If you suffer from chronic pain, it’s important to find support. That’s because, oftentimes, you’re suffering from a hidden illness.
You may look perfectly well. But you can’t do what you’d like. You may also feel subtle pressure from family and friends to do better or to just push yourself.
Typically, healthy people don’t understand the struggle. That’s why it’s a natural reaction to find support. The easiest way to do this is to find an online support group.
On Facebook, you have a lot of options. You can find support on a public page. My own page is Fibro Natural Club, the same name as this blog. This is a lively group, with a very supportive environment.
I also have a private closed membership Facebook group called Kicking Fibro Naturally. The topics we discuss on both forums are similar. The closed group is much quieter than the busy Facebook page. But it allows people to discuss their concerns in private. This means family and friends won’t see their comments, unless they join the group themselves.
Fibromyalgia Support Groups On Facebook
I think online support can be very valuable for people with fibromyalgia. But notice I said “can be.”
The upside is that you can connect with people who understand (for the most part) what you’re going through.
But there is a downside. Everyone is at a different point in their struggle. Some people are incapacitated. Others lead fairly normal lives, pushing themselves through the pain. They may hold full-time jobs, while raising a family and running a house. The illness takes a toll. But they’re still functioning pretty much like a regular person. It’s this wide disparity that concerns me.
Good Fibromyalgia Support Groups
That’s because some support group members are very sick. I suspect a lot of the sicker ones are also clinically depressed. Here’s what worries me. New members may find their conditions overwhelming. This can lead to discouragement, along with a fatalistic attitude.
In some of these groups, it’s not unusual for people to post thoughts of suicide. From time to time, we’ll even see notice that someone followed through with their plan. This news is absolutely heartbreaking.
Due to the fact that a lot of the members are sick, and in pain, complaining tends to be on the heavy side. Hearing about so much misery can also be difficult. I think it would be frightening for a newly diagnosed patient to land in one of these groups, and assume this is their future. (I’m here to tell you that it is possible to get better, even if you have chronic, widespread pain.
I believe our bodies are designed to heal. So, given the right support, this can happen. Even though I still have an underlying condition, I manage it well. So my pain and fatigue are very minimal. In other words, I have my life back. Everything I did to recover is now contained in an easy-to-follow online course, which you can see below.
Fibromyalgia Support Online
I do have some advice, if you come across an online support group. Personally, if it were me, I’d limit my exposure to gloom and doom posts. If you can, leave an encouraging comment. And then move on.
If you run into drama, I’d ignore it. If it persists, I’d contact the group administrator. In one group, I tried to help someone. Another member disagreed and then started trolling me. I contacted the administrator, who needed to take action. The administrator then thanked me for bringing it to her attention.
It’s my personal opinion that online support groups can be very valuable. If you’re careful.