I was reading the Fibro news and info face book page, and Carissa Simao posted a writing that I thought was very poignant about what having fibromyalgia feels like.   I got permission to share, and here it  is.  I am glad she shared her thoughts with us.

I’d like to share something I wrote tonight. I hope it encourages people. I understand not everyone shares my religious views, so I hope I don’t step on any toes. Like I said, just hoping maybe my words will encourage someone who needs it.

My Bag of Bricks
By Carissa Simao

When I was seeking answers, what seems like a lifetime ago, a doctor who could give me no answers left me with this remark: “Fill a bag with 30 pounds of bricks and carry it around all day. That’s what you’re doing to your body by being overweight.” Needless to say, this was not helpful. I tried losing weight but it never stayed off and it never solved my pain.

If I could see that doctor today, I’d want to tell him, “I found my bag of bricks.” See, eventually, compassionate, knowledgeable doctors diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia, a condition that causes widespread pain, fatigue, bowel problems, depression, sensitivity to stimuli, cognitive problems, and a host of other complications. I’ve heard Fibromyalgia be called many things, but to me, Fibromyalgia is the bag of bricks I carry every day.

When I go out with friends, I have to carry these bricks with me. The effort exhausts me, leaving me feeling drained at the end of the day. Even when I stay home, doing chores or even taking a shower, I still carry my bag. The weight slows me down and prevents me from accomplishing all I want to. Some days, it’s as if someone added more bricks to my bag. Some days, it seems as though, miraculously, my bricks were feathers.

No one can see the bag of bricks I carry. I have to explain it to everyone who wonders why I suffer when I don’t look like I should. Like parents hearing of their child’s invisible friend, many brush it off with chagrin, as if I am making it up. Some pity me, unable to do anything to help me. Others, like my husband, family, and close friends, do all they can to carry some of the weight for me. These angels make my life with my bag of bricks more bearable.

My faith is the only other thing that gets me through day to day. Although I may have to carry these bricks, and I wonder why God gave them to me, I know that while I carry this weight, He is carrying me. On the days when my bricks keep me from doing what I want or need to do, His grace provides. When I believed that my bag of bricks would prevent anyone from ever wanting to get close to me, He put my wonderful husband in my path. The blessings I have experienced, while they do not negate the burden I bear, have made it easier to carry.

I am thankful, though, for my bag of bricks. Carrying it has opened my eyes to the people around me. You carry a bag of bricks too. Everyone does. It may not be Fibromyalgia. It may not even be a health issue. It might simply be troubles at home, the baggage of the past, or feelings you can’t seem to get past. We all have to learn to treat others with kindness because our burdens are not always visible.

And one day, I’ll fly away from this world and lay down my bag of bricks one last time, and walk and run freely straight into the loving arms of Jesus. I’ll ask Him, “Why did you give me that bag of bricks?” and He’ll answer, “My child, did not your trials make you stronger? Did you not trust me more because of your struggles? Did you not receive manifold blessings because of it?”

And though my life with my bag of bricks will be but a memory, I’ll forever be thankful that He cared enough for my character to challenge me.When I was seeking answers, what seems like a lifetime ago, a doctor who could give me no answers left me with this remark: “Fill a bag with 30 pounds of bricks and carry it around all day. That’s what you’re doing to your body by being overweight.” Needless to say, this was not helpful. I tried losing weight but it never stayed off and it never solved my pain.

If I could see that doctor today, I’d want to tell him, “I found my bag of bricks.” See, eventually, compassionate, knowledgeable doctors diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia, a condition that causes widespread pain, fatigue, bowel problems, depression, sensitivity to stimuli, cognitive problems, and a host of other complications. I’ve heard Fibromyalgia be called many things, but to me, Fibromyalgia is the bag of bricks I carry every day.

When I go out with friends, I have to carry these bricks with me. The effort exhausts me, leaving me feeling drained at the end of the day. Even when I stay home, doing chores or even taking a shower, I still carry my bag. The weight slows me down and prevents me from accomplishing all I want to. Some days, it’s as if someone added more bricks to my bag. Some days, it seems as though, miraculously, my bricks were feathers.

No one can see the bag of bricks I carry. I have to explain it to everyone who wonders why I suffer when I don’t look like I should. Like parents hearing of their child’s invisible friend, many brush it off with chagrin, as if I am making it up. Some pity me, unable to do anything to help me. Others, like my husband, family, and close friends, do all they can to carry some of the weight for me. These angels make my life with my bag of bricks more bearable.

My faith is the only other thing that gets me through day to day. Although I may have to carry these bricks, and I wonder why God gave them to me, I know that while I carry this weight, He is carrying me. On the days when my bricks keep me from doing what I want or need to do, His grace provides. When I believed that my bag of bricks would prevent anyone from ever wanting to get close to me, He put my wonderful husband in my path. The blessings I have experienced, while they do not negate the burden I bear, have made it easier to carry.

I am thankful, though, for my bag of bricks. Carrying it has opened my eyes to the people around me. You carry a bag of bricks too. Everyone does. It may not be Fibromyalgia. It may not even be a health issue. It might simply be troubles at home, the baggage of the past, or feelings you can’t seem to get past. We all have to learn to treat others with kindness because our burdens are not always visible.

And one day, I’ll fly away from this world and lay down my bag of bricks one last time, and walk and run freely straight into the loving arms of Jesus. I’ll ask Him, “Why did you give me that bag of bricks?” and He’ll answer, “My child, did not your trials make you stronger? Did you not trust me more because of your struggles? Did you not receive manifold blessings because of it?”

And though my life with my bag of bricks will be but a memory, I’ll forever be thankful that He cared enough for my character to challenge me.

Advertisements