Last year was tough. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a neuro-musculoskeletal pain disorder and my chronic pains basically decided everything for me. No, it has no cure. Chronic pain is a bitch . It eats and gnaws on you slowly leaving you such that you will never be whole again. It kills a part of you. You never heal.
Living in pain 24*7 ain’t easy!
I had to give up on a lot of things. I gave up on my work, I gave up socializing, I gave up reading books because my hand couldn’t hold one, I gave up writing, making crafts. I gave up riding my two wheeler, I gave up shopping, meeting friends, I gave up my favorite foods because I became intolerant to many, I gave up complaining about my pains, I gave up explaining my pains, I gave up being understood, I gave up on empathy. I gave up on looking good, I gave up looking at myself in the mirror, I gave up smiling and being happy. If I did, it was just an act to pretend normal in front of my family.
I became home bound and started avoiding people, stopped taking calls or replying to messages. I couldn’t roll out chapattis, I couldn’t stand for long to cook, I had to pray namaz sitting on a chair. Even bathing became difficult. At 35, not being able to do even normal routine chores makes you feel useless. I would cry in the bathroom. I would cry while praying. I would just stare into the distance and start crying. Everyday was a constant struggle to get up and go about taking care of my children, my husband and myself.
But what I didn’t give up on was my faith in my creator. I knew it was He who gave me this suffering and I knew only He could take it away from me. It was just a matter of time. I never gave up on praying. I never gave up on researching and reading about my illness. I never gave up on my search for the right doctor to help me. And by sheer chance I met one who changed my life. After my pains became slightly manageable with medication, I started exercising and gradually things became much better.
So is the pain gone? No. But its bearable now. Am I physically fit to get back to my old life? Nope. I still can’t do many activities. Am I cured? No I am not. Will I ever be pain-free? I don’t know. Will I be able to work like before? I don’t care. All that mattered was I had learnt to manage my everyday pains and work around it to make sure I could make the best out of each day.
I realized the true meaning of the words “Everyday is a blessing “. Yes it is. I don’t take any moment for granted.
I know that my physical state now is a blessing and for as long as I can be this way, I will live my life to the fullest and celebrate life to the maximum. So even though I gave up a lot of things, I also came out much stronger in my faith and beliefs. And now on my 36th birthday I want to give up on a few more things: I would like to give up negativity, hopelessness, depression, hatred, ego, jealousy and all such things which make life miserable and take the fun out of it . And I would like to embrace life and the people in my life who make it worth living. It’s too short to waste it.
A year can change a lot of things! And this illness changed a lot for me. Life is slower than before and yes I have to be very careful about the amount of activities I can do per day. I cannot over-strain. I have my limits. But there are so many things I can still do and I am grateful for the ability to do them. It’s all about seeing the good in the bad. This post is to thank all my family, friends, well wishers for being a part of my journey. For not giving up on me. For making me feel so special. I couldn’t be happier.
May Allah almighty bless all the wonderful people in my life!
Here’s to an all new chapter!
By Tasneem Kutubuddin
P.S: This post was previously published on the author’s blog Fleeting Thoughts.