Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fibromyalgia & the Occasional Glass of Whine

"I shall hear no whine before it's time"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?

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Anonymous said...

I have fibromyalgia and I think whining and complaining does not help me or the people around me. I try to stay as positive as possible at all times. I did whine a lot for many years and I became worse and worse. I think it literally feeds the illness. Having Fibro for many years I see the difference of how I was when I used to complain and whine and now when I do not and take my mind off fibromyalgia as much as possible. My health is better, I attract better relationships with happy people that in turn makes me happier, and It has taught me to move past the pain and put my attention to more constructive and productive things in my life. I even left many fibromyalgia groups because of all the complaining. It was making me more ill.

I hope this does not offend you at all. Everyone deals with the fibromyalgia differently. So maybe whining helps you. Just not my cup of tea anymore.

Anonymous said...

I have my days when I MUST vent my feelings. If I don't, I will drown in them and you become more prone to depression (so the statics say). I've never been one to go on and on and on. I whine, get on with it & bring back my smile.

I don't think everyday whining is good. That would raise a red flag for depression. But to say in a moment of your day, "life sucks" or "I can't stand it anymore" etc.. this is perfectly normal and okay.

Get it off your chest. You have to please you first or you will please no one else. Of course when I say you, I mean you and God. But that's my belief.

If you need to vent, vent. If you need to cry, cry. If you want a hug, seek it out. So on. Feed your soul of all things not just those others want to feed you.

Heather said...

sometimes it is good to get it off your chest, but everyday can lead to more bad days, that is what I find for me. If I whine too much my family does step in and help me which is good, but I do try to stay positive and this helps me through the flare up.

I hope your week is better than the weekend!

Selena said...

Thanks for the comments!

It is always OK to disagree with me. We all have our own perspectives and I encourage my readers to share theirs with me.

I do agree that constantly whining will get you nowhere good fast. If you subscribe to the theory that what you put out into the world comes back to you, then always whining can only bring you whiny things in return.

I also know that the word whine has a negative connotation, so perhaps if you replace the word whine with vent what I wrote might be more palatable. Although I did find this definition of the word whine that I think gets to the meaning I used in this post:

to utter a complaining cry or a cry of suffering

I like how Jen pointed out that always whining helped her realize that constantly complaining didn't get her where she wanted to go in her relationships and life, hence becoming a catalyst for change.

Anonymous said...

awesome post! i loved that you took a pretty different perspective on the issue than i did in my post (http://gradstudentwithlupus.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/sometimes-a-whine-is-a-good-thing/) - my turn at shameless self promotion haha.

i think everyone has to find their own balance. some people need to vent more than others do...

-SR (@gradstdntwlupus)

Anonymous said...

awesome post! i loved that you took a pretty different perspective on the issue than i did in my post:
- my turn at shameless self promotion haha.

i think everyone has to find their own balance. some people need to vent more than others do...

-SR (@gradstdntwlupus)