When your Family dont understand

Losing control of your body from Fibromyalgia can happen in a devastating way and over many years. But when your friends and family aren’t there for you, or don’t understand, it’s a whole other kind of loss.


What do you fear the most physical decline or abandonment?
Decline would come as no surprise and there are things we can do to manage it. Rejection from a loved one can leave us feeling betrayed, helpless and unworthy. Not all relationships can be salvaged, but we might develop a deeper, more authentic sense of connection with those that stay in or come back to our lives.

These lists of suggestions for how you can manage sharing the news of your diagnosis and what to do if they are or are not accepted straight away-

 • Put an end to family secrets. Don’t try to protect your friends and family from bad news – communicate directly and openly with family members.
 • Include your children – even though their understanding of your illness may be limited, children appreciate being told what’s going on and being told the truth . Otherwise, children may believe that they are the cause of the serious illness or other events around them. Be open and honest with them, and allow them to ask questions.
 • Be clear about how friends and family can help you. People love to feel useful, so don’t be afraid to ask for help or favours.

 1 Get help from a neutral third party. Often the best way to educate family and close friends about your diagnosis is to use a third party source because it takes the emotional pressure out of the equation.
 2 Write a letter. If loved ones are not being supportive even after you’ve tried to tell them about your illness, write a letter to them.
 3 Find non-illness related subjects to talk about, like future plans or hobbies etc
 4 In the end . . . accept their decisions. Some family and close friends may never accept this change in your life. If you can learn to wish them well despite their inability to support you, you can free yourself from the mental suffering that arises from your desire for them to be different.

 • No one is intentionally nasty and out to get you. People either understand or they don’t.
 • People change. Someone who might not support you today could reach out and learn how they can be a better relative tomorrow.
 • You can’t ask anyone to love you until you love yourself (sick, healthy or somewhere in-between).
 • Family comes out of the most ass-backwards places and people you might have never imagined even being friends with may one day offer you the most life-altering compassion.
 • Not everyone is meant to be in your life. You’ll know who when the relief settles in an hour after you’ve blocked their email and changed your number.

Never give up

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This web site is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the medical advice or services of your health care providers.

Every effort has been made to make this web page as accurate as possible. This information is not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment, or the justification for accepting or declining any medical treatment for any health problems or diseases. Any application of the information presented in these web pages is at the reader's own discretion. Therefore, any individual who has a specific health problem should consult his or her health care provider . No-one associated with the Fibromyalgia Research UK Charity can be held liable for any use or misuse relating to the information provided. This information is provided to the general public and it is the sole responsibility of persons using this information to consult with his or her health care provider. The information contained on this web site is not intended, and should not be construed, as professional medical advice or recommendations. No information provided should be construed as the practice of medicine or an offer of medical advice.

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