Do you adjust quickly to major changes in your life? Do you keep things bottled up inside, finding it difficult to release the stress? lt

Hey everybody - I was thinking today about all the changes that have happened in my life over the years and why I couldn't deal with them appropriately. Since I was a small child, I have been very sensitive to anything that disrupts my orderly life. My children and ex-husband are very sponateous and I have never really been able to adapt to this. I was never really taught that it was okay to speak up and form an opinion of my own. I had wonderful parents - but they brought me up in the manner that children are quiet, not noisy or opinionated. To this day I still can't adjust quickly to changes in my life. I do the best I can, this is all I can do. I really can beat myself up sometimes when I can't conform to what I think other people want me to be. I always felt that by telling people what they wanted to hear, would be okay with them. As the years went on. I was holding in everknow how to get rid of it. By the time I was in my 30s I slowly got sicker and sicker, and then, diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I kind of convinced myself that my many years of stress and anger might have played a part of why I was getting sick. I have seen pros and cons on this idea that stress is partly to blame for our illnesses. What do any of you think?? Do you have trouble with changes in your life that really weren't expected? What about stress. How do you handle it? I am hoping to get some feedback and ideas how I can improve myself in dealing with stress that I have every day. Thanks! Laurie

Yes, I don't adapt to changes at all. I have had stress my whole life and depression from both sides of my family. If someone says lets go to the movies, it starts in 30 minutes I get so flustered, things like that. It's like I have to have a day to plan for anything now. I usually get so angry but keep it to myself. I mean I get so furious and I don't know why. I have been taking Xanax for 20 years, and I still act like I'm going to fall off the face of the earth, so stupid but it's real.

Hope you get better suggestions as mine is take a Xanax! Gentle hugs, Tawnycat.

I really appreciate these question that cause me to think deeply. I have so many changes going on right now most of them are a result of a major fibro flair up. I am only now 3months latter feeling better. I have always been the kind of person who is able to thrive in chaos. But now I think that perhaps while my brain goes into overdrive and deals with things my body has absorbed the stress. I have pushed myself beyond what is reasonable for too many years. I’ve always taken pride in the fact that I am a hard worker. For me that meant never backing down from a physical or mental challenge. How do I change and still feel good about myself.

i am the type of person who just adjust to what ever is going on. like a change in the job or moving. BUT the changes i have to make cause of having fibro r not so easy. i am about 4 years into having fibro and some things r easier but it has taken a long time.

I think one of the hardest times for me is not being able to work like i used too. i could work double shirts as a waitress then go out after no problem. i dont think i could even work a double let alone go out after. i worked as a teacher in an infant with 12 babies i used to work 10 hour days and it was busy all day if u were not feeding an infant then u were just going.

now i am finding that trying to work at all is nearly impossiable and it sucks. so some things i dont think u will ever really get over some changes. sorry making it so black and white

many hugs

Hi Tawnycat - you are describing me in your response to me! If someone should say to me that we are going somewhere in about 30 minutes, it AIN'T gonna happen!! LOL I just can't help getting completely flustered about the idea that I need to hurry up and get ready. My family had a very hard time with me when it came to me being spontaneous. I just don't do well in those kind of situations. So, Tawnycat -I am with you ! Love, Laurie

Hi Eeyore - I agree with you about your feelings of wanting to work just like you used to I worked for many years at a animal hospital, in the surgical unit. I really loved my job - but it required lifting animals sometimes and it got to the point where I was really 'pushing' through my pain on a daily basis. I couldn't concentrate during surgery like I used to. Sadly - I had to come to the very difficult decision of retiring and taking care of myself. this wasn't easy because I was so used to taking care of others - forgetting myself. It's been 7 years now and I just take one day at a time. This is all I can do right now. I am on disability - but it's not so bad. I do keep busy with friends and I have my daughter and son and my grandson to keep me busy. My son is getting married in September to a beautiful and wonderful girl. So , I look forward to this!! Hugs!! Laurie

Laurie,

This is a wonderful topic and I hope that many people answer it.

Yeah, I do have trouble with change. I flat out hate it. I don't cope well with it and am not flexible with it. And yes, I do very much believe that stress plays a major role in the development of fibro. Stress may show up in different forms - an accident, abuse or trauma or a work issue (overworking, for instance.) I think that stress flips the switch that turns fibro on.

How to improve yourself in dealing with the stress...I think that deserves a thread of its own, lol! Frankly, I deal with the stress by going on line and coming here or else reading a lot online (sometimes at snarky gossip sites, I must admit.) It really does help me to forget about the pain and frustration. Sometimes I even end up helping others and that really makes me feel good, like I'm moving forward still by helping another, even if I flat out can't move.

And my dogs help a lot. They are GREAT stress relievers.

Talking on the phone to my mother and son are other stress relievers. I enjoy hearing their voices. It's relaxing.

When I can, I still like to go shopping, even if it's only to the local drugstore to stare at the pretty Easter colors. I love color; it makes me feel alive.

Hope this helps. I know my means of relieving stress might be meaningless to you but they serve as an example of ways to be happy and beat stress.

I have had alot of stress in my life. I came from a very unstable childhood- frequent moves, seriously mentally ill mother, major financial difficulties,etc... I have found due to that childhood, I abhor change unless I am the one initiating it! I will settle with something safe instead of moving on when it's time for most people. Maybe this isn't the most adventurous or ambitious approach to life, but I find it very difficult to cope with big changes and I consider it self-protective. I have found I live best when I limit changes to my life and take things slowly that way I can feel more in control of my life and less stressed. I know I have to life my life this way to be and feel ok.

HI Baltimore - You think just the way I do! I want things safe around me and I, too, want to be in control so that I can make the changes. By doing this, then I know everything will go as planned. I feel so out of control when someone or something comes into my life very suddenly and I can't do anything about it. It IS a way to self-protect. Laurie

Hi Pet - you offered some great suggestions. I, too, find that coming onto this website every day, really helps to calm me down and remind myself I am not alone. Frankly - i could do without any changes for the rest of my life - but I am not being realistic when I say this. Laurie XOXOXO

I don't adjust well to changes. I need time to get used to the IDEA of change before it happens. I hardly ever make last minute plans.

I also have big problems with the changes my health wants me to make... for the last 4 years, I feel like I'm living in someone else's body, living someone else's life. The problem is that I still have my old brain, and it doesn't agree with my body. It still wants to fly through each day going 100 mph and my poor body can't keep up. :/

Hi Red - You have described it so perfectly. I sense with myself of wanting to just be normal again, but my body thinks otherwise, I agree with you that we have to get used to the idea before the change happens. I do so much better when I have a plan in mind. Unfortunately we need to listen to to our bodies and accept what is going on. If we don't - we will wind up pushing ourselves and then we are in trouble. It has taken an enormous amount of patience for me to slow down and take care of myself. I sometimes get so angry when, I can't do what I want to do. But I am getting better at it! It takes time. Laurie xoxo

Laurie,

I am by no means a Doctor but strongly feel that stress can play a big part in how a person feels physically. I am in no means trying to minimize the effects that fibro can have on our bodies on a daily basis. It seems when I am more stressed the more it hurts. I firmly do not believe fibro is brought on by stress alone. I believe it is about pain signals to our brains that have gone haywire. You don't need to conform to what people expect you to be. You need to learn how to just be yourself and learn to love you for who you are. I have yet to meet a perfect person without faults. It is not easy to become an assertive person overnight when you were groomed as child to be seen and not heard. It takes baby steps to learn how to speak up for yourself and not keep all the anger inside. Eventually all of this anger will become a pressure cooker with the lid ready to blow off. Have you thought about Cognitive Therapy. This can be very helpful in learning to retrain yourself to deal with lifes situations in a more healthy manner. This will help you to alleviate some of the stress you are under. Have you thought about a temporary anxiety medication to calm the storm a little bit? Just a thought. I have been on them for many years and find them to be very helpful for me.

HI Rattled - I had an incident a few years ago and boy!! Did I learn a lesson!! Sometimes I would go to a salon to have a facial done. It has always been a little treat of mine to pamper myself a little bit. Well, what I didn't know about this new salon, is that they also massage your arms as well, very gently. Well, the woman did a great job with my face and, I thought, with massaging my arms. When I finally left - about 3 hours later, my flare-up in my arms was absolutely horrific!! I am not exaggerating! I had a doctor's appointment the following day for my regular check up and for my Fibro. I told the nurse what had happened, and she just had a fit. She told me to never to do that again. She noticed my arms were swollen and I have terrible Fibro that erupted shortly after I had the massage. She said that massages really irritate the Fibro and the same goes for exercising. My nurse told me to try walking a little bit every day. Well, I try my best, but because of the pains in my hips that is chronic, I can only do about 1 block! LOL Then I am limping all the way. I can get really exhausted from this, because I try so hard to exercise little bit. But, I had to cut this out. My nurse told me also, to keep my weight in check, because if I get heavy, its more of a strain on my hips and knees. Well, I knew all this. I don't have to worry because I am 5' 6'' inches tall and way about 118. Same weight I was in High School. So that's that's pretty god, considering I had 2 kids too. We have to take care of ourselves, you know?? I hope you are having a relatively painless day!! Love, Laurie

HI Gina - thanks so much for responding! I agree with you on everything you have posted. In the 30 years that I have Fibro, most of the women and a few men who have Fibro keep feelings in side and never get therapy or any kind of help to release this. It's interesting to me, because I have the same problem, espressing myself - but I am getting a lot better as I know by not talking about my feelings, my Fibro could progress a lot sooner, then if I was talking about my problems. I wonder, do you think this is pretty much the norm for Fibro patients?? I have found that with some women here, they DO keep things inside and are at a loss as to how to release it. A lot of them, too, have been conditioned to 'keep quite' Like I used to be. I am getting so much better now in expressing myself and giving an opinion.. Love Laurie xoxoxo

HI rattled - I keep telling people here NOT push through their pain. I used to do this, and Boy!! what a mistake!! I was extremely athletic till about 11 years ago. I did have Fibro then, but it was nothing compared to what I have now. Just the thought of going up and down on stairs makes me apprehensive. It always reminds me of the days when I could run and skip over those stairs with no problem. Since the Fibro has worsened, I lead a quiet lifestyle to. I am, by nature, very sociable, but I find I can't run around like I used to, in doing errands or if I am invited out for the evening. As we all know, out days cannot be planned ahead of time. This bothers me a little, as it was a big change for me. I was forced to slow down. I still get out and about with friends, but it all depends how I feel. I am terrible at changes. I find comfort in following a routine that I have. Thanks so much for responding, I really appreciate it! Laurie