Today I attended a wake of a dear friend’s husband. His death was unexpected and hit the family very hard. The line for the wake was wrapped around the building and it took 3 hours to get to the front to show your respects.
As I stood in that line I began to notice all the people. Some faces were familiar while others were not. Some people were speaking quietly while others were laughing. Some were smiling while others were complacent. But none looked as if they were in dire pain.
It was then that I realized how the faces of people are like the faces of Fibromyalgia; meaning that to look at one’s face you cannot tell who has Fibro and who does not.
I was chatting with a friend in the line and she commented on how good I looked. That always makes me chuckle because I had often thought if I looked as I really feel, I would scare the pucky out of someone!
At the same time I thought it was a good thing I DID NOT look like I felt or people would wonder how I was even walking at all!
I guess what I’m saying is that it is a good thing Fibromyalgia does not effect our outward appearance. It was good to know I “wear my pain” well. (At least in public. At home may be different…).
On the flip side, however, is our inner self. You know, the one who feels the pain. The one who deals with the reality of their current situation every day. The one that no one seems to understand. The one we wish we could forget. The one who feels robbed of their former self and inwardly wants to scream that it is not fair! (and maybe does).
If you have Fibromyalgia and are reading this then you can relate. If you know someone who suffers from this dreaded, misunderstood condition, then study up on it. Pray for them. Pray for how you can help them. Let them know you care. (Provided you do care. Because if you don’t, it’ll only bring added stress into their life and all Fibros know that stress is a HUGE factor for Flare-ups!)
The faces of Fibromyalgia are everywhere going unnoticed and seemingly uncared about.
The pain is real.
So are the people dealing with that pain…24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Fibromyalgia won’t kill you, it just feels like it will.
Fibromyalgia awareness is important. People must be educated about this condition.
So as you look around at the sea of faces throughout your day, know that someone in that crowd may have Fibromyalgia. But if you already know someone who has it, then take time to see the pain in their eyes while they are (trying to) smiling.
A gentle hug of understanding is all they may need.