October 17, 2009 was my first official WordPress post to My Foggy Brain. Since that date I have written a total of 150 posts (including this one). I have been blessed with close to 123K views of my various pages and posts and 63K visitors from over 150 countries. WOW! That is craziness… I had no idea when I wrote that first post that anyone would read it, much less 63K people! THANK YOU!
When I think about those very early days of trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me and the frustrating years until I was finally diagnosed… the first thing that comes to mind is grey. Just a whole lot of shades of grey… I was extremely depressed and feeling very alone. I was struggling to find the desire and motivation to live… There was hardly any information on Fibromyalgia readily available. I would go to the bookstore and search online to find and buy every single book I could find that had some sort of focus on Fibromyalgia. I was starving for information and I needed to know there was the possibility of living. I needed to know I could have a life again…
I started writing because I needed an outlet. I wondered if there was anyone out there struggling like me… I wondered if there were folks looking for a place where they could feel hope. The blogs I was reading were of people going through similar struggles, but I couldn’t read them because the posts were full of pain and sadness… so, on October 17th, 2009, I created this blog.
Over the years I would come back again and again during my dark days. I would sit there in the middle of the night and just start typing. I wouldn’t stop until I had most of my feelings on the page. Then I would go back and edit… and edit… and edit. After I read and re-read many times over, and added and deleted (but mostly deleted) content I would realize that even in my toughest moments, I am still so incredibly blessed. (I really wanted to underline that, but for some reason I can’t find that edit function anymore… so just pretend that’s bold AND underlined!) By the time I finished writing and hit the Publish button, it was impossible for me to sit there and feel like shit. At that very moment I felt a bit of joy (maybe not JOY in bold and big ginormous caps, it’s more joy in a very, very small font, possibly italicized). The main point (after being distracted by the importance of formatting fonts), is that I never felt as bad as when I initially sat down at my laptop. The act of writing always put things in perspective.
A decade later people can spell Fibromyalgia… there are drug commercials on TV all the time for it. There is a huge focus on chronic pain. People are way more accepting of mental health issues… way more than when I was diagnosed with Depression many decades ago. Although I am always on the lookout for new ways to manage my pain, for the most part I feel like I know what I need to do.
I feel this blog has served its purpose for me and it’s time to say good-bye.
I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to my family and friends and those of you out there reading my blog that have supported me over the years. You have given me the courage to open up and share my life’s ups and downs and in return some of you have trusted me enough to share your personal experiences with me. Just knowing that I have helped some of you, encouraged me to keep writing.
This journey with Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, ADD, Essential Tremor, GERD, IBS, Degenerative Disc Disease, Cervical Stenosis and Lord knows what else (isn’t that enough???) will continue. I will continue to take each day as it comes and work through the bad days to finally see the light when the flares and black clouds try to bring me down. There is too much goodness within and around me to allow this shit to win.
My biggest challenge most days, after managing the pain, is this damn foggy brain. I can’t remember a lot of great memories that I have shared with family and friends. Memories that are so meaningful to you are simply gone for me. I am sorry for that. Please understand when I get that blank look on my face that that moment is more painful for me than it is for you. I try to laugh it off, but inside I am cringing at the fact that once again I have lost a part of my past (and one I didn’t ever realize I had lost until that very moment). I can deal with the lost keys or lost memory of last week… but I truly miss being able to replay in my mind moments like when my children took their first steps. The point of this is not to bring you down, it is to hopefully help you better understand that when I don’t remember something, it has nothing to do with the role you play in my life or the level of importance of the event or conversation – it is simply a side effect of all the shit that goes on in my body/mind.
Okay, well! I guess I really needed to get that off my mind because that is not what I intended to write (but then again, you all know how easily distracted I get…).
Why am I shutting it down you ask? I have been thinking about this for the last few years. I’m not exactly sure why, it just feels like the right time. Journaling, which is basically what I am doing, can be done in many ways. I bullet journal on a regular basis and I have a private journal that I recently started. I have different outlets for dealing with my dark days… and I think 150 posts is a good milestone to end with.
This blog is one of the areas of my life I keep very private. My posts often have areas of my life I don’t want to openly share. I’m weird like that… I’m okay with folks reading it, but on the other hand I’m completely uncomfortable talking about it. I still find it unbelievable that my blog has received any kind of attention. Having said that, I am extremely proud to say that some of my most meaningful achievements come from the awesome recognition I have received:
- Healthline’s Best Fibromyalgia Blogs of 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012… 6 years in a row!!
- Masters in Health Care’s 50 Great Blogs for Fibromyalgia Support
- Vita Sciences 100 Best Sites for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Patients – the Master List
- Feedspot’s Top 50 Fibromyalgia Blogs and Websites to Follow in 2018
- Medical News Today’s Top 10 Fibromyalgia Blogs in 2018
- Home Remedies for Life Top 25 Chronic Pain and Migraine Blogs to Follow Right Now – April 2018
- Chronic Pain Disorders 10 Best Fibromyalgia Blogs for 2016
- PainDoctor.Com’s Best Fibromyalgia Blogs of 2014
- WEGO Health’s Most Riveting in the Health Activist Writer Month, May 2012
- Brian Barr Solicitors 5 Top Fibromyalgia Blogs
- Book and Website contributions:
- themighty.com’s ebook: “Real People, Real Stories: Fibromyalgia”
- Fibromyalgia Journeys, A Collection: Stories of Courage and Peronal Triumph (on amazon.com)
- ProHealth.com guest blogger: Words to Help You Get Through the Day
- Healthline’s “This is What Living with Major Depressive Disorder Looks Like”
- Fighterzine’s Fierce Fabulous Blogger Award
- FibroModem’s Very Inspiring Blogger Award
- … and One Lovely Blog and the Sugar Doll Award
It’s been such an honor to receive recognition, and even more meaningful to me are the emails and comments from those of you that I have helped with my words. In addition to the above, it’s been super cool that the Wellness Workbook I created years ago has been used by many institutions and followers. Another great opportunity for me was when my family and I were a part of the Invisible Illness documentary. Being interviewed as a family was an emotional roller coaster for a few hours… in the end, well worth it!
This part of my life journey has been amazing and I really thank all of you for sticking with me over the years.
I wish you all the very best for the holidays and I pray that you are surrounded with the love of family and friends and are blessed with great health, happiness, and infinite pain free days in the years to come!
Love and respect.