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Day Release. Tuesday August 8, 2017

It happened last Friday. It was a revelation, a single day.

Friday was a day with no pain and a day when I had no depression or anxiety. I cannot remember being able to function so well, to be able to think clearly and have mental acuity, to wake up rested and without pain in my body and my mind.

I was able to move from task to task without drowning in the muddy glue pit of indecision and inability to concentrate, without the constant neck and skull pain being dulled by medication but leaving me dithering. This is what it must be like to have a healthy brain, to be able to rise each day and complete tasks.

I felt relaxed, contented and happy.

I then realised how depressed I am, how bad my fibromyalgia is and that my smiles are but a mask where I valiantly strain to keep going. I see why my relationships (marriages and partners) have collapsed, partly due to my being unable to make decisions or tolerate irritations.

I have no special other in my life at present. It feels like too much to ask of another being to be with me. Yet I have so much love to give, so many talents as my distant family and friends tell me. My brain can't harness them it seems, and I have kept trying too hard, at once mourning the loss of potential and never quite accepting that I am too ill to manage by myself.

Those who loved me and cared for me saw my inner beauty and torment and wanted to give me a life of love. I insisted on battling. This illness and my feeling of disquiet and discontent have robbed me of times of ease. Like most of us, all I seek is inner peace and contentedness.

I had one day of peace, one day and then the pain restarted and the brain became deluged by noise. Twenty five years of pain and fluctuating depression and anxiety. I have had my probation at work extended because I am failing at tasks. I have to support myself so have to work.

Why did I have that amazing day? I meditate, have been having Reiki healing from my housemate every other day and had ear acupuncture the evening before.

Each time I have the acupuncture I do feel better. Does anyone else have acupuncture for depression? Does anyone else have significant pain with their depression and anxiety?

So what do I take from this? I see that my body and mind can heal, even if it is temporary. Perhaps I can negotiate work (I do two jobs) to reduce to four days a week. My finances will suffer, and I live quite frugally as it is, but my health is worth this and who knows there may be someone out there willing to be with a kind, gentle, loving, quirky woman who, at last, realises she is not to blame for being unwell.

A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Molly Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 4:03am

There is so much I would like to say to this, as I can relate so much to alot that you have said Lesley. I am still in the corner but I will try tomorrow xx

LH Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 11:03am

Hi Molly, Come out of the corner! I felt upset reading the responses to your original comment yesterday -to the point of not being able to get to sleep! I think that you were just being honest and inquisitive and of course some could say there is no need to say anything not wholly positive but that seems incredibly fake to me. I suppose we all have different views on what criticism or disagreement is but unless there is a rule that posts can only be wholly positive there will surely be some varied, maybe negative views. I may not agree with all your views but I support your right to express yourself when not rude or nasty -which I certainly don't think you were. Take care LH

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 12:46pm

Hear hear!

Molly Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 7:51pm

Oh LH - thank you so much for this. I have felt really bad and hated myself and you have just made it okay. I truly appreciate this xx

Jane SG Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 8:30pm

I have to agree. I did not think your comment was negative Molly. You were just being honest in a nice way. Waving hello to you xx

Molly Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 2:37am

Thank you Jane, you are so kind. Hopefully I have learnt to be a bit more careful in future! The support has been lovely and made me tearful. Waving back to you xx

michelle Fri, Aug 11th 2017 @ 8:10am

Lesley My thoughts are with you. Thank you for sharing your story x

Sally Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 6:20am

Dear Lesley, thank you for writing this insightful blog for us. The idea of living with a chronic and painful condition terrifies me, and my heart goes out to you in your suffering. At least physical health- wise I am robust, so far. But things can always change...
I am glad you had that Day Release ( good title for it!) but sad it couldn't have been for longer/ for good! I do hope you will have other Releases, and soon.
The ideas you have to potentially alleviate things sound good, and I wonder if through your doctor you could apply for a benefit of some kind to help with the finances, since this is a chronic disability?
Very best of luck, you have given me an all too painful account of the struggle you face. Which, all credit to you, you seem to be winning. You sound a very lovely person. Big virtual hugs, Lesley.

Sal Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 7:49am

Thanks Lesley. I too am having a day of respite, in my case not from pain but from constant tiredness and feeling part-way removed from life. I so recognise the glue-pit of indecision - lovely phrase for capturing it. It was good to read your blog and I wish you well, like Sally, with many more days of Release. xx

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 8:05am

Hello Lesley, what a wonderful blog. My son has fibro and I see the pain he's in every day. Plus the mental fog fibro brings. Thank you for writing this and sharing the joy of your single day of "normality". Have a gentle hug from me.

Orangeblossom Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 8:06am

Thanks for the blog Lesley. I enjoyed reading it very much. Am happy to read that you had a day's reprieve. Hope that you have many more such days as you take each day as a fresh experience.

Jul Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 9:06am

Dear Lesley. Fibromyalgia sound so debilitating. The pain must compound the feelings of depression. I always think to myself I have depression and that's what cases any physical symptoms I have. I rarely go to the Dr with any physical symptoms as I blame everything on feeling low/depression. A bit daft really but it's served me OK so far. (I am now going off on a train of my own thoughts and thinking what a lot depression has to answer for and also do we blame/ do I blame too much on it?) It's so sad our basic joie de vivre is lost to it. Underneath we are cheerful bright funny people desperately seeking the limelight. You have been through a lot Lesley. Your blog was moving to say the least. I am willing you to have more pain free days. Maybe you will sooner than you think. Jul xx

Jul Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 9:08am

I just wanted to say a big hello to SUZY. I loved your comments and blogs like so many of us here did. Please write again so that more can share in and benefit from your observations on life. You were a treat and a breath of fresh air. Jul xx

Kathryn-Grace Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 9:14am

Yes Ithought that Acupuncture helped my depression I did it myself as I have some training.
You are in the Depression/Physical symptoms cycle you need to find the appropriate help which may take a long time.Have you tried CBT or talking therapy.

Hopeful One Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 10:21am

Hi Guys- Caroline has let it be known to me that some of you have been asking after me. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. I have been off line for many reasons too complicated to explain. I hope to comment from now on from time to time. with my trade mark joke.

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 12:47pm

Welcome back, HO. You and your jokes have been very much missed!

Jane SG Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 8:31pm

Hooray! Welcome back HO! X

Hopeful One Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 10:23am

Hi Leslie -My heart goes out to you.I have chronic backache which I manage with meditation .I discovered its healing effect almost by accident. I include the following statements at the end of my meditation to make this possible

May I be held in compassion.
May I be held in loving kindness.
May I be held in loving friendliness.
May my pain and suffering cease.
May I go in peace.

During reciting these statements try and recreate the feeling of being loved.There is another technique that might help you. It is called Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT for short also otherwise nicknamed acupuncture without needles or tapping. It belongs to a group of therapies known as Meridian therapies of which acupuncture is one..Here is a you tube link which explains the technique.Although she deals with anxiety in that link you could substitute pain instead.

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 12:48pm

I am a great fan of tapping too. It staves off colds as well as helping with pain and sleeplessness.

Lesley Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 5:02pm

Dear HO. Thank you for those beautiful meditation words. I will pin them up. I have tried tapping before but not kept it up. ready tp start again. Qi Gong helps too. x

Hopeful One Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 10:25am

Hi Guys- almost forgot to post that joke.

Father Flanagan” dies due to old age. Upon entering St. Peter’s gate, there is another man in front of him in the queue waiting to go into heaven. St. Peter asks the man, “What is your name what did you accomplish during your life?”
The man responds “My name is Joe Cohen, and I was a New York city taxi driver for 14 years!”
“Very well,” says St. Peter, “Here is your silk robe and golden sceptre, now you may walk in the streets of our Lord.”
St. Peter looks at the Father, and asks “What is your name and what did you accomplish?”
He responds, “I’m Father Flanagan, and have devoted the last 62 years to the Lord.”
“Very well,” says St. Peter, “Here is your cotton robe and wooden staff, you may enter.”
“Wait a minute,” says Flanagan, “You gave the taxi driver a silk robe and golden sceptre, why did I only get a cotton robe and wooden staff?”
“Well,” St. Peter replied, “We work on a performance scale. While you preached, everyone slept, but when he drove taxis, everyone prayed .

Caroline the Moodscope Team Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 10:32am

Welcome back HO and thanks for the much needed joke! Carolinex

Jul Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 10:41am

It's so good you are back Hopeful One. Jul xx

LH Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 11:07am

Good joke -thanks HO -like your meditation mantra as well-take care LH

The Gardener Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 11:10am

Ditto all the rest HO

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 12:48pm

That's a good one!

Another Sally Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 3:01pm

Good to hear from you HO. You will be pleased to hear that even in a time of grief you have brought a smile to my family. Thanks.

Hopeful One Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 4:39pm

Hi Another Sally- I know you have a difficult day tomorrow so to be able to smile even in this difficult time says so much about you. May you go in peace.

Hopeful One Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 4:40pm

Hi Guys - thank you for your welcoming comments.

Dolphin Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 10:49am

Oh Lesley - my heart goes out to you. At least the respite gave you an inkling of what life can be.

I have chronic back pain and sciatica down one leg. After years of this, I have gone on a mission to try to deal with it - unfortunately mostly costing money so not all of it is possible for anyone with financial concerns. A fantastic Chinese doctor gives me acupuncture followed by a massage and she has an ability to find the correct points. A great osteopath has helped to align my spine. With their combined treatments I have been able to go to yoga again and over the last 3 weeks have gone 3- 5 times a week. I also do my own stretching each morning. I am still very stiff and sometimes have terrible pain at night (but only about once a week), but overall, I am much looser and able. This has only been possible for me because a project has been postponed and I have been able to use the time for my back.

I am never sure how much is physical and how much mental but I know they are linked. Thank you HO for the meditation statements.

Good luck and love x

Lesley Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 5:04pm

Thank you, Dophin. I used to manage yoga but not any more. Osteopathy has helped but only briefly.

Dolphin Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 10:50am

PS my wish is to become a loose woman!!

The Gardener Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 6:29pm

Definition of a loose woman? I was according to my ma-in-law. I wore make up to church! I dyed my hair blond, she said I looked like a bar maid (she'd never been in a pub). My children were badly brought up. my house was dirty. She did her very best, with another disapproving lady, to stop our marriage. She disapproved of my father (so did everybody else). My b-in-law divorced and re-married, he was visiting professor in Canada, and invited Mamma to stay. She called his new wife a whore! She was put on the next plane back to UK, nearly 90 I think.

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 8:04pm

Better to be a loose woman than uptight. I remember too, that Jesus was more at home with prostitutes and tax gatherers than with the upstanding and painfully virtuous Pharisees!

Molly Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 9:17pm

I did have a smile at this Gardener and Mary

LH Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 11:12am

Hi Lesley,
I do hope that you can reduce your hours at work-I have had to and it does help. I also hope that the right person for you to share your life with does come along but for now direct all that love you have to give to yourself and keep up the self acceptance and kindness . Wishing you well LH x

Jul Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 11:52am

I agree LH, reducing hours at work really helped me. I think we push ourselves too hard on the work front. I felt so much better once I got rid of the guilt and work ethic thing and was able to be beholden to no-one for one day of my week.But of course there are financial implications in doing this and I wish you well Lesley in working all this out. Jul xx

Valerie Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 2:41pm

Hello Lesley.You poor girl.Agree that if you can juggle finances to work shorter hours you should.That said,if this just results in more anxiety over paying the bills....
The physical aspects of anxiety and depression are not appreciated until you suffer from them.Number one symptom for me is exhaustion.I have rheumatoid arthritis,and it flares up when I am worrying myself sick,ditto migraine and piriformis sciatica.

Apart from my beloved Prozac,I never see the doctor if I can treat myself.For many years have kept inflammation manageable with Neem (an Indian remedy)and Noni which is a type of cactus.

I think you should certainly continue acupuncture if it works well for you.A lovely man might do the trick too-fingers crossed!


Marmaladegirl Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 2:54pm

Hi Lesley, and Mary & her son too,

I have ME/CFS, which I understand as being in the same 'family' as Fibromyalgia.

You don't ask for advice but I am going to offer you some practical thoughts, based on my own experience, so apologies in advance for the longest reply ever! I started being ill after the birth of my second child in 2000. First I was told it was post-natal depression, then just plain depression, then (when I collapsed with extreme dizziness in 2009) viral labyrinthitis and finally in 2012, ME/CFS (which is what my Mum had been saying it was since 2002 because she looked after my Dad when he had the same thing). It wasn't until I completely collapsed mentally and physically in May 2014 that I finally realised that I was going to have to STOP struggling on and put my own health and well-being first. Once I had decided that, I was very lucky to find the Optimum Health Clinic, run by Alex Howard - he had ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia but made a full recovery. He now shares what he learned on his own journey to recovery with other sufferers.

I know that you have had Fibromyalgia for 25+ years, but it is still possible to make massive improvements. Here are the things I did to make myself better:
- BELIEVE that recovery is possible
- Accept that I needed to put myself first and focus on my health
- Really understand the illness, what causes it, why I had it and what I was doing to perpetuate it
- ACCEPT that I had this illness rather than fight it. (Ironically that is a big step in over-coming it. Acceptance is different to giving up hope!)
- My main focus became CALMING MY SYSTEM DOWN. In May 2014 light, noise and thinking all wore me out and gave me pain as much as movement did, so I had to lie there with an empty mind. NO stimulation. LOTS of meditation. Aim for a stress free life. I have read that, like ME, Fibromyalgia is a stress-based illness. Your body is so stressed that the tension gives you a lot of physical pain, particularly in your muscles.
- I do a lot of psychological work on all the things that stress me. I had so much to let go!
- I worked hard on nutrition so that my body could heal itself. NB at first there is no point doing this because while you are stressed out, your body will not absorb the nutrition anyway.
- After a year of lying down, my instinct told me that the Lightning Process would help. It did. However I would not recommend this because I think it worked for me because I was READY, I had done all the preparation above. The Lightning Process switched off all my remaining nagging symptoms (nausea, dizziness, aching muscles, heavy limbs). It took a bit longer to clear the 'brain fog' but that did eventually go too.

In order to focus on getting better I would recommend stopping work altogether and living on benefits. Warning: They are very hard to get. I was always told I was fit for work. The tests they use don't really fit ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia (or mental health illnesses for that matter). I would suggest you find a local ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia support group. There is bound to be somebody there who has succeeded in getting sickness benefits and can advise you on the process. And prepare to be poor but positive - you are on your way to a pain-free life.

Goodness, Lesley - reading all this will be more than enough to exhaust you. Sorry. It's just that I truly believe that it is possible to go from feeling dreadful all the time to feeling well.

Must go. Lots of love, MG xxx

Lesley Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 5:08pm

Hello MG. Thank you. I have had a lot of psychological work and focus heavily on nutrition. I also believe there is an issue with my neck as this is where most pain originates from. There is so much more than stress to FM or ME. More and more research shows that our amygdala is overactive and we go into fight or flight too easily. I also question if I really have FM and not a chronic regional pain problem. Anyway I must finish as I am exhausted.

Lacey Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 5:17pm

Regarding applying for benefits your local Citizens Advice Bureau can help with filling out the forms if the many pages seem daunting. They are well versed in the correct wording and they know about procedures etc.which you may not. Hope that's helpful Take care of yourself Lacey

Marmaladegirl Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 9:31pm

Yes, the Maladaptive Stress Response - people with ME and FM are flooded with stress hormones at the slightest thing, hence the exhaustion. Anyway, good luck with it all Lesley. The neck issue sounds like it should be thoroughly investigated... Your blog was great btw - impressive to be writing at all, knowing what you are up against. It's weird when you get a day of clarity (I got one of those once, when I was in the thick of it. Lord knows why.). Anyway, all the best, MG xx

Marmaladegirl Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 2:59pm

Sorry guys, it's me again. If there is anyone else out there with ME/CFS or Fibromyalgia who would like to make themselves known to me, that would be great!

Jul Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 5:29pm

Hello Marmalade Girl. I found your comment very interesting. I have often wondered if I have mild ME or similar but obviously would know if I had it badly like most sufferers must do, you included (before) and Lesley etc. I looked up The Lightening Process and was impressed by the endorsements. I am going to look into it further. Thank you for mentioning it and being so helpful as always. Jul xx

Another Sally Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 3:13pm

Hi Lesley, I feel for you in the pain and discomfort. I am fortunate that I rarely experience pain like that, but I do hold tension in my back and shoulders and have fairly regular massage sessions to deal with that. I do have experience of acupuncture and it has worked well for me. I tell my therapist what symptom is particularly bothering me and she needles me appropriately. It is remarkable how it works and I am always thankful that my sister introduced me to the practice.
I wish things like this were more available on the NHS. I believe there are many things that can be helped with acupuncture that would lessen the number of prescriptions, or could halve the dosage alongside a relevant medication.
Go well Lesley and hello hugs to my fello Moodscopers. xx
Another Sally xx

Jane SG Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 8:34pm

Sending you a lot of love and hugs Another Sally. Thinking of you on Wednesday xxxxxxx

Leah Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 10:57pm

Another Sally, Thinking of you on Wednesday and love to you and your family.xxxx

Lesley Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 5:12pm

Everyone. Thank you so much for your comments and kind words. I am off sick today as my skull is so painful and after being sick with it, my lower back came out in sympathy and went into spasm. Acupuncture was last night and alas does not seem to have done the trick this time. Maybe it will become better over the next few days! I believe I will not have to endure years more like this and that a loving partner will appear and help me. And unlike the last time, I won't mind being "rescued" as love is patient and kind and can work miracles.
Love and light to all of you. Lesley

Leah Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 11:03pm

Lesley Thanks for your educational and moving blog, I have learnt a lot. Your optimism is amazing and I wish you well. I hope writing the blog and comments has not tired you too much and hope you have another good day soon. Xx

Jane SG Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 8:36pm

Dear Lesley, I loved your description of yourself at the end of your blog. You sound wonderful. Take care xxx

Molly Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 8:49pm

Hi Lesley, I cannot imagine how hard it must be to have physical and mental illness to cope with. My physical health is pretty good apart from my skin which can be debilitating especially when I am itching like a mad woman most days. I did try acupuncture for my skin but it didn't really help. Having to deal with constant pain must be awful. I wrote a piece about depression and having a 'good day' and how different it makes you feel on that one day. Wishing that every day could be the same. I might make it into a blog. As for finding a loving partner, I believe you will. I have been a difficult person in previous relationships and now in my marriage. I have pushed people away as you have and sometimes I dwell on it. But timing and what is meant to be etc, your optimism makes you half way there. Your blog shines through that you are a lovely person and I don't think you will be alone for long. Love and light back to you Lesley, love from Molly xx

Leah Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 11:01pm

Molly, I am glad you came out of your corner to write such a compassionate piece to Lesley.

Jane SG Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 2:08am

Yes, it's a lovely response. Xxx

Molly Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 2:39am

Thank you both xxxx

Victoria Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 9:31pm

Hello Lesley
Fellow fibro and depression sufferer here and wanted to send you best wishes. Recently started back at work after two months off. Not well enough but the real world intervenes and no one is volunteering to pay £500-1000 per month for treatment for me. It's so very hard so I sympathise. Some people are nice, some people are mean, and some people just want rid of the 'awkward' person. Very unhelpfully my boss told me on my first day back that if I'm not loudly effusive in the morning people think I'm rude and don't want to talk to me. And that it's my fault people have been looking for other jobs. It's very hard to battle through when you're already in pain and exhausted.

I hope you manage to have a career plan that works for you.

Marmaladegirl Tue, Aug 8th 2017 @ 9:38pm

It's a horrible illness to have because people can't see that anything is wrong with you, unless you are in a wheelchair - I have a Fibro friend who prefers life in her wheelchair cos at least she gets some sympathy. Your boss sounds very ignorant Victoria. Good luck with your road to recovery... It's a journey... Best wishes, MG x

Jane SG Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 2:04am

Hi Victoria, your comment was really enlightening. I didn't know anything about this condition until today's blog. Just goes to show that you never know what others are going through. Thank you Lesley for raising this today xxx

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