Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Routine: I Just Want to Have Fun!

Girls Just Want to Have Fun (film)Image via Wikipedia

I became a young adult in the 80's and fell in love with 80's music. I remember going to dance clubs in Hollywood when I was an undergraduate in college and dancing the night away ... and I know they played the 1983 Cyndi Lauper song Girls Just Want to Have Fun.

My days of clubbing in Hollywood are long gone, but my pursuit of fun remains. In fact, fun is one of the most important tools in my bag of tricks for dealing with my life with chronic illness. Where pills, patches, injections and procedures have failed to bring relief, fun is an escape to somewhere better, where the focus temporarily shifts away from my chronic pain and fatigue. Fun is a great distraction.

Distraction is my number one coping mechanism. Fibro-friendly activities like reading a book, watching a movie on TV, listening to music, writing a blog post, gardening in my container garden, spending time with my pets and arts and crafts projects redirect my focus onto something other than the symptoms of my illnesses. Fun is a respite, fun is rejuvenating, fun feels good. Fun is a reminder that there are other things going on, both internally and externally, besides my fibromyalgia, dysautonomia and chronic fatigue.

I believe that my pursuit of fun, despite my chronic illness, is what keeps me from feeling discouraged, defeated and dismal. Being in pain and fatigue every waking moment can really wear you down; fun brings me back up. On the surface, it may seem impossible to have fun when you constantly don't feel good. Quite the contrary, I've found that fun is exactly the prescription that has worked for me, that has helped me feel good about life once again and that has built my strength to cope with the unpleasant aspects of my illnesses.

I've learned that all pain and fatigue and no fun makes me a very unhappy person. Since I've accepted the reality that my chronic illness is continuing on indefinitely, unhappy is NOT how I want to live the rest of my life. So this Chronic Babe will continue to build a list of fibro-friendly activities to do for fun, 'cause Chronic Babes just want to have fun, too!

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