To on The Mighty the article title, "22 Metaphors That Describe what Fibromyalgia Feels Like," caught my attention. As I scrolled through the list I had to smile. Here were people giving all kinds of imagery and metaphor to this intense pain and debilitating fatigue, and yet I found myself chuckling.
Some of them were down right funny; like this one:
“It’s always wondering if anyone got the tag of that truck that keeps running you over and over and over. Day in and day out.”
It's heartening to find at least a little morsel of humor within the pain. Most were incredibly relatable:
“It’s like every part of your body is bruised but [the bruises] are invisible, and sometimes you wish they were visible because then people might take your pain seriously.”
Common threads were woven though most: feelings of intense heaviness, moving slowly through substances holding you down like quicksand or mud, and always the pain.
But what made me smile was the recognition and connection. I'm not alone. Other people feel these exact same things, and I guess there's some sick truth to the adage, "Misery loves company."
So what would my metaphor be for what it feels like to have fibromyalgia? I envision the pain like music coming from an 80's style boom box. The volume relates to the level of pain, and aspects like the bass relate to the quality of the pain (how throbbing or achy it is). During a bad flare up, the volume and bass are turned up so much that I can feel the vibration of the music through every cell. It's so loud that my mind can't focus on anything else. Working, or even staying engaged in a conversation is a monumental challenge. Then there is the extreme fatigue that feels blinking, and breathing are about all I can do without needing to take a rest break. I feel heavy like my bones must have turned to lead, and moving is like trying to run through water, or struggle through mud.
What metaphors would you use to help describe a condition to others? It doesn't have to just be fibro. Maybe you have diabetes, or GI issues, or depression. No matter what it is, I think metaphors are a powerful way to convey what you're experiencing to another person.