Fibromyalgia Support Group
Create Your Own
Fibromyalgia Support Group
To go or not to go (to a support group)? That is a question many have.
It is better to not go if you cannot find a group that indeed supports and helps its members. A group of folks coming together just to tell their story and not listen to others or never has anything positive to share is not worth the time spent.
But there are good and helpful support groups around. You simply must be brave enough to seek them out. That might mean attending one that is not helpful. The doors are not locked; you can leave any time you choose.
What is a “support” group? It is a group of folks with the same ailment (in this case Fibromyalgia) who come together weekly or bi-weekly just to chat about their experiences and share ideas that have helped each one.
The first support group I attended was at a local hospital. The “lady in charge” had never had fibromyalgia and knew very little about it. She encouraged the folks around the table to share their horror stories; many of which had little to do with Fibromyalgia. A lady sitting next to me who had just been diagnosed with FM left in tears. I left angry.
I called the hospital and asked if they would let me volunteer to do a support group on Fibromyalgia. They said “sure” and so it began.
It was a really good group. It grew from six to eighteen in a few months time. People were anxious to help themselves and to meet others in their same boat.
We were writing a book of ideas from my fellow fibromites. It was fun. At each meeting everyone brought an idea (physical activity, recipe, inspiration, etc). We discussed various topics.
Sometimes we’d have someone in the local area come in and speak to us. Once we had a massage therapist who brought her equipment and doled out free massages. That was nice. Once we had a Reiki Master come in and tell us about that.
Forming your own support group is not nearly the work you might think it is.
You can do it in your own home, a local medical facility, or you can find a clubhouse that requires a refundable deposit to use their facilities. Leave it as you find it and you get your money back. Print out some simple flyers with contact information. There are so many folks with Fibromyalgia that you will certainly find an interest.
Since Fibromyalgia affects our minds as well as our bodies, there were few limits on who the guest speaker could be. Now, we did not have a speaker each time. Perhaps it was every third meeting. Yes, I think that is what it was - every third meeting.
You need no certification to form a group or to guide one. In my opinion, though, you should be a fellow Fibromite. Those who do not have this disease would feel hard pressed to understand or comprehend what we face on a daily basis.
However, I do recommend that if you have a family member or close friend with the disease that it is beneficial to attend a Fibro-friendly support group. Ask questions.
Learn more about the disease so you can be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
What a support group is not: - it is not a moan and groan group.
We always left our group with smiles on our faces. It helps a lot to come together and share the good side of Fibromyalgia, and to boost one another up when we are down.
When someone new joins they tell their story and then the sharing begins. Or we focus on one aspect of the disease for any given meeting. Your group sets its own ground rules. Often unspoken but clear by the way each member conducts themselves.
In my opinion a good support group leaves the participants stronger and better than when they came through the entrance door.
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