October 24, 2019

Motherhood and Fibromyalgia

Along with all the amazing joy, wonder, and excitement of motherhood can come another emotional perspective. Such as experiencing responsibility like never before for a brand-new innocent soul who is totally dependent upon you, combined with feelings of inadequacy, never knowing what to anticipate when you know every day brings a new wonder and yet also something new to be concerned about. It’s quite an undertaking.

For most, breathing, learning to trust themselves as well as the process, more than compensates so that the primary focus is on the wonderment of this experience (along with exhaustion as you work to create a schedule you can all live with.) However, for others, it can also bring a wildly exaggerated sense of fear and need to protect. For the later, Fibromyalgia is a possibility.

Not all who deal with fibromyalgia are parents, but yet so many, many are. In my work with clients who are dealing with this disorder, I see that sometimes the fear exists because they were never protected as a child and now they feel an overpowering need to protect and shelter their little one. For some, the extreme fear exists because they suffered a trauma as a child, and still for others it can simply be the result of a major sense of over-responsibility they have carried throughout their lives for reasons they don’t understand.

Whatever the origin, for any mother whatever she may or may not have experienced as a child herself, her need upon reaching the state of motherhood, is to create a world in which her child is never hurt, neglected, wounded, sad, or rejected. Her understanding of love is to create the perfect world for her child, allowing nothing in that could hurt him or her in any way. Sadly, that is not possible, nor is it her job.

Motherhood calls us solely to love our child unconditionally. It calls us to provide as best as we can knowing that the most important element in life is for this child to know that no matter what else happens, in their home they are safe, treasured, and guided. They need to learn how to deal with hurt, wounds, sadness, rejection, and failure. They need to experience them in order to learn that they are so much more than all of those experiences combined.

The acute anxiety a mother with Fibromyalgia experiences settles into a defined area of her body, along the bladder meridian. It is there, or close to it, that the 18 points of diagnosis exist.

When her child leaves her home whether for elementary school, college, or marriage, knowing that her child will need to fend for themselves while “out there” can be overwhelming and create flare-ups, acute stages of unrelenting stress and pain, and a real sense of powerlessness, whether over this disorder or in protecting her child.

Reframing her beliefs, allowing herself permission to be human, to know that NO parent has done everything “right.” No parent was always there. No parent always understood. They couldn’t. Allowing herself to be human and in that humanness to love unconditionally (even when she didn’t necessarily like them) is truly what she is called to. It is also a life lesson that can give her permission to let go.

In my experience, those mothers with fibromyalgia got lost in the process of parenting, if not before. Fibromyalgia can, however, be the opportunity to find permission to exist again. It calls you to stop, breathe, take time to focus on yourself, your needs, and even your likes. Teaching your child that self-care is a gift you give yourself, and a necessity, is a lifelong gift they will always be grateful for. They learn through watching.

When fear or pain is increasing, learning to let it literally slide right down your legs and out into the ground is an immensely powerful visualization to have. Practice it often. Stop long enough to literally visualize all your fear, and all your pain, sliding down through every cell, every tissue, from the crown of your head through your ears, your eyes, your nose, your mouth, and so on, flowing down and out of every section of your body, slowly, mindfully, and with ease. Send it about 75 feet into the earth where it will be balanced.

Remember, you are also so much more than all your experiences combined. You are a mom.

The one person who has loved so unconditionally that she got lost somewhere along the way. When fibromyalgia occurs, it is your body’s way of saying, this is your time, your time to remember that your children will walk the journey they came here to walk,  and they will do it so much better, and with so much more ease, if you are doing the same. God bless.

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