By Jade Bald
My fibro story began in 2015.
That’s when my body decided to break down.
I couldn’t understand why it was happening. I’d been a healthy child, healthy teen ( I was verging on orthorexia in retrospect!), and a healthy young adult.
Throughout uni, I went to the gym and walked everywhere I could. I wasn’t into booze, smoking, or drugs, either.
Not to mention. there was no family history of chronic illness or genetic issues. It just did not add up.
It took me months, almost a year, dealing with this unexplained pain, fatigue, and insomnia. I experienced other symptoms like headaches, painful periods, tinnitus, and IBS. This has caused me depression, making it all the worse to deal with.
I spent, I don’t know how much going to clinics, a naturopath, and a chiropractor, to realize they weren’t really helpful. I went to Google and did hours of research.
Fibromyalgia came up, and it got my symptoms to a tee. I couldn’t believe it, and I felt a rush of relief, then disappointment and anger. At least I was actually experiencing something real, and so wasn’t imagining it or going nuts.
Now, what was I to do? There wasn’t a cure. Over time I realized antidepressants aren’t a good match. Nothing seemed to work, but I researched a lot about it, learning a lot about it, which helped somewhat.
2019 rolled around. That was when I learned about the highly sensitive person (HSP) who has the scientific term of sensory processing sensitivity (SPS).
It makes my brain and nervous system much more sensitive to stimuli within me, around me, the moods of others and makes feelings more intense.
- It explained a lot about my past.
- Why injuries felt worse.
- Why, after socializing in a large crowd, I was so tired,
- Why sleep does not come easy (my brain is always at work and not necessarily due to anxiety)
- Why I was (and still) highly curious,
- Why I was (and still am) perceptive,
- Why I have multiple interests
- Why stress and I didn’t mix (it still doesn’t)
- Why I don’t like to be bossed around and managed
and why I was independent and hyper-intelligent compared to my peers.
It also explained why I was an avid lover of animals.
It’s an innate trait that 20% of the population has. Both men and women have it, and for a while, it was considered a “bad” trait; as with the trait, these individuals are more susceptible to anxiety, depression, mood issues, addictions, and chronic health issues.
However, they’re realizing these are only defense mechanisms, the results of living in neglectful/abusive environments as children.
They weren’t taught boundaries, nor were they modeled self-care by caregivers.
Many, many HS children are born to parents who themselves are unhealed from past traumas and see these highly compassionate, imaginative, warm, friendly, overly forgiving children as canvases to project their self-failures and downfalls.
Parents who are also often domineering, cold, and detached prefer extreme logic to play and imagination, which oftentimes ostracizes the child, making them believe they are out of place.
My adult child of an alcoholic mother ( ACOA)
mother was like this. She divorced my dad after he cheated on her, and then, in karmic fashion, he died a year later when I was three.
Then she upsticks dragged me around while she went to school full time and when she sought out work. It was confusing. A blur of neighborhoods, schools, friends, and houses, I never had consistency and rarely felt safe.
Not to mention I was bullied a lot in school.
It takes time and self-development to realize I’m ok, and I’m normal, and I’m not flawed. It was my mother who had issues; it was my mother who had a warped sense of who she was and projected that onto me.
My poor body’s stress account was catching up to me, and I’m now bankrupt. Covid didn’t help anything; in fact, my symptoms flared up over the last few years. I have yet to get the Novavax vaccine as I’m concerned about side effects and flare-ups. It also does not help with my ability to get out.
It pains me to still, after seven years, feel like an eighty-year-old woman in a thirty-two-year-old body.
I still envy people my age, who are globe trotters and business owners, who seem to be free of any chronic issues.
I’ve tried to be positive. I’ve gotten into spirituality, and it has helped me a little. I plan on trying restorative yoga, reishi, bodywork (massage), a better diet, and perhaps psilocybin therapy. It’s just frustrating to try and try things and never get relief. I’m realizing it’s a journey and something that takes time and patience.