Thursday

Simple stress management tips at Christmas

Simple stress management tips
There is inevitable and unavoidable stress associated with the holiday season and add this to a life living with a chronic illness, which usually means chronic pain, and the stress is compounded.

I am glad you are here and reading this and I hope you find something helpful and worthwhile to help you or a loved one cope with the added stress at this time of the year.

Remember to take care of yourself. 
The words self care make me cringe but we just must look after ourselves to even feel vaguely normal at the best of times so this is even more important now in the holiday season.

Whenever you remember take 3 deep breaths. Breathe in the good and let go the bad...
I do this whenever I get in my car to drive anywhere and at other times when I feel overwhelmed and it has become a helpful habit very quickly. It sounds stupid but just 3 deep breaths and I can feel the tension subside.

self care ideas

Choose to see the good stuff.
Try and stay on positive topics and with positive people. When I am feeling overwhelmed gossip and bad news and drama and negative talking really drags me down further. 

Laughing and humor and comedy shows make me feel good especially if enjoyed with others. In some strange way laughter reduces pain and allows us to tolerate discomfort.

Also listen to your own ‘self-talk' because often we can be in a habit of saying negative things in our heads that just add to our stress. This is unhelpful so try and realize what you are doing and change the tape you are playing  - instead of saying ‘I can't cope' say 'it's time to take a break' or 'calm down' or 'others can help do this too'.  


Nature and being outdoors really can be a breath of fresh air. Being in nature has been proven to help us humans.

Sometimes I am so low I don't want to go out and see people but I have found that going for a walk at dusk or at night is also a great way to rejuvenate. There is no one around where I live, they are all in their houses, and no bright sunlight (which does affect my eye health) and I feel better after just a 5 minute walk. It is also calming to look at the sky, the clouds, the stars and the moon and feel the breeze or even the gentle rain. 

Nature and less stress

Find your own joy.
Let go of the shoulds and the old traditions and do what makes you feel good.  Create new traditions that are simple and easy to maintain within your life and your capabilities. As an example, at Christmas do we really need to send christmas cards, when we can send a group email? Do we really have to have all the relatives over for lunch when we could make a new tradition of meeting for Christmas Carols at the local Christmas event or church? 

Work out what is really important to you and your family and simplify your Christmas. We live in Australia where it is warm and sunny in December so having a turkey with all the trimmings just does not make sense. This year we are letting go of the old English traditions brought to Australia and enjoying seafood, ham and pavlova. I am happy to say that this menu has been approved by all the family.


So my suggestions are
Take care of YOU as well as everyone else
Do a simple deep breathing technique.
Choose to stay positive.
Choose laughter and comedy (on TV and in real life)
Delegate more.
Take nature breaks.
Work out the basics of what is important to you and create simple traditions around that.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and holiday season from Lee.


Simple stress management tips at Christmas


You might also find the following helpful:

Sunday

What Works For me To Help Fibromyalgia

What Works For me To Help Fibromyalgia

This question was asked though FIBRO CONNECT the Fibro Blogger Directory newsletter - What Works to Help Your Fibromyalgia? and this is my answer. You can view this on video or read the transcript below the video.



Transcript of video:
On a day to day level the things that help me cope with fibro and all of it's myriad symptoms are:

1. Pacing myself - I can usually do any activity for about 15 minutes - e.g. sweep, or tidy things away or clean, - and if the pain increases I change activities. I use to try and push on through but have realised it does not help in the long run. Pacing has really been a breakthrough for me. The house may suffer but I try and keep the main areas clean and clear so that I can have less pain and fatigue.

2. Gentle stretches - like sitting on the floor and trying to touch toes and holding for 2 minutes. My worst pain is in the stiff ol' hips, so this helps. I also do a few exercises and stretches lying in the bed, usually before I go to sleep.

3. Hot spa of bubbling water or a hot bath or hot shower. It does not last long but it is the only thing that works for me when I am at my wits end and have already taken pain killers and they are not working.

4. Connecting with others who have fibromyalgia on facebook and twitter and through their blogs is a great source of distraction. When I am on the computer I tend to be in my brain and not in my body which means I am not focusing on pain.

5. Taking a constant minimum painkiller helps reduce the pain levels a little.

6. Distracting myself with a book or a TV show, a movie or the computer or suduko takes my mind off my symptoms, as long as I can find a comfy position (which is sometimes difficult).

7. Keeping dairy and wheat out of my diet, as much as possible, helps to reduce my joint pain so, hey, any less pain is good don't you think?

I hope these suggestions of mine help you. Everybody is different. Why not add your suggestions or a link to a blog post about the same topic. What works for you when coping with Fibromyalgia?

LINKED UP AT FIBRO FRIDAY and Your Fibro Questions Answered
You can sign up for the Free FIBRO CONNECT newsletter here

Tuesday

Top tips for healthy eating – The Lucky 13

Top tips for healthy eating

Today we have guest sharing about her tips on healthy eating. It's Em from FIBROMYSTORY.COM Managing Chronic illness with weight training - yes Em is amazing in many ways and one way is that she does weight training while living with Fibro. This is very impressive to me, so I am interested to see what she says about food - the fuel for her body and exercise program.

Top tips for healthy eating

Hello, welcome to you. I hope you had a good week?

I also hope you’re reading this entry because your thinking about making some dietary and/or life changes. It’s easy to underestimate how the foods and fluids we put into our bodies affect the way we feel and function. That was certainly true for me. Before I started working out, I described myself as ‘skinny fat’ – I was slim but also really unfit. In fact, because of my illness, activity terrified me, so I did no more than I had to. Consequently, I had a very little muscle tone and often felt fragile.

Yet because I was a size 10, I thought I could eat what I wanted and did! Not only that, as I struggled with the effects of lots of medication and fatigue, I would often reach for those ‘quick fix’ energy boosts: namely fat, sugar and caffeine. 

So for today, I decided to stick with my ‘back to basics’ theme offering you some of my….

TOP TIPS ON HEALTHY EATING – 13 ‘Lucky’ tips to healthier eating.

#1 First and foremost: Be clear on your goals. Do you want to lose weight? Gain weight? Increase muscle mass, manage symptoms, or simply feel better. The more clear you can be on your goals, the easier it is to figure out how to reach them. Picture your goals in your mind.


#2 While you’re busy imagining your future self, FEEL the emotions you experience and that time. Do you feel excited and motivated, or are you thinking of previous attempts that left you feeling defeated and fearful? If it’s the former; Great! just don’t race out of the blocks. For those of us living with a chronic illness, it’s better to be the tortoise than the hare! If it’s the latter, consider why you didn’t succeed. We’re you bored? Did you feel deprived? Were you stressed and feeding your emotions? Don’t forget the acronym for FAIL – First Attempt In Learning. Use that experience to inform this one and helps you prepare in advance for the challenges ahead. After all, worthwhile change often comes with challenge. The harder the challenge the sweeter the victory! 


You might be wondering what’s this got to do with diet? The answer is: probably not a lot, but it has a lot to do with change. If you’re planning to make dietary changes, mindset and planning are important ingredients to success. Who you are you are, your aims, needs and lifestyle are all important considerations to achieving successful lifestyle changes. You have to make it work for you, otherwise it won’t work.


#3 Ultimately though, when it comes to change I bluntly ask myself “how badly do you want it?” Be honest with yourself about how ready you are for change. Are you ready for it, or are you doing it because you should? If you’re not ready for change, see if you can figure out what’s holding you back and work from there. 


#4 Don’t change everything all at once. We’ve all been there; downloaded the diet plan, bought the ingredients. Set off with gusto on Monday, struggling by Wednesday, justifying our unhealthy ‘reward’ come Friday and feeling like you failed by Saturday. Don’t put yourself under so much pressure. Every time to choose a healthy meal over an unhealthy one you are one step closer to forming new tastes and habits. The more you do it the easier it becomes. The more you tell yourself you have to do it, the harder it will feel.

#5 Track your current diet and calorie intake for a few days to see how many you typically consume. It’s a good idea to understand where you are. Apps are an easy way to achieve this. I’m not advertising but personally I use My Fitness Pal to track my calories. It has a handy barcode scanner saving you from typing in each food. 

Don’t forget of course, that eating 2000 calories of cake per day is very different from eating 2000 calories of lean meats, vegetables and fruits. The good news is you can eat way more of the good stuff than the bad stuff! Leading me nicely into…..

Top tips for healthy eating

#6 Understand how we fuel our bodies.

Protein: When you exercise, your muscles are broken down and then use protein to rebuild themselves stronger while recovering. Protein should be a part of every meal. Sources of protein include chicken, eggs, beef, pork, fish, nuts, tofu, quinoa, and most dairy products.

Carbohydrates: For those of us living with a chronic illness, energy feels like a prize so eating enough carbs is a must for us. Carbohydrates get converted to glucose (sugar) in your system, which is then used to provide energy. Vegetables and/or fresh fruit, pasta, rice, oats and grains are good sources of carbohydrates. There are certainly bad carbohydrates (processed foods etc) and those are the ones to cut out if possible.

Fat: Not all fat is bad for us. In fact, our bodies need fat in order to function. However, what it needs is good fats. Avocados, almonds, olive oil, walnuts, peanut and almond butter are excellent sources of healthy fat (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) Cream cake = bad fat. Avocado = good fat!

Still with me? Great. So, now we’ve committed to change, learnt how many calories we currently eat and where we get them from and learnt that our bodies need a combination of good carbs, proteins and fats to function and feel well.

#7 Next is figuring out how many calories you need to reach your goals and how much of you’re daily calorie intake should be divided into carbs, proteins and fats, often referred to as macro nutrients or ‘macros’ for short. Knowing how much we eat of which can be confusing so again not advertising but I use an app. The macro nutrient calculator at Bodybuilding.com feels easy to use and straight forward. You type in your height, weight, target weight and activity levels and it does the science bit for you. 

Again don’t put too much pressure on yourself – it’s a guide not an instruction.  

#8 Spice up your life! I still say it chicken and broccoli is boring but it doesn’t have to be. Using trusty Google and a range of fresh and dried herbs and seasoning, I’ve learnt lots of different marinades to add variety to chicken and recipes. We’ve also had plenty of disasters too, mostly with hot spices! I read that certain spices are also recommended to help manage chronic illnesses too. Do your research about what might work for you and add it in. Win, win!

#9 Hit the recipe books. Ensuring that you eat a varied diet  means you won’t get bored, resentful and rebellious! I’m no chef so I use recipes, again mostly online. I have my iPad propped beside while I have a go at something new. Meanwhile, my husband and son look rather nervous! Learning the recipes has promoted my knowledge of healthy foods and in time made it easier to naturally choose and prepare healthy meals.

#10 I also find substitutes for things I like and will miss, namely dessert! Treats like a banana and peanut butter smoothie with skimmed or almond milk hits my sweet tooth and fills me up! Not a daily event though.

#11 Don’t go hungry or you’ll likely get hangry and cheat! I eat little and often, approximately every two hours. Doing this means I maintain my energy levels and also means I won’t get too hungry and get tempted to eat crap “oh I’ll just have a biscuit (or two) to keep me going”. I’ve learnt once I eat junk food, I want more. Yet when I’m full and satisfied I don’t look for it. One tip I have to resist junk food is telling myself “ there is nothing nutritious in there for you”. My body deserves more, it’s been through a lot. That’s not to say I’m perfect, I still have some biscuit days but way less than I used to so that’s ok. 

#12 Check out my previous post on fatigue and meal prep. I work Monday to Friday and with the gym too, preparing meals can be tricky. I’m lucky I have a supportive husband but he has the same routine and gets tired too. So on Sunday’s we meal prep a quantity of mid week meals. Other quick meals are omelette (mostly egg whites), pasta, soups, fish etc. It really doesn’t take long to cook something like chicken and vegetables with sweet potato.

#13 Experiment, try new things and congratulate yourself on your efforts. 

Finally, please don’t think I’m suggesting never have that piece of cake. My birthday is coming soon and I’m not missing out on a slice! It’s OK, I stick to my aims for the most part. 

Good Luck

Em

Top tips for healthy eating

Friday

Fibromyalgia brain study: Findings bring comfort and hope to Fibromyalgia fighters

New Fibromyalgia brain study

This research is so important because researchers have found proof that inflammation is happening in Fibromyalgia. It opens many areas for treatments, for validating current treatments and hope for a cure.
"Finding an objective neurochemical change in the brains of people who are used to being told that their problems are imaginary is pretty important," said Marco Loggia, associate director of the Center for Integrative Pain Neuroimaging at Harvard Medical School.

Researchers compared the brain scans of people with fibromyalgia to a healthy control group, and found more inflammation in the immune cells of the brain in people with fibromyalgia.


As Fibromyalgia, does not manifest any structural damage in any organ it is often difficult to prove.  It causes chronic, widespread pain in muscles and soft tissues accompanied by fatigue and sleep disturbances. So this research provides proof that there are physiologic changes that can be found. 

The study used a test called positron emission tomography (PET) which images the brain.

The study and report were quite complex but the findings can be summarized as follows:

1. This research shows that brain levels of the glial marker, TSPO, are elevated in the cortex of FM patients relative to healthy controls. 
This marker of glial activation was increased in several brain regions implicated in FM pathology from previous neuroimaging studies.
2. It also found an association between the TSPO PET signal and fatigue, a predominant FM symptom. 
Various studies have found that patients with Fibromyalgia had elevated levels of  fractalkine and interleukin-8 (IL-8) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (Backryd et al., 2017, Kadetoff et al., 2012, Kosek et al., 2015). Both are implicated in neuron-glial communication and have been associated with central sensitization and pain. But no study had clearly demonstrated that glial activation occurs in the brain of FM patients. Confirming this neuroimmune dysfunction in FM would open the exploration of glial modulation as a therapeutic option for this condition.
Future studies will need to test whether glial modulation may be a viable therapeutic strategy for FM.


Marco Loggia said the results could lead to better ways to see if fibromyalgia treatments, reduce the inflammation that they found. 
These findings may also be an important step in discovering the cause of Fibromyalgia.
It could also help with developing new treatments as the study supports glial modulation as a potential therapeutic strategy for Fibromyalgia.
So this report definitely brings comfort and hope to all of us with Fibro.
FULL REPORT OF STUDY

Brain in Fibromyalgia

Thursday

Fibromyalgia and compassion meditation - a study

Fibromyalgia and compassion meditation study

READ THIS ARTICLE OR SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH THE VIDEO.

This study proves that the simple act of meditation exercises reduced Fibromyalgia symptoms to a point where they were no longer felt as severe! This is great news for all Fibro fighters. 

The study compared Attachment-based Compassion Therapy (ABCT) with relaxation techniques for treating fibromyalgia. It was conducted by researchers from the University of Derby, the Awake to Wisdom Centre for Meditation and Mindfulness Research in Italy, the Primary Care Prevention and Health Promotion Research Network, University of Zaragoza and Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu in Spain.
Fibromyalgia affects approximately three percent of adults in  Europe and the UK with more women diagnosed than men. So the researchers ran the study with 42 women diagnosed with Fibro who were split into two groups: one doing relaxation and the other doing compassion therapy.  
What is Compassion Therapy?
The Compassionate Mind Foundation, says that Compassion Therapy is:
“an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that draws upon our evolved capacity for compassion to facilitate the alleviation of human suffering”.
It was developed by Dr. Paul Gilbert, a psychologist from England who believed that compassion for ourselves and for others reduces intrusive feelings of shame and self-criticism.
Compassion therapy, in this study, used meditation exercises focusing on understanding the universality of suffering, gaining an emotional connection with other people's suffering, and the motivation to act to lessen suffering.

Fibromyalgia and compassion meditation
Meditation DOES NOT have to look like this... 
Compared to the relaxation control group, participants in the compassion therapy group demonstrated significant improvements across a range of psychological outcomes and reduced fibromyalgia symptoms by 36 percent. This is a big reduction. 
Dr. William Van Gordon, Lecturer in Psychology at University of Derby Online Learning, said: 
"The effectiveness of pharmacological treatments for fibromyalgia, such as anti-depressants, has long been questioned and can lead to unwanted side effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of compassion meditation as an alternative treatment for fibromyalgia."
When the study was completed, most participants in the ABCT group, who did meditation, showed significant improvements to the point where some no longer met the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia.
"As fibromyalgia is linked with sickness-related absence from work, incapacity to work, reduced work productivity and high usage of health-care resources, these results are not only meaningful for the sufferers but could help to address the problem of absence from work and the cost implications of this."
Fibromyalgia symptoms were measured before and after the trial using the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) which assesses the current health status of those with fibromyalgia syndrome in clinical and research settings.
Before the trial, both groups had an FIQ average score of over 60 which corresponds to a severe level of fibromyalgia symptoms. 
After the trial, the average score for the mediation group fell to 44, but the average score for the control group remained above 60.
In research, a reduction of 14 percent is deemed to be clinically important, but in this study the reduction in symptoms was in the order of 36 percent for fibromyalgia, 30 percent for psychological flexibility, 45 percent for anxiety, 54 percent for depression, and 38 percent for quality of life.
The amazing news is that the simple act of meditation exercises reduced Fibromyalgia symptoms to a point where they were no longer severe.

Meditation can be done anywhere
Meditation can be done anywhere in a comfy chair or lying down as well

THE VIDEO on YouTube


Sunday

Duloxetine for Juvenile Primary Fibromyalgia

Duloxetine for Juvenile Primary Fibromyalgia
Efficacy and safety of duloxetine versus placebo in adolescents with juvenile fibromyalgia: results from a phase 3b, randomized study. Presented at the World Congress on Pain 2018; September 12-16, 2018; Boston, MA. Poster 64517.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether duloxetine is safe and effective in the treatment of adolescents with Juvenile Primary Fibromyalgia Syndrome (JPFS).
JPFS is a musculoskeletal pain syndrome characterized by multiple tender points, fatigue, and sleep problems in children and teenagers.  Girls are more likely than boys to be diagnosed with JFMS. Up to 75 percent have a family member with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. JPFS is diagnosed in 25 to 40% of children with musculoskeletal pain syndromes. 
Duloxetine, also known as Cymbalta, Ariclaim, Xeristar, Yentreve, Duzela, is a long-acting medication used to treat depression or generalized anxiety disorder or the pain of diabetic neuropathy or fibromyalgia, in adults, or ongoing bone or muscle pain.
The trial consisted of two distinct study periods. A blinded treatment period of 13 weeks and an open label extension period of 26 weeks. 
184 participants aged from 13 to 17 participated in this randomized study.
The study's primary end point was the mean change on the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) average pain severity rating from baseline to week 13.
Secondary end points included BPI-Modified Short Form: Adolescent Version severity and interference, treatment response (30% and 50% reductions in BPI average pain severity), and scores on the Pediatric Pain Questionnaire, Clinical Global Impression of Severity: Overall and Mental Illness scales, Functional Disability Inventory: child and parent version scales, Children's Depression Inventory, and the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children, as well as safety and tolerability. Of the 184 participants, 149 (80.98%) completed the 13-week treatment. CPA
The results of this study indicate that Duloxetine may not be effective in treating JPFS when compared to a placebo. No new safety concerns relating to Duloxetine were found.

Wednesday

Chronic Pain Quotes

Chronic Pain Quotes
Please understand that being able to stand up for five minutes, doesn’t necessarily mean that I can stand up for ten minutes, or an hour. It’s quite likely that doing that five minutes has exhausted my resources and I’ll need to recover. ~ Gerri Kassel, My Journey to find my health. 

I’d rather not take this medication, or any medication for that matter, but it is the only one that controls my pain adequately enough to allow me to function on a daily basis... I take the smallest dose possible to enable me to remain as clear-headed as possible to do what I need to do each day...

Even with the minimal opioids I take, I still have pain all the time, 24 hours a day; without opioids, life would be torture. ~  Alison Moore, author.

Most people assume: That because I don’t admit to being in pain each day, I must have pain-free days. I don’t. My last pain-free day was November 2002. Every day since then has held at least a moderate level of pain. ~ Life With A Pebble 

I hate all pain, Given or received; we have enough within us. ~ Lord Byron.

Our already chronic condition becomes worse for a time, symptoms become more pronounced and this then triggers a whole host of accompanying issues from migraine, muscle & joint pain, fatigue……..the list goes on. ~ Tracey Marinelli, Fibro Fantastic.

The trouble with chronic pain is that it is so easy to become accustomed to it, both mentally and physically. At first it's absolutely agonizing; it's the only thing you think about, like a rock in your shoe that rubs your foot raw with every step. ~ Robert J. Wiersema, author.

For many people living with chronic pain, opioid medications are a critical component to managing their pain and overall quality of life. However, the nationwide crackdown on opioids has put chronic pain sufferers in an impossible situation. ~ Sue, Fibro Daze.

Few things a doctor does are more important than relieving pain. . . pain is soul destroying. No patient should have to endure intense pain unnecessarily. The quality of mercy is essential to the practice of medicine; here, of all places, it should not be strained. ~ Marcia Angell, The Truth about the Drug Companies.

I was always in pain. I called the pain at the time "stress neck" since it often flared during deadlines, some of them self-imposed. ~ Kathleen Mueller, Fibroworks

I often wished that more people understood the invisible side of things. Even the people who seemed to understand, didn't really.  ~ Jennifer Starzec, Determination

Many a day I’ve felt despair, rage and profound disappointment that I could not do certain jobs. My life has changed so much over the years that I can hardly believe it. ~ Barbara McLullich,  Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Pain.

There is a saying in Tibetan, 'Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.' No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that's our real disaster. ~ Dalai Lama XIV

I wish I could experience that blissful feeling again when your whole body relaxes and melts into the bed and all the tension of the day just evaporates. I wish I could lay in my bed without experiencing pain. ~ Fighting Fibromyalgia

Few things a doctor does are more important than relieving pain... pain is soul destroying. No patient should have to endure intense pain unnecessarily. The quality of mercy is essential to the practice of medicine; here, of all places, it should not be strained. ~ Marcia Angell

We all want to be able to live pain-free, to enjoy our lives. Sometimes you have to think outside the box. ~ Cynthia Baughman, My Inspired Fibro Life


You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other and you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. Then you go about the business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way. ~ Elizabeth Taylor

We now have limitations and before there were none. We now look at life in a totally different way. Even when the pain levels subside there is a place within us that knows it's only a matter of time before it will rear its ugly head again. ~ Rosemary Lee, Seeking Equilibrium.


Don't build a wall around your own suffering - it may devour you from the inside. ~ Frida Kahlo

Chronic pain has a massive impact in our lives. And it is important to remember that pain doesn’t exist in a vacuum all by itself… it has symptoms. And these impact our functionality along with the pain itself. ~ Nikki Albert, Brainless Blogger


Recovery begins with embracing our pain and taking the risk to share it with others. We do this by joining a group and talking about our pain. ~ John Bradshaw 

Any practice of prayer and meditation can kick start your healing journey and your path to reducing pain. ~ Sue Ingebretson, Rebuilding Wellness.

Sometimes chronic pain can get to a point where it is getting in the way of the life you want to live. I have dreams and things I want to achieve, but it is starting to feel as if my pain and fatigue are getting in the way. ~ Beverley, Blooming Mindfulness

On bad pain and fatigue days, it may be a tough mental battle, but you can do it!  Remember my favorite word?  Hope.  Never give up HOPE! ~ Amy, The Fibro Frog.

The pain turns into little to no sleep which turns into depression which turns into difficulty being a friendly human which turns into stress which turns into more pain! That cycle is so forked up… but in the midst of all that, there are some good times. ~ Tamiko, my foggy brain.

When you have chronic illness, the slightest thing can have a knock-on effect. Just one day of significantly overdoing things can leave you with weeks of symptoms – more fatigue, increased pain and a reduction in stamina. ~ Katie Cupcake.

I will stand up and have my voice be heard, continue to raise awareness, fight for a cure, inspire those who feel like their world is now over and be a voice for the voiceless sufferers because I know you’re out there... Michelle Morales, Living Extra Ordinary

 These symptoms are genuine, and they are life-changing. ~ Susan, Living Creatively With Fibro.

People assume you aren’t sick 
unless they see the sickness on your skin 
like scars forming a map of all the ways you’re hurting. 

My heart is a prison of Have you tried?s 
Have you tried exercising? Have you tried eating better? 
Have you tried not being sad, not being sick? 
Have you tried being more like me? 
Have you tried shutting up? 

Yes, I have tried. Yes, I am still trying, 
and yes, I am still sick. 

Sometimes monsters are invisible, and 
sometimes demons attack you from the inside. 
Just because you cannot see the claws and the teeth 
does not mean they aren’t ripping through me. 
Pain does not need to be seen to be felt. 

Telling me there is no problem 
won’t solve the problem. 

This is not how miracles are born. 
This is not how sickness works.
Emm Roy, The First Step