When I think of the person I used to be, I think of a person who has everything together. The reason being I was a total control freak. I’ve been anxious for as long as I can remember, and being organised and in control of my own life – as much as it is possible to be – helped me manage the anxiety I felt. And I was so good at it. At work. At home. If I wanted something to happen I would find a way and it would be done well. I was so proud of that quality in myself.
And then you came along and I no longer felt in control. Some days you come to take my body. I never know when this will be, where I will feel pain or how bad it will feel. Worse still, some days you come to take my mind. A heavy fog descends like a cage around my thoughts. My brain. The thing that makes me unique.
I never know when you’re coming and that’s difficult. How do I plan for it? What do I do when it happens? Will you affect my job? My future? You bring all of these thoughts and they try to take over. If I don’t find a way to push them back your grasp will tighten and all will feel impossible, hopeless, desperate.
I cannot make you go away. This war we’re in will last all my lifetime. So when you come for me I have to be ready. I have to truly accept that sometimes you’ll be there and that’s OK. I have to give in temporarily, but I do not have to give up. That determination I was so proud of will pull me through and I have to hold on to that.
I should also remember that you have taught me some big life lessons about control. Most importantly that things can be out of my control and the world will not end. You’ve broken down some of my barriers and shown me that letting people help can bring you closer together. You’ve also taught me that sometimes it’s fine to slow down and go with the flow; to really take in the world and find the things that bring you joy, rather than living in an endless to-do list.
Our relationship is fraught Fibro. It probably always will be. But I hope we can find a way to stop this tug of war and find a way to share control. To get along – as much as two people can when one wishes the other would leave, but knows they never will.
Be kind to me Fibro,