A Hope, a Longing, and a Comfort: Three Fibro Anthems, Part III

At church one Sunday shortly after my diagnosis, the congregation sang my third song. I had never heard it but honed in on the last line of the chorus:

 My Healer will see me through.

That was enough for me. And as I mentioned in Part I of this post series, if that were the entirety of the song, it would be enough. The song stuck in the back of my mind for over a year, and finally just about a month ago I decided to track it down. Come to find out, the whole song, by Elevation Worship, applies this time and is nothing but an encouragement in the face of unanswered questions, pain, and discouragement. It is not just a cry to God for help in our troubles but a declaration to Him that we believe what He has promised to do and trust that we—and our struggles of all kinds—are in His hands. And that that is enough.

Not only does God see us in our pain and struggles, He has made promises that we know He will keep:

God who answers prayer,
Faithful you will be.
In my darkest hour
Your promise I believe.

Bless the Lord with all that’s within, O my soul.
I cry out with all that I am, make me whole.
Here I stand, I place all my hope in you.
My Healer will see me through.

No, there is not currently a cure for fibromyalgia. And it is not my calling to devote my life to that future happening. I have no idea if there will ever be one and how close they may be to one. I am not banking on a cure for relief from this prison of a body. Maybe that’s just pessimism, but it’s just not flitting in the back of my mind as a probable happening.

I know that God can and does heal and that sometimes He doesn’t, always for the best reasons, as He knows far, far better than any of us what is best. Sometimes He chooses to heal. But sometimes He says no, even when we ask Him to.

So even though my Healer did not choose to heal me when some loving friends of mine implored it of Him several months ago, even though He has not changed that answer, even though in my hardest nights life in this prison feels nothing but sickeningly dark, lonely, and hopeless, even though He may not heal me while I am on this earth, He is still my Healer, as one day I will be healed, and He will still see me through.

I am honestly not sure that, if I did not know Him, I would still be here today. I may very well have reached a level of despair that nothing but Him could have helped. He literally has seen me through and holds me in His hands, even when I am in gut-wrenching pain or crying inconsolably or certain that I cannot live this way any longer.

People can comfort me. Laughter can comfort me. Music can comfort me. But only my Healer is there for every tear and every breath, silently holding this life in His hands.

~~~~~

If you missed them, make sure to take a look at the first two posts in this series. And also, if you have a fibro anthem or two of your own, please comment and let me know! The more music, the merrier. 🙂

Advertisements

A Hope, a Longing, and a Comfort: Three Fibro Anthems, Part II

This second song has become basically my life’s anthem anymore. Dying to do what I can’t and to be how I can’t be. The song is “Wild Horses” sung by Natasha Bedingfield and written by her, Andrew Marcus Frampton, and Wayne Wilkins (not to be confused with the other song by the same name about not letting them drag you away).

Again, somehow this is comforting from a fibro-sufferer’s perspective. And to someone without fibromyalgia, it gives them a brief glimpse into our life. I won’t copy all the lyrics that apply here, as I’d be copying almost the whole song; on so many levels, this song sums up the cries of my life (quoting myself, not the song):

How did I get here?

Why is this happening?

Why can’t I just do what I want, clean the house, fall asleep when I need to, go visit my best friend, run buy groceries, go out with my husband?

I see how I want to be, but I’m stuck in this prison of a body.

Why can’t I just be free??

I’ve mentioned before that I experienced fibromyalgia symptoms many years before my diagnosis. So on retrospect, I don’t see myself as ever really having been “normal.” But at least I thought I was. And as best I could tell, I was normal. Just an introverted, melancholy personality. Who had a few unexplainable quirks in the pain department. But besides all that, healthy. And compared to now, I definitely was. I used to be able to take hours-long shopping trips, buy groceries when I needed to, go to bed at night without crying more often than not, and experience activity-altering pain only about once a month in the female realm. I was free.

Now I am locked up inside my worst enemy, one that basically controls my muscles, my skin, my intestines, my thinking, and my emotions, just to name a few.

It’s very easy to look at others who are healthy and living like they’ve not a care in the world and be … saddened. Among other feelings. But then, since a lot of them have no idea what I’m living with, chances are a lot of them have their own personal struggles in any number of forms. So longing to be free like it appears others are, while easy, would be very hypocritical of me.

So I’ll settle for the symbolic realm, as my creativity is comfortable there anyway, and let Natasha put into words what I am not and what I wish I could be.

~~~~~

In case you missed Part I of my Three Fibro Anthems, go here.

A Hope, a Longing, and a Comfort: Three Fibro Anthems, Part I

As a songwriter, singer, and life-long music lover, I live with a song in my head, constantly. Whether I want to or not. (Usually the latter.) And as we with fibromyalgia will take what comfort we can get, with me a good bit of that is from music.

However, it seems to me that writing a song about fibromyalgia would be rather difficult. I know it’s been attempted before, including by me, but I mean a song that’s radio-worthy and broad enough to communicate the struggle without bogging down healthy, fibro-ignorant listeners with phrases like fibro-fog and crawling pain. They just wouldn’t get it.

So you won’t hear songs about fibromyalgia on the radio. (At least not anytime soon. Give me time. ;)) But in all my listening, there are a few songs, from all different genres, that have become to me what feel like personal fibromyalgia battle cries, or maybe more like laments, as fibro doesn’t exactly tend to make one feel courageous but much more often defeated. Yet, hearing these songs is, sometimes unintentionally, comforting. Like I’m letting someone else sing their guts out for me and I just get to listen and take a break from the tears.

Admittedly, these songs aren’t intended to be about fibro. One is actually a break-up song (I know, how do you get fibro out of that…) and the second is just a yearning for freedom, particularly freedom to love. The third is a worship song, amazing enough if it were made up of just the last line of the chorus. And each are so meaningful to me that I think they deserve their own individual posts.

On my hardest nights, this first song’s chorus somehow puts into words my utter emotional exhaustion. The verses of “Cry,” sung by Kelly Clarkson and written by her, Jason Halbert, and Mark Townsend, sadly don’t really apply, but the chorus arrested my ears and well makes up for the inapplicability of the rest of the lyrics. I feel like the artist sings it, as only she can, in a way that screams what my heart feels. And something about someone else so passionately singing their guts out about crying is like a sad balm. Yes, it’s weird the things that feel good when you’re dealing with depression.

Is it over yet?

Can I open my eyes?

Is this as hard as it gets?

Is this what it feels like to really cry?

So short, so simple, and yet so huge. Hoping that every flare, every storm will pass quickly, even while knowing the illness itself will only end when my life does. Hoping, like a little girl, that if you just close your eyes the storm will be past and the sun will be out again. Hoping that no storm to come will ever be as bad as this one and that you’ll be able to look back and at least know you made it through the worst part.

And hoping that this feeling—crying so violently that if you actually cried as hard as your emotions wanted you to, your body would literally break—won’t be a kind of crying that comes too often. Even if it is “what it feels like to really cry.”

And, yes, somehow hearing that sung actually does bring a sad smile to my heart. Sometimes I just have to let Kelly cry for me.

The Truth About Cinderella

As someone who grew up watching many Disney princess movies, I’ve discovered there is one story that is fondest in my memory.

I couldn’t really identify with Belle and her beast, though I loved her gold dress and her perfect hair. (Maybe it was all the snow—I never really liked playing in the cold.) I always got so upset when Ariel’s father destroyed all her treasures in that one scene, and Ursula was a bit scary there in the end, even if I did find it funny how she put on lipstick. And that whole dragon-fight scene in Sleeping Beauty was a  little much for my five-year-old, very sensitive mind.

Cinderella just stands out a bit in my memory, above the rest of her princess counterparts. Maybe it’s because we had slides of her story in that 3-D Viewmaster-thing. Maybe it’s because there was dancing and pretty dresses and a giant orange pumpkin.

But my adult mind has recently decided even further why; there’s more to her story than just bad luck and mean step-family members.

Here’s how I think Cinderella’s life really was.

~~~~~

Once upon a time, there was a very tired young lady named Cinderella. She lived with her step-mother and two step-sisters who were very selfish and absorbed in their own lives.

Cinderella had always suffered with fibromyalgia, and because of this, she couldn’t always go to balls like her step-sisters could and had to stay home a lot. So the three she lived with decided that Cinderella ought to be the one to keep the house clean and do all the chores—if she was always home, she might as well be the maid.

So Cinderella spent all her time cleaning, not just because she was the only one doing it, but also because she could only do so much at a time and had to take so many breaks, she could never get it all done.

When she found out about the Prince’s ball, she knew she just had to go—it was her one chance to get out of the house and meet someone who could love her and take care of her.

We all know about the fairy godmother and the pumpkin carriage and all. So she did get to go to the ball, but there was more on her mind that night than the clock striking twelve. There was so much going on at the ball—the music, people laughing and talking, the bright lights swirling around her as she danced, all while trying to focus on the Prince and the nice conversation he was trying to have with her and also attempting to act like she was okay—that by nearly midnight she was exhausted and very sad that, between her tiredness, her sensory overload, and her fibro fog, she couldn’t enjoy the evening nearly as well as she wanted to. And she was also sure all of this had caused her to make a bad impression on the Prince.

When the Prince finally came to her house looking for the owner of the slipper she had lost on her haste to leave the ball, she had little desire to try on the slipper, though she knew it was hers. She was certain that she had not made a very good impression on the Prince and that even if she somehow had, there was no way he would want to marry a girl like her once he knew what she was living with.

But the Prince had seen just enough of Cinderella at that ball to know that he wanted to marry her. And when he finally got to have her try on the glass slipper, and thus declared his feelings, she told him all about her health problems. He listened very carefully before assuring her that fibromyalgia had no influence on his feelings for her and that he would take care of her forever.

So Cinderella was rescued from her selfish step-family and married her Prince, who helped her clean and loved her every day. And they indeed lived happily ever after, even when she was tired, and in pain, and sometimes in too much fog to realize she was married to such a wonderful Prince Charming.

~~~~~

Somehow, knowing that Cinderella and I have far more in common than a love for dancing and the color orange makes me feel better, even if just for a few moments.