Phoenix Rising

  • Posted on May 23, 2014 at 10:00 AM

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always kind of loved the idea of the phoenix. It gets to light up the night sky while it soars and swoops, or even while it rises from its own ashes to live again. Once I thought about it, I decided to turn my crashed-and-burnt airplane metaphor into a phoenix.

For those who don’t know me quite as well, I’ve overcome significant adversity in my life. I’ve crashed. I’ve burned. I’ve gotten up. I’ve dusted myself off. I’ve flown again. Time after time. In the past, depression has usually been my downfall. After experiencing a true crash-and-burn fibromyalgia style, I have to say I kind of prefer the depression.

Sure, depression feels worse in a lot of ways. Let’s face it, hopelessness sucks. On the other hand, fibromyalgia is physically painful. I can handle that surprisingly well. What I dislike is the impact it has on my ability to concentrate.

Again, for those who don’t know me quite as well, I’m a professional writer. Particularly, I’m a freelance writer. I own and operate my own writing business. I’m also the primary “breadwinner.” I support my family (or not) by writing. Lately it’s been more the “not,” which sucks. I’m also a graduate student with a 4.0—again. Yes, this is my second graduate degree. I am also the go-to person for my children’s IEPs and other issues.

The frustrating thing is that all of this requires the ability to think clearly, to remember things, to hold words in my head long enough for them to get off my tongue/fingers, and to make them make sense when they do. For me, the worst part about fibromyalgia is that I’ve been feeling like I’m losing my mind. Not in a going crazy sort of way, but in a dementia sort of way. Of course, that’s a comparison that fails to capture the true loss of dementia, but still.

The most poignant part about all of this is that my ability to think started to slip right around the time my grandfather, who was experiencing symptoms of dementia, made it perfectly clear that he didn’t want to live that way. My situation was totally different and I wasn’t quite as stuck in the inevitable decline as he was, but it made me much more sympathetic to his position. As much as I love and miss my grandfather, when he passed I respected the fact that for him it was a relief.

Now, I have my own relief. I’m getting better. My phoenix is rising into a new period of my life. A period of growth and productivity. A period of profitability and publication. It’s time to light up the night sky as I soar and swoop and fly again!

2 Comments on Phoenix Rising

  1. Whoah. Substitute “rheumatoid arthritis” for “fibromyalgia” and “professor” for “student” and you could be me! Aren’t we tired?!!! I write as one who entirely appreciates the will and hope and sheer courage it takes for you to take flight again, BRAVA!!!!! Good luck! Even the fact that you are expressing this phoenix-ness is phoenix-y!

  2. Thank you! I imagine switching out “rheumatoid arthritis” for “fibromyalgia” and “professor” for “student” doesn’t make things any easier. Actually, rheumatoid arthritis is one of the possibilities that has to be eliminated before my diagnosis of fibromyalgia is official, so it’s possible I’ll be taking a whole different approach to the healing process after I see my doctor next.

    I very much appreciate your support. It’s not easy to take flight again, but “easy” is not the stuff dreams are made of. I look forward to flying with you on this journey!

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