Change your routine

This is so true.

As soon as I stop having migraines every day my life will be changed. The routine is getting so tiresome.

Sometimes these motivational posters irk me.

Yet at the same time, the fact is daily routines are important. And the fact is when you have chronic illness daily routines are very important. And the fact is when you are chronically ill daily routines can also be very problematic.

Sleep routines, for example, are vital and also very problematic for me.


Damn you sleep my eternal foe.png

Damn you sleep my eternal foe.

Sorry. I did not mean that.

I love you, sleep, I love you so much I crave you more than I crave chocolate.

I mean it. Just because you hate me doesn’t mean I will stop loving you.

Point is with fibromyalgia I have horrible sleep, even if I try all the best sleep routine advice in the world. And I have. Since I was a kid. And sleeping pills now that I am older and those do not even work like they do for healthy people, who don’t even need them, but at least they help enough to get me some restorative sleep. I love you sleeping pills. And I really do mean that. Pain, on the other hand, has a way of making sleeping pills useless once it gets ‘up there’. So pain can really distort my crappy sleep cycle into something that is rather erratic. So half-decent sleep one night to falling asleep well past dawn the next night to waking up after four hours sleep the next night… it is just never the same. So no routine means lack of sleep triggers migraines. Migraines of a certain pain level prevent sleep. And off we go on a horrible merry-go-round. I would love to change this daily (er, nightly) routine and this would definitely help.

But we try our best. Still, you have to think about the habits. Habits of thinking or doing things that do or don’t work for you. So, yeah, ones that don’t work obviously will not help in progress. Habits are habits for a reason though. Hard to notice or hard to break. We all have them. When I was younger and coping with FM I think the worst barrier was my habitual negative thoughts. It was just the way I was. Just sarcastic and the glass is half-empty and rather cynical. It didn’t help me when I was suddenly living on my own dealing with pain, stress, and fatigue… and wanting to be like everyone else my age. I did not want limitations and moderation. I just wanted to live like everyone else. And when I could not those negative thought patterns bit me in the ass big time. When I dealt with that, sort of broke that record of thinking and let out that inner goofball it really helped me cope with my chronic illness. And then adapt, understand my limits and moderate my lifestyle. Changed my thinking, then changed my behaviors. It did not change the pain. Or the chronic insomnia. Or the fatigue. Or the cognitive issues. Just how I coped.

I think there will be times in our life when this happens. When our thinking is harmful to our coping. When we want more than we are capable of. When my pain exceeded my ability to cope with chronic migraines and working I encountered this again. It does not matter that I have coping strategies that worked great in the past, what mattered was that they failed with the pain level I had and I failed to acknowledge the situation. No one wants to acknowledge they cannot work. That they are at that level of nonfunctioning and that doctors will not help them. Instead, I did what many people in my spot would have… I pushed through the pain on this faint hope doctors would grasp my pain and would help me. So I failed to adapt because I failed to acknowledge I could not function or cope with working full time. And now I have to adapt to this idea that I am not working, at least for now. We want to believe we have more control than we actually do. But I still have this hope that I do have this potential control over the pain if I get the right resources. Because with the right strategies, more control over my environment and routines maybe it will not be as bad. I just don’t know if that will mean I have the capacity to ever work a normal full-time job because I feel that would sort of ruin the effect.


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