It’s still kind of crazy to me to think that I actually went through with starting a blog, especially one of such a personal nature. I’m not used to being so open about just about anything personal, so that tells you how much I thought this blog was needed, in spite of my more private nature, particularly for those who know me to be able to gain some substance behind the generic knowledge that I have health problems.
I remember commenting after publishing one of my first blog posts that even if this new blog of mine isn’t helping anyone else, it is certainly helping me. Comments from others soon encouraged me that some were being helped too, both fibro sufferers and non, the latter of course being my intended audience (please see my first post).
For a while I thought I was accomplishing my goal, but I’m gathering that maybe what I want to say—and what I want people to hear—is not exactly what they want to hear or what they’re indeed hearing at all.
Eighteen detailed, agonizingly written posts later, I’ve certainly learned more about myself and my life with fibromyalgia by attempting to put my experience into words, sometimes clearly but more often in a fibro fog-clouded way. But I’ve also learned some things that I wasn’t looking to and that have led me reluctantly to this final post.
- First, no matter how carefully you write something, no matter how honest you are, no matter how good your intentions or how much of your heart you pour into it, people are still going to take things and respond to them in their own way, often ways you cannot predict and possibly not very like you intended. When this is the case, though you have done everything you can to achieve the desired result, it is sometimes better if you just stop, knowing that you’re probably unintentionally doing more harm than good.
The point of This Wind-Driven Life was to show what cannot be seen. Fibro is invisible, so how are you to believe me or further know how to help unless I tell you—and show you—about it? I was not aiming to give reasons to sit and worry, to burden, or to disturb. I was aiming to give the explanations for anything I do that’s not “normal” in the sense of a healthy person. Why I don’t always want to be sociable, why I sleep such odd hours, why I even claim all these things to be wrong with me when I look perfectly fine—to fill in mental gaps on the illness for people afraid to ask, and to make real to others what obviously can’t be seen simply because of the unseen nature of this chronic illness.
- Second, no matter how well-known the legitimate problem of depression has become in recent years (kind of like fibro), there will still be people who automatically equate “darkness” and deep, sad emotion with full-blown medical depression and, even further, with not knowing Jesus and the hope He gives.
It is actually possible to be deeply discouraged about something, often with more reasons out of one’s control surrounding the problem than meet the eye. All words of sadness and weariness do not suddenly equal medical depression. I would be one to know the difference.
That said, I have shared in my brief About Me page that I am a melancholy, introverted writer. Introverts are born thinkers—they are constantly reflecting on things as opposed to openly talking about them. Add the melancholy temperament to that, plus my artistic side of creative writing, and you’ve got someone who by mere nature leans toward more dramatic, specific, emotional word choices. My blog posts are completely honest, but they are, simply by my nature, not going to be covered in flowers and sunshine while portraying a less-than-happy topic of fibromyalgia.
Further, being downtrodden, depressed, or sad about life’s circumstances, whether the cause is mere human discouragement or actually clinical or situational depression, is not an indicator in itself that one is not a Christian. Even Elijah ran off into the wilderness, collapsed under a tree, and begged the Lord to just take him (I Kings 19:4). There are tons of psalms written about being downcast, downtrodden, covering your bed in tears, and weeping all night. And even Jesus, on His way to do His Father’s will, implored His Father not once but twice to spare Him of having to be tortured and murdered on the cross (Matthew 26:39, 42). If Jesus Himself, in His part humanness, was sorrowful and depressed about what He was experiencing and about to face, then it should be no surprise at all for a Christian, who is obviously only human, to deal with depression over a chronic illness.
Being a Christian does not remove the trials we face or even sorrow in response to them—it gets us through them. And enables us to write about them, even if it’s painful to do so.
- Finally, it was asking too much to expect people who don’t have fibromyalgia to get it like I want them to.
Simply put, I can’t expect people who don’t suffer from fibromyalgia to be able to handle it in theory, because they haven’t handled it in reality. No matter how well I put it into words that I think will do the trick. And unless they experience it themselves, they simply are not capable of getting it and may not even want to try.
I have by no means exhausted post topics for this blog. I keep a running list of areas to write on as they hit me. So, I could just keep publishing this blog and letting people continue to read or not read as they wish. But the chance of doing more damage than good—to them and also to their view of me—is not a risk I wish to continue to take—burdening people with information that was meant to educate them and make all of our lives a bit easier, giving people self-interpreted reason to label my kind of depression as lack of real Hope, and expecting what is painfully the impossible of people who cannot understand. I am sorry for quite unintentionally causing the first two and expecting the latter. Even if the posts were helping me, that is not worth doing the opposite to others. It may now be too late, but there is no sense in letting it continue.
So it is, as the title suggests, with reluctance and after much consideration that I cease publishing this blog. Thank you to those who read my posts and now get my life with fibro a little bit better, and especially to those of you I’ve never even met who have been helped and encouraged—and also encouraged me. I trust this whole undertaking was not entirely in vain, for me but also for some of those I wrote for. I hope you have at least caught a few helpful glimpses of the invisible.