I spend all day trying to fight the continued pain just to get comfy, just to live my every day life.
I try to put a smile on, I try to hide the limping, I try not to make a noise every time I move that shows I am suffering. I don’t want to be seen as a sufferer. I want people to see me as Andy. The only problem is Fibro has taken Andy. No matter how much I try and fight I spend most of my time wishing I was still him, constantly hunting for him and wishing I could just spend 1 day with him again.
But there is one thing I do that is him. I may not have the same look on my face when I am doing it as I used to but it’s my “normal”.
I speak alot about this “normal” state and how important it is for Fibro sufferers to do one thing that makes them feel “normal”. The reason it is so important is because it gives you a little bit of you back. It reminds you that the person you think you have lost is still there. It gives you a rest-bite from hell.
My normal – I run.
This stuns a lot of people. It leaves them asking “how the hell can you run if your in so much pain all the time”. Because I have no choice. If I don’t fight I lose. If I don’t keep this one last part of “normal” I will go insane.
I hurt and I run. I run through the pain barrier everytime I run. I train my brain everytime to go into a deep place that ignores the pain enough to get through it. In times when life is stressful and I am flaring up, running helps me.
Here are my five reasons why I run;
Sport has been my life
I’m competitive. I always have been. Its a state of mind. I can’t change it. If I am going to do something I have to do it to the best of my ability. I hate a half done job. If I am taking part in a sport – I have to try and win. If I lose, so be it, as long as I know I couldn’t have given any more.
Along came Fibromyalgia and no one told my brain. You can’t change a state of mind like that. I have to compete. Only now the targets have changed. These days I fight my body. I still set times I want to beat, I still set goals that are insane but if I didn’t I would be giving up an important part of me. I’m not going to let chronic pain do that to me.
The illusion of well being
Something sport, especially running, offers is fitness.As a Fibro sufferer, this is really important. Exercise can help you fight back. It can help relieve the pain. And its common sense that regardless of what you are suffering from, you are better off being as fit as you can be.But what I have found is that being fitter allows me to create the illusion that I am well.I still hurt as much as I always have, I still flare up. Christ I flare up. But having a fitter body means I can hide the limp. I can walk normally. I can hide it. I’m looser. I’m more flexible. And that means I can hide it.
Why hide it? Well do any of us really want to be seen as suffering?
Time to relax
Running is an awesome way to relax. Yes relax.Pounding the streets, fighting the pain and relaxing. Ok, relaxing maybe a stretch. But you get time to think. Once I have found my mindset that allows me to take on the pain but carry on running I can then allow my mind to drift. Life is stressful. Life is hard. Life is a battle. Add chronic pain to that and you need a mind rest.I manage to get this in running. It allows me to re-boot. And I tell you what, if I have had a seriously bad day – boy can I run some good distances.
Normal, what is normal? Some say that normal is boring and I would be inclined to agree. I hate normal. My sense of humour isn’t normal I don’t think. My taste in music isn’t mainstream. My competitive nature may not be classed as normal. But running gives me normal. It’s my normal. And no matter now boring normal is – we need some.Running to most is something normal. Most can run. Some can run further than others but the action of running I would say is normal.To me its a struggle. Its something that potentially could be taken away from me if the Fibromyalgia gets worse. Then the normal of running is something to crave.
I kind of preach (if you like) the importance of sufferers being able to do something that makes them feel normal. It is so important to be able to hold on to something that provides an escape from the pain. An escape from the hell of trying to cope with it. It can be anything, anything at all. But you should find it and you should do it as much as possible. It will keep you sane.
I have to fight
For every fibro punch, I’ll run. And everytime I complete a run I beat it one more time. It’s exhausting constantly fighting this. And that is without coping with the fatigue, or life itself.
This is all I have and I’m going to use it to my advantage.
I’m not an idiot. I know that what I am able to do isn’t what other Fibromyagia sufferers can do. Some have it worse, a lot have it worse. I am lucky. I am still in the position where I can run. That could change and it could change anytime. But all the time I fight I have less chance of losing.
All the time I offer up my “normal” to my brain, I am beating it. The pain will always suggest otherwise.
But this is why I run.