I don’t think I’ve talked about it here before, but I have fibromyalgia, a chronic pain and fatigue disorder.
You know, it’s funny. When I look back at Wolfbound, my debut novel, I could see the signs all over it of exactly what was wrong with me. Eileen has fatigue, she has pain, but she has a tangible reason why: it dates back to a car accident she was involved in some years ago that has fully healed but never stopped hurting. In fact, when I did my “stealth” second edition, I adjusted a few details to make them ring more true to those of my readers who share my disease – details I embellished originally because I thought the facts I lived with would never sound realistic to readers. Eileen at least can point to a car accident; I had no idea why I was in pain, and I wrote my novel to help take my mind off it while I figured it out.
It’s hard. Many of you know I work full-time as well as writing; I want an active livestyle, but I have a body that just can’t comply. I spend a lot of time at home, relaxing with my favorite people and wishing I felt well enough to go out. I take each day as it comes, adjusting my schedule to suit my physical condition, and I keep learning about how I can manage my condition so I can maximize the good days.
I don’t write today just to complain. I am often tempted to stay silent about my struggles because I don’t want people to think I’m having a pity party or anything. But the truth is, there’s millions of people living with this condition every day, and it’s rarely talked about. Maybe some of you bought my book because Eileen’s life resonated with you, or maybe you discovered something true about yourself reading about her and you weren’t sure why. By speaking out, maybe I can help someone get the help they need.