[Fibro Life] The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Why I Share It All https://reclaiminghope.blog

[Fibro Life] The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Why I Share It All

Are there ever times when you’re happy to be wrong? I have to say, I had one of those times earlier this week. As I shared in In Case You Were Wondering, we have a pup who has been really ill. I was convinced that it was cancer, and although we were treating him for a bowel disease just in case, I really didn’t think it was going to do any good.

When the vet called on Monday evening, we found out his blood protein levels had improved a lot, and the treatment seems to be helping. We’re feeling much more hopeful at this point.

When I started this blog, I never thought I’d be writing about my dog — or a lot of other things I write about for that matter….

After my last few posts, I started thinking that maybe I was sharing too many of my less-than-desirable circumstances.  I sure don’t want people to feel worse after reading my blog than they did before they started.

As I thought about it, though, I realized that sometimes sharing the hard stuff is as important as sharing the more uplifting, positive things. When you’re going through a tough time, sometimes you don’t want sunshine and flowers; you want someone who can understand the dark places also.

Life gets really hard at times and knowing we’re not alone can give us the strength we need to hold on until we can step back out into the light.

Robin Roberts, one of the anchors of Good Morning America, often says “Make your mess your message.” She shared her battle with cancer and need for a bone marrow transplant very publicly in order to raise awareness and encourage others to sign up to be donors.

She realizes that sometimes our lives are just a mess, and by sharing what we go through, we have the ability to help others as they experience similar circumstances, or even other “messes” in their lives.

That’s actually why I started this blog, and why I share things here that I don’t share with most people that I actually spend time with in person. I want people to know that whatever “mess” they have in their lives, they’re not alone. There is hope, and we can still have a great life, even after fibromyalgia invades our lives.

Everyone experiences tough times; that’s just a fact of life. During these challenging times, there’s good to be found if we look for it: lessons learned, progress made, or sometimes, just glimpses of the beauty of the world and people around us seen while going through the tough times.

I’m sure you’ve heard me say this more than once: I firmly believe that God never wastes anything. He will bring good from every situation we go through, even the difficult ones.

This last set of challenges has definitely brought that home for me. Through the most recent circumstances, I’ve been forced to step waaayyy outside my comfort zone on more than one occasion. You know what? It’s been good for me!

I’ve talked on several occasions about letting fear hold me back, but during this last set of  events, I’ve had to set that fear aside and do what needed to be done. I didn’t stop feeling the fear, but what I needed to do was more important than entertaining it.

Sometimes we let our illnesses convince us that we’re weak, that we can’t handle challenges, but the truth is, we’re stronger than we know.

Hopefully, by sharing the good – the lessons, progress, joyful times; the bad – the pain and fatigue, or difficult times we all have to experience from time to time; and the ugly – the fear that holds us back; I can help others who find themselves in this “mess.”

Please know that there is life, a great life, after diagnosis, and whatever your “mess” may be, you’re not alone. We can learn to thrive, not just survive, with fibromyalgia or other chronic illnesses, and we can help each other along the way.

How are you learning to thrive? Please share!

Blessings,

~Terri

40 comments

  1. I completely agree it sometimes feels like we share too much, I worry about that too on my own blog, but I think if we don’t share then we don’t have a chance to be there for someone else. It’s like Instagram only sharing the skinny models not the work that goes into how they look? Its not always pretty but it helps us all see we go through rough times and we can be there for one another. Much love to you and your dog xx

    1. I’m glad to know I’m in good company Beverley! You make a great point that “if we don’t share then we don’t have a chance to be there for someone else.” Like you said, it helps to know others go through the rough times and opens the door for us to be there for each other. Sending love back sweet friend! Happy Easter!

  2. In answer to your question Terri, by continuing to find myself through writing and the thought provoking conversations that constantly cause me to ponder and question the previously unquestioned.
    I am intrigued by this statement “why I share things here that I don’t share with most people that I actually spend time with in person,” You are not alone in this, I do likewise. I’m curious to know why do you think it is the case? Xx

    1. Thank you so much for sharing Marie. I can see you blossoming through your writing, and I’m glad to know the writing and pondering are helping you to thrive. It’s interesting that several of us have mentioned we share more on our blogs….I don’t know about you, but I think part of why I share more on the blog is that I feel I’m among “kindred spirits.” Not just that though — I want to share hope with everyone who visits, and I think “keeping it real” helps let people know that we can get through whatever life throws at us. How about you?

      1. Thank you Terri, it’s encouraging to know you can see the progress I am making! Xx
        I agree with your suggestion of “kindred spirits” as all the bloggers I have experienced hold a safe, encouraging and non-judgemental space for each other. I sometimes limit disclosure face to face and now I know its because my friends are great friends but not able to empathise fully, constantly because their journey is different, they are not ‘kindred spirits’ and yes, the ‘keeping it real,’ which you do, means the good and the challenging stuff, and that is what has helped me admit my illness and let go the shame which I had created around it. We really are a Community of Learners as I’ve come across in Banduras social learning theory. Thanks Terri for this interesting reflective conversation. Happy Easter, hope you have your son home. Xx

      2. Thank you so much Marie. Unfortunately my son has to work for Easter so he wasn’t able to come up, and he lives too far away for us to just go down for a one-day trip. At least I talk to him on the phone all the time. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter!

    1. Thanks so much Ruth! Ever since I heard Robin say that for the first time it has stuck with me. I think it’s a great reminder that the best gift we can give others sometimes is authenticity. Hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend!

  3. Applause! We strive for an authentic voice. We are what we are – good and bad. I can’t think of anything worse than miring in the muck and thinking you are the only one. This is what makes you an inspiration, Terri!

    1. Awww….You’re too kind V.J.! I’m so sorry for the late reply to your comment – for some reason WP sent several comments to my Spam folder from people whom I interact with all the time. Thanks so much for your kind words; you’re such a blessing to me! Hugs!

  4. Great post Terri!
    “Let go & relax, knowing that I am God” Ps46:10 came to mind as I read you putting your fear to one side & allowing His strength to flow 😉
    I agree we need to be real & authentic in our writing. Also being able to share here in this blogspace we find others who are going through similar circumstances throughout the world, so there is a deeper compassion & empathy that may not be present in our face to face social groups.
    Happy Easter!
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

    1. Thank you Jennifer! I love that verse! I have to say, I was praying minute by minute for strength and courage, and of course, He didn’t let me down. The blogosphere is a wonderful place, isn’t it? I’ve found what you said about there being a “deeper compassion and empathy ” to be true. I hope you have a very blessed Easter sweet friend!

  5. It is so hard to share our down times. We are taught to avoid complaining, but sharing is not complaining. When you share your down times along with the good, you show is that what we feel sometimes is natural and not just ourselves. It helps, and I thank you for sharing the good and the sad.

    1. Thank you so much George! You make such a great point about us being taught not to complain, and I think you put into words exactly what I was feeling. I didn’t want to seem like I was complaining because I know everybody is dealing with something. I hope you and Sandy are doing well. I’ve gotten so far behind on all my blog reading — I have to pop by today and see what you guys are up to. Blessings to you both!

      1. You’re so right…. The only thing about being behind on reading blogs is that I feel I’ve been missing out on visits with my friends. Have a wonderful, stress-free week my friend!

  6. I couldn’t agree more. Sharing those bad times is just as necessary, and sometimes the harder things to talk about are the most important. I love that phrase, “Make your mess your message.” I’m glad you write so honestly, and share the difficult things, the not-rosy things, the hard times, with us all. We’re not alone in our struggles, and while we should try to see the lessons or positives to the bad stuff, it’s just as vital that we actually acknowledge the bad stuff in the first place and know that it’s okay to feel the way we do and share it with others. Great post, Terri. My fingers are crossed the beautiful pup continues to improve, too. Hope you’re all having a blessed, relaxing-as-possible Easter weekend 🌷
    Caz xx

    1. Thank you so much Caz! I love what you said about it being vital to “actually acknowledge the bad stuff in the first place and know that it’s okay to feel the way we do….” I think sometimes we just stuff it all down and let it fester inside instead of just letting it out in the open so we can deal with it. Thanks for the well-wishes for Mr. Bossy Pants. He’s still looking thin, but I actually saw him chewing on one of his toys yesterday which he hasn’t done for a while. That makes me feel hopeful that maybe he’s feeling better. I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend too. Sending love and hugs!

  7. I too worry about “over-share”.. But I think its a many faceted problem for me, some being
    * Will this all turn out to be a nightmare & I will eventually wake-up
    * will the diagnosis finally be disproved & i was “allergic” to something all along (& therefore treatable)
    * Will people think less of me because of the illness…
    * Im supposed to be the “Do-er” the one people go to for help.. I WANT to remain that person for them… Will my sharing my behind-closed-doors stories make them second-think their decisions?
    Its a mine-field.
    XXX

    1. Thanks so much for sharing Karin! I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that most of us struggle with some of those very same questions you do. I know for sure that I’ve asked several of them myself from time to time. One thing that has helped me tremendously when wrestling with the questions about whether people will think less of me or make them second-guess their decisions is to remember that old quote, “what other people think of you is none of your business.” It helps me remember not to worry about what other people are thinking of me and just do what I know to be the right thing. Thanks so much for stopping by, and for following. I look forward to getting to know you!

  8. First, I am so sorry that I am so incredibly far behind with my blogging family. Second, I love that quote, “Make your mess your message.”. It is so powerful and very real. I think I might have to print it out and put it up at my desk. I must say before I joined the blogging world, I did feel alone with my struggles. I think most people don’t understand because they don’t have an illness. I truly love reading what you write because you my dear friend are so wise and encouraging. I am also so glad your sweet pup is getting better. I do think our pets become WAY more than just a pet, but they are family!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Alyssa! No worries about being behind – I’ve been way behind these last couple of months. I’m glad Robin’s “Make your mess your message” resonated with you too. Like you, I find the blogosphere a great place for those of us going through some of the same struggles to find true understanding. Although we may have a great support system and people who try to understand, they really can’t (and we can’t expect them to). It’s nice to have a place to meet up with people who “get it.” Sending hugs your way!

      1. I am so glad you shared Robin’s quote because it really is powerful and true! The blogging world has been so great and the friends I have made in it are true!!!

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