By: Lisa Bright
Most of us have had that feeling in your chest when things have just gotten too overwhelming. The fight, flight, or freeze response.
These are things that we commonly associate with fear. Fear, for many of us with fibromyalgia, is part of our daily lives.
It’s something that we fight off on a regular basis and we’re constantly thinking about everything that could possibly go wrong with our pain and our minds.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Fear does not have to be part of your daily life, but it will take work on your part in order to feel like you’re more in control of what is going on in your body and your mind.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at how fear and fibromyalgia are related, and then we’re going to give you some suggestions that you can utilize while you’re trying to fend off the feelings of fear that you may be coping with.
Why Are Fear and Fibromyalgia So Intertwined?
If you have fibromyalgia, you may feel fearful quite often. Those feelings of fear are completely normal, however.
They aren’t anything for you to be ashamed of – everyone is afraid of something, and if you have a chronic illness, it’s going to be that much more likely that you’re going to deal with feelings of fear and anxiety.
But, they can make it so that our lives are pretty much miserable, especially if we are feeling fear every single day of our lives. We’re afraid of the pain that we may feel.
We’re afraid of having panic attacks, if they are part of our regular struggles. We’re afraid of the unknown. We start to worry endlessly – and it doesn’t make life very pleasant to deal with.
How can this uncontrollable fear end up showing its ugly head? It will differ depending on the person, but let’s look at some examples where fear can become debilitating.
Some people are afraid of relationships because they’re in pain all of the time – they will run people out of their lives, thus making it so that they are much more lonely and trying to deal with everything on their own.
Others may be afraid to go out, because they are scared of what the fibro fog is going to do, or wonder what may happen if they start to feel fatigued or a flare-up starts to make their day a bit more miserable than it would have been.
A little bit of fear is alright, but the problem comes when we allow that fear to take total and complete control over our entire lives. Then, we aren’t living a happy life and it could end up causing a number of issues that we just aren’t able to face.
What Can We Do About the Fear that We are Dealing with?
The good news is, there are ways that we can deal with and overcome the pain that we may be struggling with. It’s not necessarily something that we’re stuck with for the rest of our lives.
There are lots of things that you can do in order to help break the cycle of fear and anxiety in your life.
Here are some suggestions that you can try for yourself – see what works, add your own, and do whatever you can in order to help make your life more enjoyable than it currently is.
Remember, life really is good. There are some things in your life that you have to enjoy. What are they?
Do you love your family and your friends? Do you enjoy playing games? Are you a bit of a technology nerd? Do you enjoy reading a good book?
Focus on the great things that are happening and the things that you enjoy. If you can’t pinpoint anything, think about what you have.
Do you have a roof over your head? Are you safe and secure? Do you have food in your belly and money in the bank? Thankfulness can also fend off fear.
Don’t beat yourself up at all. It’s not your fault that you’re dealing with this.
You can make it through, you don’t have to beat yourself up and you don’t have to be afraid if the pain gets worse or you have an issue with a flare up or something else goes wrong. It is life; you can survive it because you are strong.
Keep on track with all of your therapy and your medications. Work with professionals to get advice, and keep up with them if your symptoms change. You will feel more in control and, thus, less fearful.
Become more mindful and practice mindfulness techniques. Be present in the now. Don’t go thinking about everything that could go wrong.
What is happening right now? Focus on your breathing, practice mindfulness techniques, feel grounded and know that you are here and present.
There is no reason for you to feel like you’re 5,000 miles away – enjoy life where it is at now, work to understand your body and mind, and act as a partner instead of a helpless victim.
Fear should not be in control of your life. You likely know and understand that, but it’s easier said than done.
If the fear seems to be a sign of something deeper going on, like a mental health issue, you will want to make sure that you talk to your specialist as well.
They can recommend things that you can do, they can recommend a therapist that you can talk to, or they can put you on medication to help with what is going on.
Don’t self-diagnose, however; allow your specialist to take care of you and help you with whatever may be going on.