Image by TW Collins via Flickr
Yesterday I attempted to get back into my normal swing of things. I'm dealing with a major fibromyalgia flare-up and it sidelined me over the long Labor Day holiday weekend, resulting in a brief absence from my blog and my Twitter account.
As I jumped back onto Twitter to catch up with my friends, many who also live with chronic illnesses, I found it weirdly and reassuringly coincidental that several other people were sharing that they were having a rough time right now. They offered me support and I supported them too. In the process of sharing and caring, I got inspired to write this post.
I know that many of my tweeps (friends on Twitter) use Twitter to vent. To the uninitiated, it might seems strange to use this very public forum to discuss how you really feel, but it works oddly well because the people that don't want to hear how you really feel just won't follow you. The people that do follow you on Twitter are the people who share similar experiences and are looking for people who understand what it is like to live with chronic illness.
So when my tweeps and I feel sick and flared-up, we dish, vent, complain and whine.
Which got me thinking about whining and wondering why whining has such a bad rap, especially since it is something we all do. In fact, I think that whining is one of those necessary steps along the path to making changes in my life. I often find it isn't until I really get in touch with how unhappy, disgusted, frustrated and upset I am about something that I find the courage, motivation and determination to change.
Plus, on those occasions when I am stuck in complaining mode, whining becomes a sign to those closest to me that it is time for some straight talk and a kick in the butt.
I know that some healthy people might think whining is a tool used by sick people to annoy others, but I see the occasional whinefest as a legitimate way to express the harder, rougher and more difficult aspects of living each day with chronic illness. And in a lot of ways, going onto Twitter and choosing to whine to those who really "get it," instead of people who would rather not hear it, might just be one smart coping choice.
What do you think? Is it O.K. to indulge in an occasional whine to a sympathetic ear? Do you let your close friends call you on your stuff if you get too whiny? Does whining help you build up momentum to make changes?