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Looking forward to something with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Wednesday 29 May 2013


From's Adrienne Dellwo:


HopefulLooking Forward to Something with Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By Adrienne Dellwo, Guide
May 17, 2013

What do you look forward to? Is there something that brightens your week, or your day?

If not, you may want to find something that gives you happy anticipation. I know, sometimes life looks really bleak and we feel like we'll never feel better, and things will never be okay again. But if you can find one thing to look forward to, it might help you get through the hardest times.

I've had a horrible time motivating myself for the past couple of months. My arthritis has been up and down, I'm still having digestive issues that the doctor hasn't been able to figure out, and I'm starting to get those little pin-prick pains that make me worry my fibromyalgia is coming out of remission. My sleep schedule has been a disaster. And I keep getting sick, thanks to the immune-suppressing arthritis meds.

As a result, I haven't been getting much done on most days. I've found myself longing for how I felt in November and December, when, somehow, I had enough energy to do my job, keep the house in almost decent shape, and found time to write a book.

I finished that book in January and then sent it off to several people to get their opinions. I've been waiting for them to get back to me until recently, and I've been concerned that I wouldn't have the energy or motivation to get a re-write done.

And you know what happened? I got their notes back. The prospect of having that project to work on, which is incredibly fun to me, has boosted my motivation once more. I find myself wanting to get my job done, wanting to get a little done around the house, all so I can work on my book without guilt or other distractions. What I've learned is that having something enjoyable to look forward to gives me the motivation to get more done.

After noticing this, I looked at my life in a new way. I realized that when I'm looking forward to getting together with friends, I'm more likely to get the house in shape. When I'm looking forward to a vacation, I'm able to get work done ahead of time so I can take the time off. It's not always easy, but it does consistently happen.

And then come the days, weeks, and months when I don't have that motivating factor. I feel more sluggish, it's harder to get myself moving, and I fall behind on everything.

I'm certain that part of this is my deadline-oriented personality. There's a reason I worked in TV news, with constant looming deadlines - I function really well that way, whereas I'll procrastinate forever if I can. But I have to wonder if some other people out there will have this in common with me.

I've decided that I always need a creative project in the works, something that I can look forward to as a treat for after I get a certain amount done. (Of course, I always have to keep pacing in mind and set realistic goals!) That "something" could be anything, though - a show on the DVR that you're excited to watch, a phone call you want to make, a friend you get to see in a few days, a book you want to read. As long as there's something.

Even if your health is bad enough that motivation is irrelevant and you can't do anything, looking forward to something can at least boost your mood. And when you're dealing with brain-chemistry problems, that can be a treatment in and of itself.

Does looking forward to something help you find motivation? Does it just drain your paltry energy stores? Does it boost your mood but nothing else? Leave your comments here!

Learn more or join the conversation!


Photo © Thomas Tolstrup/Getty Images


The above, with comments, originally appeared here.


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