Every year on May 12, thousands upon thousands of people and organizations honor National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. We wear purple, and we write blog posts about what it’s like to experience the condition, and we talk about advocacy efforts.
And every year I feel like that effort falls flat. It’s nice to have awareness, but often, it’s just a blip on the radar. Sure, now you’re reminded fibromyalgia exists. But what’s next? It’s just one of hundreds of national health observances that seem to come and go without much impact.
This year, I’m trying something different. Something simple.
Fibromyalgia impacts an estimated 10 million people in the U.S., and about 3%-5% of the world’s population. Odds are very, very good that you know someone with fibromyalgia, whether they’re vocal about it or not.
I am one of those people.
If you think you don’t know someone with fibromyalgia, hold up—you know me, right? Even just a little bit? Well, I have fibromyalgia.
So let all your preconceptions about the condition and about those of us who have it fall away… now’s your chance to REALLY understand what it means to live with all the symptoms we endure.
Ask me anything.
Ask any other person you know with fibromyalgia what their experience is like. Ask how you can help. Ask where you can learn more. Ask how you can join the movement for more research. Ask how you can help remove the stigma.
Seriously: Ask. Post a question in the comments below, send me an email, text me, post a question on Instagram… anything. Just ask.
The more we know about the experience, the more normalized it becomes… and the easier it is for those of us living with fibromyalgia to ask for—and receive—the accommodations we need and deserve. And when we get that understanding, compassion and accommodation, we’re able to be more active, productive members of society. We thrive. We give back. I am living proof of that, y’all.
Today’s the day: Ask. Heck, ask me ANY day and I’ll tell you what you want to know.
And those of you with fibro? Tell.
Today’s your day! (Heck, any day is your day!) Share your experience. Offer to answer questions. Post links to helpful organizations like Fibro Center, U.S. Pain Foundation, the National Fibromyalgia Association and the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association. Ask folks to sign the petition for a cure. Be a resource.
That’s it… super simple. And let’s make awareness of fibromyalgia and its impacts a year-round thing, OK?