes them to my former site.
        I will look forward to your visit.
        Janice

  3. I can totally relate to HOPE.. I think Pryer too is very strong<if I don't pray I honestly don't know how I would be able to start my day mentally, emotionally,and physically. Thank you for this

  4. Hi Terri. This is so inspiring.. I like what you said that “I don’t want to just get through my days; I want to live them.”
    I couldn’t agree more.. and I think your meaning for HOPE is so helpful for people who are recovering from many other things..

    i really appreciate your blog and what it stands for, so I want to nominate you for the Valiant Blogger Award. https://dailywarriors.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/valiant-blogger-award/

    Stay strong! Keep hoping for the best.. <3

    1. Hi Liz, thank you so much, and I am so honored to be nominated for the Valiant Blogger Award! My goal in starting this blog was to help others, and it means a lot to me that you find HOPE helpful! Thanks again – have a wonderful day!

    2. Liz, I just checked out the Valiant Blogger Award, and I am beyond humbled by this nomination. I was brought to tears reading the description. Thank you again for the nomination, and I will get to work on this quickly. Bless you!

  5. Hello Terri,

    I saw you on Marilyn’s blog today and just had to come visit and follow your blog! Thanks for following my Recovery blog as I suffer from Agoraphobia and pain with my depression, so I too have days that are challenging and sure understand. I keep hold of 3 things in life, HOPE, HUMOR, and MY FAITH!

    They help me make it through each day. Plus, many of the topics you shared in this exceptional post.
    Now, if you like to read? Stop by my other Passion and WP Blog here: https://anauthorandwriterinprogress.wordpress.com

    I think you’ll like that one too! XO

    Author, Catherine Lyon

    1. Thanks for your comment Crystal. I’ve also heard some doctors don’t accept that fibromyalgia is real, but thankfully that was not my experience with my either of my doctors. I was extremely fortunate that my doctor who diagnosed me was very knowledgeable about fibromyalgia, and once he retired, my current doctor took over my care seamlessly. Thanks for following – I look forward to getting to know you!

    1. Thank you so much! It’s definitely what keeps me going as well. Knowing that we’re living for that hope instead of just surviving definitely helps me continue to face each day with optimism. Blessings to you!

  6. It’s really nice to know that there are people who understand what you are going through. Thank you for writing your blog. It’s the roller coaster ride that drives me crazy. As you mentioned, one minute I am doing so well I think I can go back to work….the next thing you know I can’t even fold laundry. I agree with your version of H.O.P.E.

    1. Thanks so much Cheryl! I completely agree with you about the roller coaster ride being one of the worst things. It’s frustrating, but I’m slowly learning to just take each day as it comes, be grateful for the good days, and accept the harder ones for what they are. Like you said, it’s nice to know other people who understand. Thanks so much for your comment!

  7. Just yesterday I was feeling super depressed. I have autoimmune issues and like you, lose lots of days to pain and fatigue. I was feeling truly hopeless. I love your acronym and am going to put it where I can see it to remind me what to do. I’ve got the H and E going OK, but the O and P need work. I have to do what I can today and keep trying. Like you, I want to live my life. Thanks for your great post.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Kit. I’m so glad you found the HOPE acronym helpful. I love what you said about doing what you can today and keep trying. It can be hard to do sometimes but we have to remember to give ourselves grace. For me, learning to do what I could and let go of the rest was extremely helpful in moving forward and regaining a sense of hope. Wishing you all the best. Blessings to you!

      1. I still struggle not to be disappointed on days when I am unable to do the things I want to, but I know having the right (positive) attitude can make a difference. Too bad changing the way we think isn’t as easy as changing our clothes!

  8. Whatever works, works. You have found the best for you at this time. I’m very impressed with your positivity. It’s one of the keys, I think, but it’s a difficult thing to be when you are in harsh pain. Hugs!

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