So perhaps some people wonder why I ask them to share their stories and then ponder on whether to share their story or not. Why do I ask people to share their stories?
Firstly, my main aim is to raise as much Fibromyalgia awareness as possible. I want to show that it affects both genders, all ages and very different people. My hope is that by continuing to shout out about Fibromyalgia, more people will take notice, more research will be done and my hope is that a cure will be found. Yes absolutely!
While doing some research, I came across an approach that is used to recover from traumatic events and I was able to see that this approach can be utilized to accept your diagnosis and let some healing begin. I am talking about emotional healing as obviously the physical healing is not within our reach as yet.
Firstly, you have to have a desire to accept your situation and let the healing begin. Apparently it is a stage of life that we all enter into where we are ready for this.
The approach that is used is rather simple but quite profound and very much in line with our Fibromyalgia warriors having the courage to share their stories publicly.
- It has to be acknowledged that you have and are suffering, endured and enduring and ultimately surviving this diagnosis.
- Try to become active participants in your acceptance and healing. This can be done by educating yourself as much as possible about Fibromyalgia and trying everything and anything possible to enable some sort of healing.
- Try and discover the connection between what event triggered the Fibromyalgia. Utilize the information you already have, research new information and look to professionals for guidance.
As you find yourself accepting your diagnosis, your ability to retell and reframe your experience evolves and coincides with your ability to tell your story. Secrecy and silence can impede you from acceptance and healing.
The opportunity to speak about your story and be able to put it into words is something that I had a difficult time with doing. I battled to describe it to myself, never mind anyone else. The disclosure of your story has to be an individuals choice.
The telling of one’s story is a gift to yourself. It is such a healing experience.
A quote from the book ‘Breaking Down the Wall of Silence by Alice Miller’ states that this gift ‘waits for us to summon the courage to hear its voice. It wants to be protected and understood, and it wants us to free it from its isolation, loneliness and speechlessness.’
People often say that their acceptance and healing began when they first told their story to someone who was supportive. There is a freedom in telling the truth about your story, about the pain you have endured, the loneliness, the isolation, the anger, the mourning for the person you used to be, and for some the victimization they have endured by people they trusted or by strangers.
In the book ‘The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis’ they state that telling your story is seen as an essential part of acceptance and healing since it entails telling the truth about what happened in your life. Without truth, we often miss an essential opportunity for growth. With truth, we have the opportunity to change destructive patterns that harm our well-being.
A person needs a safe place or a trusted person who they can tell their story to in order for the truth to be told. A place or person who respects that it is their right to disclose their story in their own way and in their own time.
Telling your story can be done in many ways. These include:
- Writing in a journal where you can remember without denial or minimization
- Writing poetry
- Writing stories
- Writing songs
- Using other art forms such as painting, drawing, or sculpting
- Talking to a trusted friend or family member
Using this approach to tell your story, is not a “tell all, be all” answer. It is your story, written the way you want it told, disclosing information you want to disclose. It is your choice whether or not you wish to tell your story and this is a respected choice. What is very important is that each person acknowledges what the truth that has happened to them and trusts that they know what is right for them.