I am 23 years old, and while that may sound young, I have struggled with a pain condition, that I now know to be Fibromyalgia for almost a decade.
This condition began to come on when I reached puberty. Throughout the following years I began to struggle more and more with pain and fatigue, eventually at 18 leading to the horrible circumstances where I had attempted (and almost succeeded) in committing suicide.
I shall tell you why I am writing this piece. It has been a huge detriment to my life not knowing what was wrong with me and why I couldn’t do what everyone else was doing.
With Doctors and tests telling me there was nothing wrong with me I spiralled into a massive state of depression.
As a teenager at the time, just struggling with that was hard enough, but when you throw pain and sickness into the mix with no obvious reasons, you begin to doubt our own sanity, which I did often.
By 17 the only way I could deal with all the emotions and pain I was going through was to begin drinking heavily and throwing massive parties to make people like me as I struggled to hold friends when I was in a sober state. Looking back now I don’t really remember the whole year leading up to being in hospital.
I did as is always advised and attempted to seek out help from doctors, often with no success. I just began to feel alone, no one could understand what it was like to be in my body and mind, not to mention no one believed was actually in pain. I had labels of drama queen or faker placed on me, as well as slut and try hard because of the behaviour I was showing.
Shortly after my 18th birthday I had had enough. I had been drinking for two weeks straight by this point, and a migraine hit as well as the typical teenage bullying and that tipped me over. I took to a bottle of wine and 100+ Panadine Fort (Which I was being given plenty of by doctors for the condition they didn’t believe I had).
I was in plenty of pain after this and waited three days before telling anyone what I had done. Needless to say I was lucky to get away with my life; even doctors were shocked I recovered.
From here psychologists kept asking me why, they could never grasp I was depressed because I was in pain, not that I was in pain from being depressed.
I was so embarrassed once I had sobered up about what I had done. From them I spent the next 5 years trying to find someone to help me. I managed to finish school I just tried to stay optimistic about finding a cause and living my life. Eventually it was discovered that I suffer from an illness known as Fibromyalgia, I was just so glad to know it wasn’t all in my head.
It is still a struggle, as little is really known about Fibromyalgia, though the studies are looking very promising.
I just want those who feel hopeless and lost because they are suffering without an answer to just hold in there, have some faith in the universe. It is hard, but you need to trust that you will get your answers.
I lost hope and fell apart, and that is a much harder road to take and come back from.
While I am still on this journey I know now to trust my own instincts, and I hope that you can also.