Finding Joy with Fibromyalgia

Four simple steps to finding joy

Living with chronic condition like Fibromyalgia can be anything but joyful most days of the week. You are in pain, tired, and can be experiencing a myriad of other symptoms at any one time. And you often feel alone.

Then there’s the fact that you usually have to explain to people just what the heck Fibromyalgia Syndrome is and the fact that there is no good understanding of what causes it, thus there’s no cure as of yet. This alone can spin you into a life of social separation and loneliness.

It is widely believed that artist Frida Kahlo also would have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, if there had been that diagnosis during her time. Her art depicts chronic pain and her diaries reflect a life filled with physical and emotional pain. Yet, she continued to do what she loved, which was to paint, and toward the end of her life she turned her attention to capturing everyday existence.

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”
Frida Kahlo

The Two Fridas, by Frida Kahlo. Image captured at the Dallas Museum of Art, March 17, 2017.

Chronic Illness Stigma

Feeling flawed, strange, or alienated is common with chronic illnesses. But we should not feel stigmatized – we should feel part of the social norm. We didn’t ask for our condition. We didn’t choose this life of pain.

Do you know how to love yourself and find joy, despite your condition?

Finding Your Joy

So how do you go about finding your happy, joy-filled life? Here are four simple steps to start you on that journey.

Do what makes you happy! As the saying goes: “You know those things that make you happy? You should go do them.” Life is too short to be miserable.

Express Gratitude. Thank people. Keep a gratitude journal. Perform random acts of kindness. I have written about this many times here on this very blog, but the sheer act of being grateful can make us happier.

Find your purpose and passion. Hobbies are nice and keep you busy, but finding what you’re really passionate about will keep you coming back for more. What is is that you do that really sets your soul on fire? Painting? Photography? Volunteering? Writing a blog?

Build your tribe. Keep those people around you that support you through sickness and health, thick and thin. Friends, family, neighbors, colleagues. You know the ones that are good for you. Now figure out the ones you need to cut loose from your life.

My Joy

My father has been the perfect example of this for me throughout my life. From his humble beginnings to his current terminal diagnosis, he has embodied these four steps. He taught me to follow my dreams, be happy, be thankful, and stay connected. He raised me to believe I could be anything I wanted to be, but that being happy was most important.

While my condition hasn’t always allowed me to pursue everything I have wanted to do, I have been able to find contentment and happiness along my journey. I prefer to be the optimistic, glass-half-full kind of person who doesn’t live a life of regrets, thus leading a more joy-filled life.

I hope you find that pot of gold at the end of your rainbow – whatever it looks like. Much like Frida Kahlo capturing everyday existence, my blog is about finding inspiration (and joy!) in my every day (fibro) life. I hope these four simple steps can help you find joy in your life, despite any condition or illness you carry with you.

Have you found what makes you happy? I would love for you to share your passions and those things that bring you joy!

Author: Cynthia, My Inspired Fibro Life

Wife. Mom. Fibrowarrior. Joy seeker. Picture taker. Coffee drinker. Blogging about living with fibromyalgia and finding inspiration in every day life. Welcome to My Inspired Fibro Life.

9 thoughts on “Finding Joy with Fibromyalgia”

  1. Yes Cynthia, I agree that it is important to have a positive mindset in facing chronic health issues… 😀

    To answer your question; What makes me happy, joyful & passionate?
    My faith, loved ones, writing, tea & the seaside! 😀
    Bless you,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love this. Oh how I love all of those things as well. I just had a lovely Earl Gray with milk and vanilla this morning. And oh how I miss the sea and the mountains. So in need of a little getaway!! Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cynthia, I have never thought of having Earl Grey with Vanilla! What a great idea, I’ll have to try it 😀
        Yes, the sea/water beckons me each day 😉 so I try & go for a walk when I’m up to it by the waterfront a few times a week.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting, I had no idea it was suspected Frida Kahlo had fibromyalgia (if such a diagnosis were to exist then). You’ve made such good points, especially the stigma, and you’re right, we didn’t ask for this. And yet too often we can beat ourselves up, get annoyed we’re not doing more because we can’t, and feel guilty about things we have no need to feel guilty for. Finding joy can be a difficult process I think, especially if your health has impacted a lot of areas of your life and mental health, but it’s possible to find new avenues to explore, to rekindle the things you used to love, to reflect on what you’re grateful for… Your father sounds like a loving, smart man, raising you with knowing the value of happiness. I wish that were expressed more, that it should mean more to be happy than what salary you earn, what you look like, your social status, your employment status etc. Fab post, Cynthia! 🌷
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thanks, Caz. 😊 Yes I am sure we have more guilt than any of us should have for things out of our control. And yes happiness can be difficult when dealing with something like chronic pain. That is why I try to find joy or inspiration in the simplest things in life!! Wishing you s beautiful, joy-filled day. 💜


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