Fibromyalgia is a disease of the body that causes constant muscle pain and exhaustion but that doesn’t mean that the body of the person is the only part that suffers.
When a person has a chronic illness it can be very difficult to maintain normal and healthy relationships with other people.
And in life family and friends are the most important thing if you are emotionally healthy. And people are not meant to live solitary lives, we are social beings and we need love and attention every day.
The question that is posed here is how to maintain healthy relationships with the people we love and care about if we simply don’t even have energy for ourselves.
Some of the people who suffer from this disease say that on certain days when things were particularly hard they couldn’t even put their shoes on, let alone interact with people normally.
Sometimes the people we love cannot comprehend what having a chronic disease like this one can do to a person. It can seem that the fatigue and the low energy is something imaginary, or pretend.
It is important to explain what the condition does to the patient suffering from fibromyalgia and it is important to have the patience to understand.
Empathy is one of the things that lacks in these sort of situation and people who suffer from it claim that in this way they discovered who truly cares for them and who doesn’t.
For most people their social life is built out of groups of people and most of the time you share certain interests with these people.
And if out of a sudden you cannot attend all the parties and the events that you used to and you don’t have the energy to do it this can affect the relationships.
There is a dangerous misconception about this disease and it threatens to grow if we don’t find a way to teach people about it. And it is that the people who suffer from it are simply faking the symptoms and that it is not really happening.
The people who suffer from it are then stigmatised and not understood correctly, and it certainly shouldn’t be that way. And for people who have had very full and active social lives before the disease this can be a shock and very difficult to cope with all of a sudden.
The bottom line is that people need to stay patient and understand that this is not something that is dealt with as easy as they may think and to try to find ways of helping their friends and loved ones.
The good thing is that you can always educate the people you are close to and give them information on how this disease is affecting you in your daily life and in your activities. Give them time to process this and to really understand.
You also need to stay emotionally healthy through this illness so don’t try to shut out the people who love you. Be honest with them and be honest with yourself.
If the pain and exhaustion are simply too much to take then say it, nobody can blame you for it. And ask for help when you feel that you need it.
It can be the little things that your friends and family will be happy to help you with, like making dinner or helping you vacuum or wash the windows.
Anything to make life easier for you. You will need to learn to communicate your needs clearly and to ask for help, because you cannot expect from all the people to know in advance what your needs are.
There are many things you can do to improve your relationships with people:
- You can talk to your partner about exercising together after you contact your doctor and learn what kind of exercise will be best to help you with your condition.
- You can explain to your friends that you may not be able to attend all the gatherings that you used to but that it doesn’t mean that you don’t love and respect them any more.
- Don’t feel guilty that you cannot do all the things that you used to do, it is not your fault and guilt is not going to help you get better.
- Talk to your children and explain gently to them how this condition affects your body and your mind.
- Find time during the day just for yourself and meditate. This will lower your stress levels as well as your blood pressure and heart rate. And it will give you some peace of mind.
- Adjust the household tasks so that your whole family helps with the chores. You don’t need to do everything by yourself.
Having fibromyalgia can also affect your sexlife and your libido and your relationship with your partner can suffer for it. But you need to explain this to them and work together to get thing better.
Some medications for fibromyalgia can cause a reduced sex drive so talk to your doctor and ask them if they can change the medication if this is the case.
And in case that the medication is not the main problem just be patient with yourself and work with your partner so that you change a few things in your sex life until it gets comfortable for you.
It is best to be honest and open in this conversation and tell your partner what feels good and what does not.
Just because fibromyalgia will affect your relationship with the people you love that doesn’t mean that it has to ruin those relationships.
You need to realise that it will take some time and some effort but the results are going to be good and you may even get a more honest and better relationship with the people than the one you had before.
So trust that the people who love you will be patient and understanding because you deserve it.