Another post on the importance of mental health and chronic illness.

I just realised that I completely missed March. I did a lot of writing, just not here.

I’ve been dealing with some personal issues and because it affects way more than just me, I’m not going to go into detail on a public page. I also had to do a witness statement to police (I’m fine, just saw a thing and my statement will hopefully help lock up a person who very much deserves it.) And again I have extra health issues on top of my usual ones – once again gynaecological on top of my usual dysmenorrhoea, so I’ll be off for more surgery in May.

So this last month, my cortisol (stress hormone) levels have probably been through the roof.

I tried all the things my psychologist recommends, I tried to meditate, which didn’t go so well. I tried to exercise, but because cortisol elevates pain levels, that also didn’t go well. I wrote – A LOT about the issues. Mostly just to myself, but also to the other people involved. And none of it was helping.

I am very much a person who needs to close boxes. Closing some of the boxes helped a bit. Getting the witness statement done and signed, closed that box. Seeing my gynaecologist and booking surgery closed that box. It might seem strange that I consider that box closed, but having someone willing to investigate and having a plan in place is enough for me to close that box. Surgery itself will be a box I open in May and I’m okay with that.

Open boxes cause me distress. The personal issue was most definitely an open box and it didn’t seem like there was going to be a way to close it. Lack of response to an issue causes me more distress. Even someone being angry at me is better than the feeling that I am not even worth the time to respond. Which may not be what they were thinking, but logic doesn’t always get a look in when you are on a downward spiral. So I spiralled faster and further downhill. I ruminated and stewed and argued with myself and stressed myself into a flare.

Thankfully, not a full on “can’t get out of bed because I’m too wobbly and weak and sore” level flare, but a milder version, where I can basically take care of myself for most of the day, but anything more than that and the FibroTroll starts playing with his clubs.

Elevated cortisol levels also weaken your immune system, so I’ve been fighting a cold as well, which has meant I couldn’t get into my HBO2 chamber because my sinuses were blocked.

So I made an appointment with my psychologist. As I’ve mentioned before, mental health concerns like anxiety and depression are common co-morbid conditions with Fibromyalgia. Any flare ups with those conditions, and/or increased stress levels will make the FibroTroll come running to the party.

Yesterday, I spent a very productive session with my psychologist and now I have a new set of tools in my toolbox for dealing with this. While the issue is not yet resolved, and may not get resolved in a way that makes me happy, I am now much more ready to deal with it. We worked out a way for me to close a smaller box regarding the issue, and she gave me tools to help me be okay with the bigger box not being closed and possibly not ever getting to close it. I’m sorry for being so vague, but I hope that vagueness will actually help others to apply the idea to their own issues.

I guess the point of today’s post is that it is okay to get professional help. It’s okay to not be coping even if it seems like it should be a minor issue. Psychologists are highly trained, caring people and they have the tools to help you cope. While psychology has not cured my Fibromyalgia, it has absolutely improved my quality of life.

So if you are struggling – with anything at all, no matter how “minor” you might think it is, reach out for help. You do not have to do this on your own.

Author: Sonja

One woman’s journey as she comes to terms with living with Fibromyalgia. Living with her knight in tarnished armour, with a small flock of chickens, and pair of Tawny Frogmouths and a homicidal Butcher Bird in the backyard.

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