Twelve years ago my goal was to be a professional body builder. I made it to amateur. And them all hell broke loss in my life. I was 47 yrs old and in the best shape in my life. Strong, ripped and confident. That very first year I lost my job as a trainer, my sport, my friends and organizations. I felt like I lost me. I did lose me.
Following is a short article I wrote for the Arthritis Society about my life with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The time period is about 1 year into living with this new disease.
THANK GOD FOR FIBRO
There are many details about tests, medicines, doctors, supplements, pain, lack of sleep, and a list of others situations to elaborate on. At this point in my life the details serve no purpose. If I could help just one person deal with this disease in a positive way then all of my suffering has not been in vain. I truly am happy for all I have experienced though this year. For without it I would not have been able to see all that I was missing and the necessary changes that were meant to be made in my life.
I have learned more about life, people and myself than I could ever have imagined. Now, I realize that I have so much to be thankful for. I feel as though I am one of the lucky people in this world because I was given the opportunity to stop dead in my tracks and re-evaluate who I am, what my life is all about and where I want to go for the rest of my life. I was taken off the vicious merry-go round and placed in a protective shell. Within my shell a transformation happened. I have grown into a much healthier and simpler human being in mind and spirit. I realized that all things have a purpose and that something positive generates from all negative. I began to enjoy the present moment and stopped focusing on the future. I began to accept help from people around me and realized that it is nice to receive. I stopped controlling and allowed LIFE TO JUST BE. The world around me became a vibrant beautiful garden rather than a world filled with errands, chores and responsibilities. It became my loving nurturing friend, one to whom I never have to prove anything to. Competing, excelling, explaining, accomplishing were needs that began to dissolve. Instead, a Spirit arose in me and showed be the meaning of peace, stillness and silence. Within the comfort of this quiet darkness I began to listen, hear and respond to the meaning and purpose of my life. Like a snake shedding its skin, I am working to shed all that I no longer need in my life and all the parts of my life and myself that drained me of my energy.
I thank God for this experience with Fibromyalgia. Although it is a daily struggle living with Fibro., one in which I have no doubts that I can handle, I take each day as a gift and open it with reverence and gratitude. For without this experience I would have missed the marvelous journey that I was intended to claim.