Diagnosed aged 8 in 1990. Currently taking a break from being strong.

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Nov 17, 2021
As the title indicates, I am not new to FMS. However, I have never spoken about my experiences (to anyone who truly understands).

When I was a little boy my Dad lost his job. Over many years he struggled to get back in to steady work, then one day his knee started aching. It developed in to full FMS. He was in his 30s at the time and he was basically told his life was over.

Roll on a couple of years and I found it increasingly difficult to get to sleep, hurt all the time all over and felt beyond exhausted. After the 90s medical professionals diagnosing me as lonely, having growing pains and/or lying I was eventually diagnosed with FMS too (so my Dad and me were both liars, makes total sense).

By age 11 I had to quit school all together. At age 14, after 3 years of my parents campaigning and writing to our local MP to get me back to a school that could care for my needs I returned, in a wheelchair, not knowing anyone and with 2 years to pass my entire highschool education.

It was torture and yet I heard loud, unsubtle comments of "I've just seen him get out of his chair! There's nothing wrong with him!" From kids and teachers alike. At my lowest ebb till then I had a decision. I could end it all, go home and swallow all the medication in the house. Or I could accept that this was going to be my life, become and emotional tortoise and just plod on regardless.

Since I am writing this, it's clear I chose the latter option. I have had a lifetime of "just putting up with it" now. Suffice it to say, I got 8 GCSEs including a AA* in science, a single A level in Biology, a BSc and up until recently I was a manager in a pharmaceutical company.

I have always been incredibly hard on myself. I have always tried my best at everything I do without giving in to bitterness. But I found, after succumbing to a moment of weakness last year, I became a victim of bullying and harassment at work. I used up all of my energy and more trying to stick to my beliefs and protect those that report to me and just had to walk away. I didn't even have the energy to raise a grievance or fight my corner. I'm just done being strong...for now at least.

I'm not sure there is a point to my little story but now seemed like a good time to share it and here seemed like the right place.

Please feel free to share your stories of strength, frustration or a mixture of the two. It would be nice to know I'm not the only Fibrotortoise out there.

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