Seeing as there is an estimated 6 million Americans who have fibromyalgia – between 80 and 90 percent of who are women – there is a fair community out there for people with fibromyalgia. Beyond that, more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, so fibromyalgia suffers can also connect with people suffering from different but similarly life-altering conditions.
There are websites such as www.fibromyalgiaforums.org that provide a resources on up-to-date fibromyalgia research, treatment discussions, and forums and blogs to put people in touch with other people with fibromyalgia. Other sites like www.fmnetnews.com keep you up to date on fibromyalgia news and awareness, which helps foster a sense of community with the larger demographic of people with fibromyalgia. If looking for a place that offers general chronic pain support forums, there is one on www.healingwell.com.
Most medical facilities have support groups; check with your doctor if they know of either a fibromyalgia support group of a chronic pain support group in your area. Face-to-face contact with other people suffering from chronic pain helps you to feel less alone. While the internet provides great anecdotes and assurances that you’re not the only one, seeing and hearing someone else talking about what you’re going through is much more personal and reassuring than reading about it online. In this day and age, there might be online options for video chat support groups, which would provide the convenience of online forums while supplying the human aspect of an in-person support group.
Remember, it’s also okay to spend time with people from other communities you’re interested in, and in fact, it’s important. If you like music, maybe find a group of musicians to meet up with once a month. If you’re an artist, find a pack of other artists. Don’t define yourself entirely by your fibromyalgia; by tending to your other interests and focusing more of your energy on things that make you happy, it will be easier to hold strong when faced with your fibromyalgia symptoms. A possible community you can get involved with that will benefit you in your fight against fibromyalgia is an exercise group. Exercise is one of the best non-medication things you can do to relieve fibromyalgia symptoms, so maybe finding a group you can work out with on a regular basis will not only give you a community but also incentive to exercise and the benefits of exercise.
One last community you can turn to when dealing with fibromyalgia is your friends and family. While they don’t necessarily have fibromyalgia, they do have love for you, and hopefully they have been educating themselves on fibromyalgia so that they can provide educated support. It’s okay to ask them for help when you need it, which can help make your life a lot easier. And don’t forget – you’re part of your own support system. Give your mental health and overall happiness the attention and love it deserves. Treat yourself, care for yourself, and give yourself all of the tools you need to battle fibromyalgia. If you don’t have a good sense of self, self-esteem, and self-worth, it will be an uphill climb throughout your struggle with fibromyalgia. You are you best advocate.