Brandi (@beingfibromom)

Brandi (@beingfibromom)

"I think I’ve struggled with my mental health for as long as I can remember. Of course, during my childhood, I didn’t know that because we didn’t talk about mental health back in the ’80s the way we do now. Thankfully, it’s changed.

My struggles intensified when I had the onset of new symptoms following the birth of my first child in 2006. While trying to get answers from my medical providers about the cause of these new issues, I experienced a lot of minimizing and dismissiveness from multiple providers. Eventually, I thought it was all in my head, and quit seeking answers.

When I quit searching for the root cause of my symptoms, I started internalizing my feelings and didn’t talk about my struggles. I suppressed all of my anxiety, depression, and other issues. I loved my kids but I felt detached and disconnected from my life. During the day, I plastered on a smile and acted the part of a happy mom, and then cried myself to sleep each night. I continued this cycle each and every day for six long years. It was an awful feeling and caused a lot of mental anguish during that time.

One day I hit a breaking point and realized I couldn’t continue with the daily struggle anymore. I wanted to feel inside the way I was pretending to feel on the outside. I longed for connection, genuine happiness, and acceptance of who I was. I had a horrible self-image and it was wreaking havoc on me. I decided to seek help no matter how long it would take. I was determined to not take ‘no’ for an answer anymore. The rejection was breaking me.

Shortly after, when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia I began learning how real my symptoms were and the effect fibro was having on my mental health - this wasn’t including the mental anguish resulting from years of suppressing my struggles. There was a lot to work through, so I started weekly sessions with a psychiatrist.

Through my sessions, I learned visualization exercises, how to better communicate, the importance of self-care, and more. It took years to recover from that time period and develop a positive self-image. I still struggle with mental health, but I’m better equipped to help myself now.

Practicing self-care regularly and openly communicating with my family is important for me. I see a psychologist each week and use visualization and breathing techniques each day.

Maintaining a positive self-image is essential to better cope with my mental health and fibromyalgia symptoms. To do this, I am becoming more aware of negative self-talk and stop the negativity when I feel it creeping in. I also use writing therapy to cope, so I use gratitude and daily journals.

My family and the fibromyalgia community motivate me to keep going. My family is incredibly amazing in their individuality and brings pure joy to my life. The fibro community is full of individuals who continually inspire me with their ability to overcome challenges with strength and resilience.

Don’t listen to your inner demons whispering negative self-talk. It’s incredibly hard to do this in the beginning, but each time you silence that negativity, you give yourself strength. Let that strength allow you to see that you are worthy. You have value. You are enough."

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.