17 Things People Don't Realize You're Doing Because You Have Fibromyalgia

Invisible illnesses are often hard for people to understand...and fibromyalgia is no exception. And even if people are familiar with common fibromyalgia symptoms and signs, they may not realize just how much fibromyalgia affects our everyday lives.

17 Things People Don't Realize You're Doing Because You Have Fibromyalgia

So to help spread fibromyalgia awareness, I wanted to write a post all about less obvious fibromyalgia symptoms...AKA, activities or personality quirks that may not seem directly tied to fibromyalgia, but actually are! So if you have fibromyalgia, I hope this post makes you feel less self-conscious or alone in some of your "stranger" behavior. And if you don't have fibromyalgia but know others who do, I hope this post further educates you on what living with fibromyalgia is like.

1. Constantly changing positions.

Because we're more often more prone to muscle tightness and tension headaches if we don't keep moving.

2. Choosing a certain hotel chain because we know the bed agrees with our back.

3. Drinking a ton of water or other liquids.

Helloooo medication side effects!

4. Getting as much done as we can on "good days" because we don't know when the next one will be.

17 Things People Don't Realize You're Doing Because You Have Fibromyalgia

5. Making sure we know where the nearest bathroom is...

...because digestive flare-ups are REAL.

6. Asking to not be touched.

Because sometimes, even the lightest of brushes against our skin can hurt.

7. Putting blackout curtains in our bedroom.

8.  Bringing a heat pack with us when we travel.

Or wearing a heat pack 24/7 in the comfort of our own house on flare-up days...

17 Things People Don't Realize You're Doing Because You Have Fibromyalgia

9. Bumping into EVERYTHING.

Did you know that dizziness and a lack of coordination are associated with fibromyalgia?

10. Pulling on our hair, pushing our fingers into trigger points on our neck, and doing other self-massage techniques.

11. Dressing in layers.

Because we never know when we'll feel hot, cold or constantly switch between the two.

12. Asking the same question or making the same statement over and over.

Two words: brain fog.

17 Things People Don't Realize You're Doing Because You Have Fibromyalgia

13.  Avoiding scented laundry detergent, perfume and most fragrances.

14. Waking up constantly at night.

It's harder for people with fibromyalgia to go into a deep sleep, which means we're often waking up a lot and/or feel exhausted even after 12 hours of sleep.

15. Sticking to a relatively strict daily routine.

16. Not driving at night.

Because people with fibromyalgia can also suffer from light sensitivity, driving at night (hellooo tons fo headlights) isn't ideal.

17. Putting a smile on our face most days, even when we're hurting.

We definitely have bad days, and from personal experience, I know that venting to close friends and family can sometimes help. But I also know that I often hide how much I'm hurting because I don't want to be a "Negative Nancy" or to seem pitiful. And as hard as it can be, sometimes "faking it until you make it" really does work. Or at the very least, it reminds me to be grateful for "good" days when smiles come naturally!

17 Things People Don't Realize You're Doing Because You Have Fibromyalgia

The Bottom Line of Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Signs

Everyone with fibromyalgia is different, and not every fibromyalgia warrior may do all 17 of these behaviors. But the more people can know about the overt and understated ways fibromyalgia affects our lives, the more people will be able to support loved ones with this invisible illness.

And that truly is something to smile about. <3



Can you relate to these 17 activities? What is something else you do because of your invisible illness that people might not expect?

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