I recently gave a talk to a local fibromyalgia support group. Part of my aim was to give the group members hope that it is possible to recover from fibromyalgia. I decided to write up my talk for this blog, as I’m sure lots of other people are asking the same question: “Can I recover from fibromyalgia?”
In my experience, people with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia have often encountered negative attitudes from professionals, members of the public and even friends and family. Some people have had to battle to get a diagnosis, some have been led to believe that fibromyalgia is not a ‘real’ illness, and others have been told to “pull it together” and treated as though their pain was somehow being caused by an emotional weakness. For this reason, any professional who thinks they have answers to offer people with fibromyalgia needs to do so with a big dose of humility. Not only is fibromyalgia very real, but many people who live with this diagnosis are true survivors – survivors of the pain itself, but also often survivors of traumatic experiences or abuse.
I have never had a diagnosis of fibromyalgia myself, but before I discovered the work of John Sarno and the SIRPA approach, I did experience widespread pain and other unpleasant, unexplained symptoms. For this reason, I want to share a little about my own recovery, and explain how this might be relevant for people living with fibromyalgia.