I've had enough of trying to hide this! I just felt like such a loser, because I looked fine and I could always see the doubt in people's minds when I said I couldn't do something or missed an appointment or couldn't work. I know people were thinking that I was lazy, because I could walk fine (and the reason that I can is because this isn't arthritis and I don't have swelling, constricting me - except in the morning when I wake up). I knew that many people considered FM to be an 'all in your head' illness, and a part of me came to believe them. Someone, who was once a friend, even said to me that they believed that I fabricated my illness, by looking up symptoms online and then using them as my diagnoses! Like I would do that? Like I would wish this on anyone (except perhaps that particular person ! If this were a case of 'mind over matter', I would certainly be feeling much better, because I listened to all of those people who gave all of their advice (why don't you just exercise more, etc. etc.). Ummm - hello - I used to love being active and playing sports. Do you think I just decided to quit doing everything and be 'lazy' because I wanted a free ride? This is no free ride and I think we all know that! Consequently - I stopped telling people that I had FM. I stopped talking about it. I went through things painfully, suffering and believing that I could get through it if I didn't 'allow' it to get in my way (like I had a choice)! I'm done with that now. I'm on disability because I can't be depended on for anything. I may have a half decent day here or there, for which I'm very thankful - but it doesn't mean that the next day is going to be the same. In fact, I usually do WAY too much on that good day - just to catch up - and feel worse than ever for the next several. I've now decided that pretending I'm fine just isn't working for me anymore, and I AM coming out of the FM closet. I've got to stop worrying about 'what people think' and start spending more time dealing with what I can for myself, instead! I know there's a stigma that comes with the word 'Fibromyalgia' because doctors wouldn't recognize it for so long. I also know that's slowly changing and that allows us to suffer this ailment with some dignity. Like we have a 'right' to our pain and discomfort! We have a right to be believed!