So this week, I have been dealing with a really high degree of pain.

Make no mistake: I’m not complaining. Part of that was kind of self-inflicted. Sort of.

On Saturday I did the Color Me Rad 5K run. Except that I was about a week into a fibro flare. A fibro flare means that my whole body feels bruised, my skin hurts to touch, all my joints hurt, my hair hurts, my memory is extra specially ridiculous, I can’t focus even more than usual, I don’t sleep well, and my brain is super mushy…oh the joyful list goes on and on…

It was the first time I can remember pushing myself to exercise when I’ve been in the middle of a fibro flare.

I knew that there would be fallout. I didn’t know what it would be. But I was willing to experiment and find out. After all, I had registered for this race months in advance, and it was the first time is ever done an organized race. I was super excited to do it.

So, I started out in pain. And then I chose to roll the dice and see what would happen…

I ran a personal best time. Go figure! So that was kind of exciting.

And then things got weird.

That night I got a super awesome bruise on my foot for no apparent reason. Had I turned my ankle? No. Had I taken some spectacular fall? No. Had I done even one thing I could identify that might have some relationship with this bruise on my foot?


And that folks, is part of the joy fibromyalgia. Inexplicably strange things happening to your body. No rhyme or reason. And for me, for whatever reason, the big, long, (sometimes years long), horrific flares often seem to start with weirdness in my feet.

This bruise brought with it an inability to bear weight on my foot. I could bear weight on the ball of my foot but not the side or heel of my foot. So that was awesome.

Wait. Not really was. Is. That IS awesome. Because it is four days later and I still can’t bear weight on that foot.

And my body? Every joint feels like I’m about 136. And arthritic. And I am living in the Arctic. And there are razor blades in my joints.

My skin is also feeling super awesome. You know that sort of bruised, it-hurts-to-touch-me-stay-1,000,000-miles-away feeling that you get when you have the flu? My skin feels like that times about hundred.

And you know that feeling you get when your hair is been pulled into a really tight ponytail we too long? And then you take it out of the ponytail and all your hair hurts? Like every hair follicle is being pulled against the grain horrendously? Again, let’s multiply that by a factor of about 9,000. And you’ve got my head. (Despite the fact that I get nerve block injections in my scalp every 3 weeks for this very reason…this is extra special sweetness.)

Oh I forgot about the headaches. Because they are the cats ass. let me tell you. Like, I get migraines all the time, so that’s awesome in and of itself. But my daily headaches are just sort of like a vice grip is squeezing my entire head and somebody is running their nails down to chalkboard all at the same time, just for shits and giggles.

So between my foot and my joints and my skin, moving around in my body this week has been not awesome. As in, at times, not possible. There’s been a lot of couch and bed time, often with ice packs or heat packs.

There’s been a lot of Tylenol, a lot of ibuprofen, and this week… A lot of OxyContin. Sometimes that’s just how it rolls.

And when my pain levels are this high, my ability to focus goes totally out the window. I can barely string together a straight sentence. Add the painkiller cocktail in there and things get really fun. It’s amazing how effective charades are for full-time communication.

So, I’m in a shit load of pain this week. Meh. That’s how it goes sometimes. I rolled the dice, and I knew that I was asking my chances. And I’m okay with suffering my consequences. I was in a flare before I started. Most of this is the same as it was last week. Prilmarily it’s the not walking around on my foot business that’s new since the race. The rest is just worse this week than it was last week.

So, it’s enforced rest. Really. There’s lots of shit I can’t do right now. Am I going to let it get me down?

Hell no.

I will do what I’m able. I will use the time to enjoy books. I will take naps. I will lie on the couch under a blanket like I really am 80, instead of just playing an 80-year-old on TV. I will be as present as I’m able to be with my kids, and I will be gentle with myself over what I’m not able to do.

And I will find my bliss. I will choose happiness anyway. After all, happiness is a choice, not a set of circumstances.

Happiness is a choice, not a set of circumstances. (Tweet it!)

And I am not a victim. I knew I was not feeling 100% and I chose to proceed anyway. So some of this was my choice. Some of it was not…but some of it was. And either way, I choose to not be the victim of my circumstances. I look for what works FOR me under whatever circumstances I am presented with, and I focus on that.

Tell me in the comments below – do you choose happiness under less than desirable circumstances, or do your circumstances determine your happiness? What are the three key factors that determine your happiness?