As a child, I used to laugh when my dad would come home from a long day at work and jokingly say that he felt older than dirt. In my little mind, comparing people and dirt was just a silly idea. Plus, dirt has always been here, so how could anyone be older than dirt? Now, though, I can relate to this phrase that my late father was so fond of.
When I am having a fibromyalgia flare my body aches, cramps up, throbs, and stiffens up like I’m at least 90 years old. Even the simplest of tasks like walking, bathing, or getting dressed can be quite a chore. When I wake up on one of these mornings I crawl out of bed and force my stubborn muscles and bones to work again. Even still I often find myself stuck in old lady mode for the rest of the day. I creep and shuffle along, trying my best to make it through my day and to be as productive as possible.
It is so odd to feel incredibly old and decrepit at such a young age. I find myself conflicted because I long to do so many active and fun activities like I used to. But my body is rarely up to it. I don’t know how many pulled muscles, bruises, and headaches I have put myself through trying to act my age. I am working daily to try to reclaim my body and to make it as strong as it possibly can. This is my body. I want it back! However, fighting older than dirt syndrome is easier said than done. It seems as though whenever I push hard in an attempt to get fit, my body pushes back even harder. Although I will never give up, I’ve had to learn to pace myself, to forgive my weaknesses, and to celebrate even the smallest of victories.