One of the hardest parts of living with fibromyalgia, or any other kind of chronic illness, is that you don’t get to choose your schedule. There are times when the pain, the fatigue and the symptoms of fibro overwhelm your body and there’s nothing else you can do.
And those are the times when your body simply has to rest and recuperate — but how do you decline invitations to social and family events? Even when you’re suffering from fibromyalgia, saying no to loved ones when you’re not feeling a hundred percent is almost impossible to do. Here are some ideas that should make it easier to say no, plus a few choices that just might make a yes possible after all.
[bctt tweet=”How to tell loved ones NO when you’re just not feeling up to it #fibromyalgia” username=”beingfibromom”]
Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty Saying No
A simple no is often enough to let a friend or a loved one know you really mean it. Avoid following up with an excuse or saying something that would justify you passing up on an invite. Remember, it’s your life, your health and your body, and you don’t need to explain all the goings-on in your life. Dealing with fibro or any chronic illness is reason enough, period.
Your Health and Well-Being Comes First
We understand how saying an emphatic no can be difficult. It’s quite hard to turn people down, especially if it’s an important person who needs your help. But this is one of those times being selfish is necessary: You must always consider yourself first before considering other people’s well-being. Because you won’t be able to help anyone if your illness gets worse, it’s sometimes more important to put your own needs first.
Feeling Guilty Won’t Do Any Good
Saying “no” to someone shouldn’t elicit feelings of guilt. You are taking care of yourself, and it’s not reasonable for people to expect you to be available all the time.
Alternatives to Outright Declining an Invite
1. Take It Online
Make use of the internet to connect with people from all over the world, no matter the time of day. Options includes Facebook, Twitter, email and instant messaging to stay in touch with loved ones when you’re not well enough for a visit. If your fibro symptoms are acting up and you’re unable to get outside, you can still say no but in a way, say yes. Get on Skype for some face time or have them record the event so you can see it when you’re feeling better.
2. Take It Home
If a friend wants to catch up over coffee at a local cafe, why not make the venue your home? And is some friends are heading out for the movies, ask them to hold a movie marathon at your place. Order food in instead of going to a restaurant. There are some days when you’ll be more comfortable at home than anywhere else. Your friends and family will not only completely understand how you feel; more often than not, they’ll be delighted to bring the fun over to you.
3. Just Take It Down A Notch
Large events like weddings can be difficult when your fibromyalgia symptoms are acting up. Same goes for huge birthday parties, corporate events and concerts. When you really miss the fun of these social interactions, compromise by choosing which event to attend. Plan smaller outings, too — a meal at a restaurant or even a quick visit over coffee to catch up with someone you haven’t seen for a while can satisfy your need to get out without being too disruptive to your health.
Saying no when you’re feeling absolutely fatigued is understandable, but you should choose your battles wisely. The best invitations to say yes to are the following:
- When you have a small group of friends or family in a local setting you find comfortable.
- When you have close-knit friends or family bringing the event to your home.
- When your friends or loved ones simply want to know what’s up over Skype, Facebook or instant messaging for a few minutes.
You don’t want to say no forever to everything, even if you’re feeling tired all the time, but your well-being is your absolute priority. You know your body; you’ll know if you can handle a few hours of activity with friends and loved ones. If not, then there’s always another day.
Freelance writer Caylin White blogs about investing at StockHax.