There are several instances when you want or need to deal with people who may not understand your fibromyalgia. Although you may have had a long time to come to grips with what you have your family and friends may not understand. They may not believe you. They may be upset and afraid to talk about it.
You might want to do some research about fibromyalgia so you will be ready to talk about it. With family especially children you want to be calm and reassuring. You want to be able to reassure family and friends that what you have is not contagious. You may want to have some pamphlets available as well.
Family and friends may not understand that there are some things you cannot do. They certainly will not get that you can be fine one day and hurt so bad you cannot move the next. You or family members may need counseling to help deal with the anger and frustration that maybe part of having fibromyalgia.
There are also national organizations that have support groups for people with fibromyalgia. You can call national organizations to find local support groups. There will be people you can talk to about all the issues surrounding fibromyalgia.
When talking to friends and family you may want to practice thinking of questions that they might ask you. Remember fibromyalgia is not all of who you are. You still like the things you liked before you were diagnosed. You are still a loving parent or spouse. This is just one characteristic of who you are.
You may want to include loved ones in new activities you are starting such as walking or preparing healthier food. Friends and family may be helpful in identifying stressful situations or foods that make your fibromyalgia worse. Triggers or flare ups are easier for others to recognize since we are in the middle of them.
Strangers are another group of people you may have to deal with. Since it may be harder to move around when you are in pain people may stare. In my case I started to use the handicapped carts. I thought everyone was watching. They probably weren’t but I felt like it.
At some point you will want to decide exactly how much you want to say in public. People I am with know why I use a cart but I don’t explain to other people. If the fact I have fibromyalgia comes up in conversation, I generally give a short explanation. Then I change the subject.
When I come across people who seem to be deliberately hateful I have a strategy that is generally different than most people. I am not interested in being around people who make me feel bad about myself. I am actually relieved when I realize someone is deliberately hateful. Then I know that is a person I will work at never being around again.
Children will ask you all about what is the matter with you. Luckily you again do not need to feel bad. They ask everyone questions like this. They are not picking on you. They ask everyone tons of questions. Again short to the point answers would be appropriate.