From Victims To Survivors

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Mikie, Dec 15, 2002.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    We go through so many stages with our illnesses and we are all in different places. Many of us go through years of illness so that by the time we finally get a diagnosis, we are somewhat relieved to know it is not "all in our heads." For others, the diagnosis can come quite suddenly and it can leave them in shock. Regardless of how our journey unfolds, we all go through the grieving process and we go through it at different rates. I strongly recommend grief therapy to help us cope with the losses we suffer from our illness(es).

    I was stuck in the denial stage for years and literally worked myself til I could no longer get up and keep going. I was lucky and have moved to acceptance. Acceptance doesn't mean we give up or give in. It means we are free to pursue treatments and to improve our lives, given our new reality. It also doesn't mean that we don't slip back into the denial or anger stages from time to time.

    One of the biggest things I have noticed, which I believe keeps a person from healing, is to become a victim. We all feel victimized by our illnesses from time to time and we all miss those things which we can no longer do. These are valid feelings. What I do not think is healthy is to become stuck in the victim role. People who are stuck as victims start seeing the world in negative terms and fail to see anything positive. This is a sinister situation and can happen so slowly that the person cannot even see what is happening to her. In this stage, a person isn't open to hearing the message that it is impossible to heal when being in the victim mode.

    As many of y'all know, my therapist is using hypnotherapy to help me remember how to be a well person. This may sound strange, but after we have been ill for a long time, we can temporarily forget how to be well. This therapy is awakening my mind and spirit to wellness and in the process, my body is responding too. The old mind/body/spirit connection is so strong.

    I suggest that when we feel like complaining about what we cannot do, we stop immediately and not allow ourselves to go to the negative place. This isn't denial and it isn't stuffing down our emotions. It is simply stopping a bad habit which, over time, will harm us and interfere with our healing. If we focus on the positive in our lives, and believe me, I know sometimes we really have to dig deep to find it, it will ease our stress and make us feel more blessed. A gratitude journal can help with this.

    Another way to get rid of the victim grinch is to take control over our own treatment. If our docs are not helping us, we need to find docs who will. Self-empowerment goes a looooooong way toward our healing. Y'all notice I use the word, healing, a lot. We should all be thinking in terms of healing all the time. Everything we do and think should be directed toward our healing.

    I am very fortunate in that I have found treatments which seem to be helping me. It wasn't all dumb luck, except for stumbling upon this website, and even that wasn't dumb luck. I don't believe in accidents. When we are ready, God sends us what we need. When we are feeling like victims, God could show us a billboard in neon lights and we wouldn't see it.

    I have worked my tail off researching my treatments and being patient in working with my docs and the medications. I use an integrated approach because I do not believe that any one treatment is a silver bullet. What is working for me will not necessarily work for another and vice-versa. We all have to keep seeking treatments tailored to our own needs.

    Even when I was at my sickest and bedridden for days on end, I tried to find things to be thankful for. Even when it appeared that I might be like that for the rest of my life, I never gave up on my focus on healing. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking and believing in God's plan for all of us. We all heal at different rates and in different ways, but I believe we can all heal, in spirit at least, if not in body. Bless you all.

    Love, Mikie
  2. karen2002

    karen2002 New Member

    Sometimes we concentrate on the physical aspects of these disorders to the exclusion of the spiritual and emotional.
    It's no wonder we suffer from hopelessness and depression.
    If we can, as you say, keep focused on the path to wellness and healing, it gives us the hope that is so imperative in this situation. Each small step toward wellness should be applauded, and each set back should be noted, but not defeating.
    I very much agree with your proactive approach. This is a healthy attitude, that promotes healing. After all we are all our own best advocates. Additionally, we know ourselves and our bodies better than anyone else. Being complacent, is not going to further our cause. We must continue to search for those treatments which will point us towards wellness; for our bodies, minds, and spirits.
    Thank you for your wise post.
    Karen
  3. Bunnylover

    Bunnylover New Member

    Thanks for your post. I believe I am coming out of the grief stage. I am constantly looking for things to help myself but that don't mean I don't get down. This place has done so much for me. I am amazed how you seem to be able to do so much for yourself and greatful that someone can empower us with your speech. Thanks Terri.
  4. tandy

    tandy New Member

    I guess in the beginning-and for a very long time,I felt like a victim.I know I am not and am very thankful for all the things I have and don't have~ I believe theres a reason for everything. Sure this DD is putting us thru the ringer most days,but all in all I am blessed!And I like to concentrate more on what I can still do.(plenty!)
    Sometimes when i'm in alot of pain,I use what I call positive thinking~I'll say over&over in my mind "I am healthy,I am healthy". May sound funny to some but it helps me,and right now thats what counts~
    Wishing us all a wonderful holiday,
    Love,
    Tracey
  5. JaneG

    JaneG New Member

    My Mom had "terminal" breast cancer - she lived a very full and meaningful life for 26 years after being given the "terminal" diagnosis.

    She had a special song that helped her whenever she got down and it became special to me too - just thought I'd share it -

    He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
    He sendeth more strenght when labors increase;
    To added affliction He addeth His mercy, to mutliplied trials, His multiplied peace.

    When we have exhausted our store of endurance, when our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
    When we reach the end of our hoarded resources, Our Father's full giving is only begun

    His love has no limit,
    His grace has no measure,
    His power has no boundry known unto men;
    For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
    He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!

    Thanks for allowing me to share this - My Mom was a truly special woman and an inspiration to those of us who knew her! When it came time for her to go, she passed peacefully, at home in her bed, with this song playing and me sitting with her.

    I am determined that I can show as much courage and strentgth with this DD as my Mom did with hers.

    Bless you all for being there to listen. Smiles JaneG







  6. tandy

    tandy New Member

    What a beautiful message! I'm sure your mom was a very strong,courageous lady~Your post here struck a chord with me-I lost my dad at an early age.And he fought so long and hard too.We have to believe they're in a very special place~ Thanks....
    Warm regards,
    Tracey
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    For your inspirational responses. I really appreciate them.

    Jane, thank you so much for sharing the lyrics from this beautiful song. Your tribute to your Mother was so moving, especially because I lost my Mom just last July and still miss her so much. I'm glad you had your Mother for so long after her "terminal" diagnosis. Just shows that the docs don't know everything and that the will to live is a strength we can all use to fight our illnesses.

    Bless you all.

    Love, Mikie
  8. 1maqt

    1maqt New Member

    MIKIE,
    JUST READ YOUR POST AND WAS REMINDED THAT YOU SENT ME AMIL A FEW DAYS AGO WHEN I WAS SO DOWN. THANKS. WITH ME, IT IS NOT JUST FIBRO, I AM PTSD, AND A FEW OTHER THINGS. JUST WENT THROUGH TWO SURGERIES IN 6 MO. AND HAD TROUBLE SEEING THE LIGHT. FEELING MUCH BETTER. THE DEPRESSION HAS LIFTED, BUT FINDING THIS WEB SITE HAS GIVEN ME HOPE AND ASSURANCE THAT I AM NOT ALONE. I AM A GRANDMOTHER, AND WANT TO BE INTERACTIVE W/GRANDCHILDREN.
    WE CAN BE VICTIMS OF THE PAST, AND WE CAN BE SURVIVERS OF MANY THINGS. IT ISN'T WHAT YOU GO THROUGH, BUT HOW ONE CHOOSES TO GO THROUGH IT. FAITH...AND PLENTY OF IT HAS HELPED ME MOST.LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU.
    1MAQT
  9. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I'm so glad that you are finding our board useful and comforting. This really is what we are all about. I liked what you had to say about how we go through it.

    My therapist, who has a great sense of humor, has a tee shirt that says, "It's How You Glide Through The Madness." I like that too.

    Love, Mikie
  10. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    Thank you. I am so glad to be free of the old victim I allowed myself to be at one time! It didn't last long and when it pops back up, I smack it back down. This is not something I want to be and I DO have control over that!

    Love,
    Kady
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Good for you! I like the graphic way you describe slapping down the tendency to be a victim. I think I'll picture myself slapping it down the next time the tendency hits me :)

    Love, Mikie
  12. lucky

    lucky New Member

    Your message is just great, Mikie, and I hope that a lot of members will be reading it to also learn a better way to deal with their illnesses.
    However, as we all know, it takes time to come to terms accepting that we are ill and dealing with the many symptoms in a rather positive than negative way and it can be the biggest challenge for many - and it certainly has been for me.
    It is amazing what a more positive attitude and being in control can do and how much easier life can be if we can master it.
    As I read very often on the board, people are many times not reading the many articles and research reports which will be so beneficial in understanding what is involved suffering from these illnesses. And not being informed properly, also does not help when we see our doctors. This we can change by educating ourselves on what treatments we would like compared to treatments the doctors like - mind you he should guide us with his expertise into the right direcion -, so we are playing a part in managing these illnesses. But, Mikie pointed it out much better than I do, and that is why I hope a lot of people will be reading her message.
    All the best, Lucky



    [This Message was Edited on 12/18/2002]
  13. griswoldgirl

    griswoldgirl New Member

    I have been the victim for a while now and am now starting to venture towards healing. doing my exercises for my knee and eating better, sleeping more and the main thing is changing my attitude a bit. My therapist has me listening to tapes that pump positive things into my mind. Some are meditation tapes and in one of them there is a subliminal message that states remember the good times, you had them, you have been well before and can be well again-something like that and the funny thing was I did not hear it until I had listened to that tape at least a dozen times.

    Again thanks for the encouraging words.

    Cathy
  14. Pat UK

    Pat UK New Member

    with everything you have said.I have always tried to remain positive and even when feeling at my lowest I have tried to think of all the things that I should be grateful for. To have my family come home safe every night is one of the most important, also to have a roof over my head, So many with this illness have lost their homes, and I feel truly sorry. I don`t feel as though I am a victim. I take one day at a time, if I do not get any better I hopefully will accept it, although I am not sure how I would feel if I became progressivly worse.