Five For Fibro, 8 x 5k for a week in May

I have lived with chronic illness for almost 20 years, people think you get used to being ill, you don't, you accept illness is part of your life but you never accept the restrictions it places on your life, you feel guilty for the times you are to tired to play with the kids, the times you are so down you cancel seeing people because you don't want to bring them down, the friends you lost because they don't understand why you've changed, the job you had to give up and the skills you can no longer offer society.

In November 2019 my chronic illness made me not want to live anymore, I couldn't face a life of constant pain and feeling like a disappointment with nothing to offer the world, fortunately, I'm still here but I've battled hard to hold on.

In July 2020 I couldn't walk to my car, I couldn't go upstairs without such extreme pain and breathlessness that I truly believed might be my last breath. I had to change my life, I had to beat the demon I had been scared of, loss of mobility.  So, I got a referral and had disabled aids fitted in my home, I admitted defeat and accepted that a walking stick was going to be the only way I could get around, I started walking round the block with the dog, I gave up alcohol as it was affecting my mental health and I joined slimming world, I'm now 2 stone lighter and counting.

In October 2020 I felt ready, so, mid pandemic, I launched a voluntary organisation to support people like me living with Fibromyalgia and not knowing where to turn for support, today I have over 700 members of my online groups, I have a team of volunteers who work tirelessly, I run walking groups, a podcast and an advocacy service helping members access benefits they are entitled to.

Why am I telling you this? Because between 10th and 17th May, 8 days that is btw, ill be walking 5k every day to raise awareness of Fibromyalgia, to show others that a life with chronic illness is not the life I hoped for but now that its the one I've got its time for me to own it, time to show others they can own it too, and say thanks. Thankyou Fibromyalgia, you stole my life, you took me to despair, but, you gave me my life back, a life I now spend helping and supporting others and I love every minute of it.

Every penny I raise will be put towards increasing the support  I can offer, launching support groups, taking on more advocacy cases and showing real people with Fibromyalgia what real people with Fibromyalgia can achieve, after all, we are so much More Than Fibro!


Sharon Turnbull

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