The more I read about mental illness, the more I understand about my own mental health. Whether its through memoirs or fiction, I’m learning that I’m not alone. I always thought that I didn’t become depressed until I started to have chronic pain. I contributed the two to one another; I have depression because of my pain, there is a direct correlation between the two. I can’t be the person I want to be because I’m limited by my illness. This causes me to be depressed. However, I’m coming to realize that I was showing some signs during childhood that weren’t exactly healthy or normal.
It’s Fibromyalgia Awareness Day! I was diagnosed six years ago when I was still in college. Fibromyalgia impacts my entire life: physically, emotionally, and mentally.
There is no cure. It only gets harder. All we have is to raise awareness and to get people to understand and listen. No I’m not “lazy,” or “faking it.” Just because we don’t look sick on the outside doesn’t mean we aren’t a complete mess on the inside.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Over this month, I plan to do different posts about mental health and how it affects my life. To start, I present my story:
I thought that this we would be a nice way for you to get to know me in relation to chronic illness. This might not be for everyone but I thought it might interest someone.
I got another piece published on The Mighty! If you’ve never heard of The Mighty, they’re a website that focuses on articles and stories about disabilities, disorders, diseases, mental health. I’ve been helped immensely from the site, comforted in finding people just like me: trying to survive and have a life despite my many obstacles. Definitely check it out! But first, here is the piece I wrote about how my chronic pain took away the great love of my life: dance
One of the biggest joys of living in Southern California is obviously the weather…and Disneyland. We don’t really have specific seasons. It’s pretty much 75°F all year round. And because we are still in a severe drought, it’s very dry. The summers can get pretty hot, but I’ll take it for a winter in shorts and a T-shirt. Ideal weather for someone suffering from chronic pain? For the most part, yes.
Most people have one physical thing about themselves that they like: legs, calves, arms, smile. I have always loved my hair. It helps that people have been complimenting me on my hair since I was a toddler. Growing up, I basically looked like Snow White—very pale skin and VERY dark hair. So dark, that kids asked me in elementary school if I had blue hair. It was thick and curly, though the curls have calmed down into waves. Once, a woman came up to my mom at a toy store and asked if she had dyed my hair—at five-years-old!
Something about me: I’ve been sick for about nine years. It all started New Year’s Eve 2008, halfway through my senior year of high school. I had my very first migraine and from that day on, I’ve had some type of headache every day. Every day for the past nine years. Then in the middle of college, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Strange word, right? Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread pain, fatigue, memory issues, and basically anything else that can go wrong with your body. One way to look at it: my body feels like a gigantic bruise. My headaches only added to the problem. I spent a lot of time stuck in bed. I STILL spend a lot of time stuck in bed.