Billiards And What I Learned Which Helped Me With FMS/CFIDS

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Mikie, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    You oldtimers have heard this analogy but we have a lot of new members here. I've just read two posts from people who are asking, "Why Me?". This is a normal stage but not a healthy place to stay for long. I usually recommend grief therapy because it can really help one get to a semblence of acceptance. It is only then that we can start to heal. It is tough when we feel someone pulled the carpet out from under us. We feel as though we have no options nor control over our lives.

    Before I got sick, I learned to play billiards. It helped me in so many ways that I can't begin to list them. I did learn something very, very important which has helped me deal with my illnesses and a lot of other problems in my life. I hope what I learned may help others.

    I played in a league with people who were far more skilled and experienced than I. At first, I often felt as though I had no shot. I learned to walk the table before making any decisions. It gave me time to calm down and it made me look smarter so others could not see my panic :) I looked in control, even if I didn't feel in control. Well, sometimes what we project, be become. I did learn to take a deep breath, take control, and stop panicing.

    I found that when I walked the table, I would often see many options open to me which weren't obvious from my original viewpoint. Suddenly, I found I had three or four, depending on whether I felt I could make the shot. Even when I found that I had no shot, I still had the option of playing a safety.

    Life, and our illnesses, are like this. We are not helpless. We have a lot of options which we cannot see when we are only looking from the viewpoint of feeling victimized. Please do not think I'm making judgements on others' feelings. It is perfectly normal to feel like a victim and panic when we get sick. We need to stop and look at the options open to us. There is usually a lot more that we can control than we thought. Therapy can help us get to a different point of view, help us walk the table.

    There is a lot of combined wisdom and experience on this website and our members are so generous in sharing what has helped them. Every treatment which has helped me is something which I originally heard of here. My progress has been slow, but I have progressed. Five years ago, I was bedridden most of the time and on Morphine for my pain. I am now hoping to try to work part time soon.

    My message is that it is not hopeless and we are not helpless. Most of us are incredibly talented, intelligent, and creative. We can find ways to meet this challenge and grow and become stronger in the process. It may still not be the lives we expected but our lives will be enriched.

    We need to take the time to inventory our strengths and advantages and observe the lay of the table and form our strategies. Yes, the table changes with every play and that is the challenge. We win some; we lose some but in the long haul, we progress and become stronger and more flexible and able to respond.

    There is a lot we cannot control but there is a lot we can control. Like the Serenity Prayer says, the trick is knowing the difference.

    Love, Mikie

    [This Message was Edited on 02/03/2006]
  2. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    Awesome analogy! I, too, feel that your how you deal with your situation is all dependent on your perspective. Once you have "walked the table" and think you have seen all your options, you can still get down at eye level with the table and it gives you yet another perspective. There's ALWAYS another way to look at it.

    I LOVE your saying "sometimes what we project, we become". That is so true. Many times when I've been down in the dumps, I would just "pretend" I was happy. All of a sudden, I would realize I wasn't just pretending anymore. The gloom would lift because I wouldn't allow it to settle in.

    As I get older, I find the whole process is quicker. When I was in my 20's, the gloom and "why me" stuff lasted much longer. Now that I'm approaching 50, I truly don't sweat the small stuff (and it's all small stuff!).

    Thanks for sharing!

    Katy
    [This Message was Edited on 02/03/2006]
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I appreciate your kind words and I am so impressed with how you have learned to be happy. It does get easier with time and practice.

    You are right too about getting down to table level. Golfers will often get low to scope out a tough putt. I found my golf game improved when I started playing billiards.

    What we come away with in one area of our lives often helps us in others. The way I see it, the more things we do, the easier life gets as we go along.

    Thanks for helping spread the idea of hope. Hope can be contageous.

    Love, Mikie
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    This is really just what they do in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy when someone is catastrophising their situation and bringing on a panic or anxiety attack. I found myself doing this early on in the illness.

    Somehow, though, I more easily identified with my pool playing days to help with the anxiety. Eventually, my doc and I discovered I likely had low level seizure activity going on and I take Klonopin for anxiety. It also helps with sensory overload, insomnia, muscle spasms, and tinnitus. Still, walking the table mentally helps me in so many ways. Realizing I have so many more options makes me feel so optimistic.

    Thanks again for your kind comments.

    Love, Mikie
  5. MamaR

    MamaR New Member

    Thanks for always being there for everyone. I truly appreciate you so much.

    I try to follow so many of your helpful hints.

    God Bless....Mari
  6. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    I have come to realize that a lot of how we feel during the day comes from our emotions. This is probably why doctors try to treat it with antidepressants. For me personally, I refused them and tried to do it on my own.

    I've had this DD for years and last year was a hard, depressing one for me because of it and other circumstances. This must have been a one year mourning period. I think I basically "gave up" and felt I couldn't live with the pain/fatigue any longer. I think by Christmas I had hit rock bottom.

    After lots of prayer, especially asking why, I took the advice from doctors and started an exercise class for seniors. This is mainly "chair exercises" and after 8 times, I can honestly say this seems to be helping me.

    I'm also meeting other people in this class who are in various stages of FM and I find I can pass on some advice to help them.

    Mikie.....my son absolutely loves to play pool and is very good at it. He really wishes he could play professional.
    Of course that's impossible.

    Thanks again for all your wisdom.
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Yes, sometimes we do hit rock bottom. I've been there. The good news is that we manage to get back up again. I really think we should all be very proud of how we manage despite what we have to deal with.

    Love, Mikie
  8. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Actually, when someone posts "why me" -I try hard to understand where that comes from. Life happens. If you stop and think about it, some people never had one healthy day in their entire life.

    How can we know what life will hand us? And, if we do have misfortune or illness, why think it is because we have done something to deserve it.

    All we can do in this life is the best we can each day. Try to make the best decisions and be responsible, but we are human and make mistakes.

    I agree, it is a very bad place to be when we are saying "why me" - however the good thing is realizing something is wrong with that thinking and wanting to change.

    My mother spent her entire life verbalizing about her illness, aches and pains.

    As far back as I can remember, we could never have a conversation where the topic of her health did not intrude. It became so bad over the years, it was like the air you breathe.

    It is very damaging to all relationships and does push everyone away from you. I am not trying to sound mean, but I really think if someone is truly feeling that way, they should work hard with a professional therapist to get out of that mindset.

    Like you, at one time I was housebound and practically bedridden with pain every day. Over the past two years, with the help of this board, and a wonderful doctor, I have improved down to a 1 or 2 pain level, most of the time, I have no pain. I found what worked for me, and I pray that can happen for others here.

    In my efforts to get better in the last two years, if I had been saying to myself "why me", I am pretty sure I never would have gotten better.

    I had to make drastic changes to get better. That included stopping all contact with toxic people. One person in particular was making me sick.

    Secondly, I had to get my pain under control, and that is where my doctor came in.

    Next, I had to find my spiritual self again.

    I believe we can improve - and I do not think fibro and cfs are progressive. We have to keep trying by "trial and error" and never give up.





  9. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    Here is one of my tricks for dealing with my emotions. As soon as I am aware of feeling something different, whether it is anger, anxiety, frustration, sadness, etc, I will try to figure out the source of that feeling. I say to myself, "Why am I feeling angry?" "Where is that coming from?". I can usually backtrack and figure out what event led to that emotion. "Oh, right. It is because that jerk cut me off in traffic". Then I am able to evaluate whether I can do anything about the event. If I can't (like a traffic incident), then I just try to let it go.

    If there is something I can do about it, I try to evaluate my options and take action. That is when I am "walking the table".

    This self-examination of emotions has given me greater control over how I feel. I am not saying I don't get extremely anxious or upset or angry. It just doesn't last as long because I pinpoint the source and go from there.

    I like the "walk the table" analogy. It gives me one more visual tool and fits right in with the way I look at things.

    By the way, this technique also works for positive emotions. "Why am I so happy?" It can be just as important (maybe moreso) to know what makes you happy as to know what makes you angry. That way, you can repeat that event!

    Katy
  10. laspis1

    laspis1 New Member

    thanks so much for being one of the voices of encouragement. You do it so well. Unfortunately for me I do not think that I have accepted the DD. I thought I was fine with it for as long as I could work, Did it for three yrs, but now that I started feeling ill and had to take some time off, I am in a panic mode again. More than anything in my life I have been scared of getting ill and not being able to work and provide decent life for my son. I cannot get around that it is always a terrifying thought. I also do not want to be a burden to anyone. It is not the disease, it is what it would mean and how it would devastate our lives financially. I have always wondered if I haven't made myself more sick by being so terrified of being sick. When I work I can focus on something other than pain. Unfortunately I cannot work with the weakness and fog, and those dreaded 'storms' so I am stressed and anxious. What a vicious cycle this can be. So yes, I do agree we need to go around the table, but it is a process and we all arrive there at different times.
  11. pirtpain

    pirtpain New Member

    WELL PUT...things could be worse...

    PIRT
  12. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    I think your recommendation of grief therapy should not be overlooked by those who are newly diagnosed. When the 'table' changes as dramatically as when one has a chronic illness, one may need help with discerning what is on the table and what the options are.
  13. Casamadre5

    Casamadre5 Member

    Thanks, you paint a great word picture to dwell on.
  14. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    You are an encouragement to us all.
  15. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Life is a two-way street. Y'all have given me more than I will ever be able to give back. This board, and our members, are one of my greatest blessings.

    One thing about the grieving process--it really is a process and it is not linear. We don't move smoothly from one stage to another. We can have one foot in acceptance and the other foot in denial or anger. It is a dance of balance.

    I am pushing myself a bit to see just how much I can do as I feel better. I even did a little painting on the walls. Well, I made a big mistake and worked past my fatigue (denial). I fell off a step stool. Fortunately, I slammed into a wall rather than on the hard floor tile. Still, it made my whole body hurt and I injured my knee--I have OA in my knees. Sooooo, for several days, I've been resting and icing my knee. I am better and will finish the job, but I realize that I have to listen to my body and stop when I am fatigued (acceptance). The good news is that my recovery time is faster than when I was sicker.

    I'm giving myself some time to get things around my condo in order before I start the job hunting process. I will try to use SS's Ticket To Work Program, but if it's just a bureaucratic mess, I'll likely try to find my own work.

    I have not made a final decision on moving and may stay put. I do like it here and if I can work part time, I can make it work. Still, I miss my kids and grandson so much. This is one tough decision.

    Thanks again for all your comments. I hope what I have found helpful will be of use to others as we continue to navigate the FMS/CFIDS waters together.

    Love, Mikie
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I appreciate your comments.

    Love, Mikie
  17. i read your message and i so agree on what you say.i myself get through life looking at options for everyday tasks.my main problem was that i hated people looking at me and seeing my frustration.so i learned that if i calm myself down using the techniques ( eekk cant spell that word haha) that i learned at a pain management course.i can appear to the public as being normal myself,and so fit in with the rest of them.
    the breathing excersizes have been a godsend to me.i dont rush myself anymore,ive trained myself to stay calm,and think hard FIRST, before making a decision.
    thanks for this wonderful post mikie.

    all the best
    fran xx
  18. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Wow! It's great that they are treaching this as a technique for pain management. Anger and frustration really exacerbate pain, so it just makes sense to try to remain calm and in control.

    Love, Mikie
  19. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I appreciate your kind words. You have contributed so much to our members by offering them info and posts of encouragement. I think it is really important that people not give up hope.

    The grieving process isn't linear and we do slip back into previous stages, but if one can live in acceptance most of the time, it makes healing so much easier.

    Love, Mikie
  20. Pianowoman

    Pianowoman New Member

    It took me a while to get to this post but I wanted to read it because you always have words of wisdom.I remember how confused an anxious I was when I first became ill. It has taken me years to find the right help and to understand that it is a process. I was so impatient at first.

    As has been said, I still have moments when I say'Why Me?" However,like you and many others, this board has helped me so much. I am on my way to improvement that I never thought was possible. You have been a big part of it with your willingness to share your experience and to encourage us all

    Thank You
    Kathy.