Chronic Pain, Body Positivity, and Sewing

This is a little bit of a different entry for me, but I have been having a lot of thoughts about these three things and how they fit into my life. I thought I would write about them.

I’ve spoken before about how body positivity and sewing go together.  Sewing helps me become a more body positive person and helps ,e break free of the number on the tag and fit for an actual body. I’m able to look beyond my fat to enjoy my style and become the confident person I should be.

Chronic pain runs counter to all of that. It’s a struggle and it’s your body attempting to rebel. You have very little control over your body and it prevents you from doing so many things. Chronic pain makes you feel horrible both inside and outside. On my bad days, I struggle to get ready for work; I struggle to smile; I struggle to do the basic things in life that are so easy for people without chronic pain.

I’m going to talk about what my medical condition is and how body positivity and sewing can help me recover.

Chronic Pain

There are a few different sources for what it feels like to live with chronic pain or illness. One of the best explanations is the spoon theory. I use this in conversations with my fiance all the time. The basic gist of it is that someone with chronic illness starts their day with a limited number of spoons. In her example, she uses 12 spoons. Each spoon is an activity: get out of bed/spoon, go to the bathroom/spoon, brush your teeth/spoon, get dressed/spoon, etc. If you run out of spoons, they are gone. You have no more energy. Sometimes you can borrow from tomorrow’s spoons, but that leaves you in a spoon deficit, which means you can’t do as much the next day or worse you end up harming yourself more and losing all your spoons for the rest of the week. Happens to me so often.

Chronic pain is exhausting. It takes a lot out of you. It leaves you unable to sleep and regain your energy. Or, if you do sleep, you wake up a lot or toss and turn or wake up in tons of pain. The pain makes it difficult to move normally. Your basic movements become very laboured. It’s sort of like moving through lava, if someone could survive that. You’re on fire and in pain, but the lava is thick and tough to move through; you aren’t dying, but you feel like you are. I drop things. I get frustrated. My hands don’t work properly. And everything is swollen and inflamed. I’ve gotten into this habit of removing my engagement ring and putting it back on to see how swollen I am. On good days, it slides right off without issue; on bad, I can barely remove it. Today, as I type this, I can barely remove it.

Chronic pain is your body rebelling. It is your body attacking itself. I don’t look sick, but I am suffering with every movement. On bad days, I don’t sew. On good days, I sew and I make jokes and I smile and I hop about. But even on good days, I am in pain; just less pain. It’s like the lava has ebbs and flows. Bad days, I am up to my ears in lava; good days, the lava is around my knees.

I recently read this article about understanding chronic pain from the perspective of a sufferer. I shared it on facebook and spoke about it for the first time there. I’ve spoken to a few people individually and mentioned a bit on here, but I guess I “came out” as a chronic pain sufferer yesterday. I’ve gone through a lot in my life, but this is definitely the hardest. The article really lays out how I feel, except for the last part about religion. I am not a religious person. I keep pushing forward, because I am incredibly determined and, in spite of everything that has happened to me, I am a very positive person and see hope in every corner of life. I am survivor and that keeps me going.

Onset and Diagnosis

Three years ago, I started having the worst years of my life. I was in top physical condition. I was well on my way to losing a bunch of weight and was the smallest I’ve been in my adult life. I was exercising almost everyday and walking  10km or more per day: during lunch break, walking home from work (this was an hour long walk), and walking at night with my fiance on occasion. I was eating incredibly well. I still eat incredibly well. I am a “no processed foods” kind of person and, while I do get them occasionally, I tend to steer clear of pre-packaged foods and make a lot of my own things, including breads.

All signs pointed to me being in great shape and then I started to decline. It started with an increase in migraines; I’ve had migraines since my early 20s, but I started getting them on a weekly or even daily basis. I started feeling dizzy on my walks home and I had to take breaks. I then stopped walking home. My right hip started hurting. My left knee had sustained an injury a few years before and I had flare-ups with knee pain. I slowly couldn’t exercise, because it was so painful. I started getting shooting pain from my right wrist to my neck and eventually my elbows were in constant pain. Over the space of a year and a half, I went from working out all the time to not being able to do much at all. I saw doctors; I got an MRI; I got xrays; I got massages; I went to a chiropractor; I went to a naturopath; I tried healing waters; I eliminated more things from my diet: soy, inflammatory fruits and veggies, red meat, etc. etc. I started seeing a physiotherapist this year at the end of January. It’s been helping to a degree, but again it’s like moving through lava and the change is so slow.

And, yes, I gained weight. Twice as much as I lost. I just got weighed on Tuesday and had a meltdown about it. They are just numbers, I tell myself, but numbers that reflect how much pain I carry. I never cared about being skinny, but I always wanted to be able to move, to dance, and to play. Not be the person who goes to bed at 7pm out of pure exhaustion with tears in my eyes because of the pain.

I was diagnosed in the fall with fibromyalgia. I’m still not convinced that this is entirely what is wrong with me, but at least it is something. I was also told by physiotherapists that my joints are hypermobile or too flexible. I am bendy. This unfortunately leads to an increase in injury and pushing your joints out of place with simple tasks. Sometimes when I twist my abdomen, I get a pain in my rib and feel like it is going out of place. I wake up at night and feel like my hip joint is out of place as well. If I carry too much weight in my hands, my elbows can feel like like are going out of joint. I’m working on figuring this out with a new doctor who is finally willing to help me get better.

Body Positivity

We’ve come a long way, baby. I started my body positive journey back in 2008 when I joined a burlesque troupe in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where I was doing my PhD (have since quit that due to a lot of unfortunate circumstances regarding supervisor neglect).

Burlesque is a great gateway drug to body positivity. You get to dress up in gorgeous clothes and “tease” the audience into submission. They scream for you to take off even the slightest bit. I never went beyond showing my corset, but did they ever beg for the gloves to come off! Stage performance is amazing. You can be anything on stage. I get the same euphoric feelings from my improv comedy performances. In 2009, I fell down some stairs and then moved to Toronto to be with my fiance. The fall was a few months of recovery with very little help from healthcare professionals. In spite of that setback, I still maintained a body positive outlook.

There’s tons of stuff that you can read about the body positive movement. I suggest checking out some TED talks on the subject.

Here are some basics of the body positive movement: your body is just fine and you should love it. Does that mean you can attempt to lose weight or that you shouldn’t be on a diet to be body positive? Naw. It just means accepting yourself. If that acceptance means going to the gym, do it. If it doesn’t, whatever. Love yourself. Kiss your mirror in the morning and tell yourself how wonderful and adorable you are. You only have one body in this lifetime and you have to treat it right. It also means ignoring the expectations that society sets for you. You are the only person that you should have an opinion on your body.

For me, that means embracing my style at any size. I wear dresses, because growing up fat I wasn’t able to. I was scared to show my legs. I was scared to wear anything that showed my curves. For me, body positivity meant I was free to stop thinking of what went in my mouth, what number the scale said, and free to live my life.

I’ve got through various eating disorders. I’ve overeaten, undereaten, starved myself, and, yes, I’ve purged a lot. Being body positive, helped me repair the tense relationship I had with food and listen to what I enjoyed, what my body was able to eat, and to not feel guilty for enjoying a bag of chips or a chocolate bar on occasion.

Body Positivity and Chronic Pain

This part has taken me a while to come to terms with and I’m not even really there. It’s tough to be positive about a body that rebels at every step. When you are walking through lava, it’s tough to take a moment and kiss the mirror and tell yourself how wonderful you are.

If you follow me on instagram, I have a lot of body positive talk about myself. I tell people I am adorable and I truly believe it. But you won’t see a picture on a bad day that reflects that, because chronic pain sucks the positivity from you. I am trying to change that.

What I started doing recently is taking self care days. I am having one tonight. As much as I would love to get back to my wedding dress and finish it, I realize when my spoons are running low and the lava is at my ears, I need a self care day.

Self care is body positive. It says that I am worth it. It says that my body deserves a hug.

What do I do on self-care days:

1) Limit activity: I may be working my day job, but I tend not to run errands except very small ones that don’t involve carrying a lot.

2) Indulge in something: This could mean getting a Frap from Starbucks or buying a favourite chocolate bar or making something tasty and easy for dinner that I don’t usually have. Something small that is outside my usual routine.

3) Watch something fun: I watch something like Gilmore Girls or I will watch Pitch Perfect or Mean Girls for the 400th time. I indulge in visual pleasures and especially in things that make me laugh. Laughter is the best medicine.

4) Take a bath in epsom salts and bubbles: Pretty self explanatory. Epsom salts are great for inflammation.

5) It rubs the lotion on its skin: After the bath, spend some time applying lotion and massaging my tender points. I use an all-natural ointment for muscle tenderness.

6) Hot hot heat: I have a castor oil pack and hot water bottle treatment that I find helps. I put it on my abdomen for 15min and then my feet for 15min. Mostly the castor oil just leaves the skin nice and soft and the heat helps ease the pain.

7) Meditation: I meditate and toss my phone across the room while I have the hot water bottle on me.

8) Streeeeeetch: I stretch each area of my body. Nothing too strenuous, but enough to work the muscles and take advantage of the heat.

9) Realize my limitations and accept them: I take some time to reconcile my feelings about the pain and my hatred over my body’s limitations. I try to accept that I cannot snap my fingers and be better overnight, but that it is a gradual process and I will eventually get there as long as I have hope to move forward.

Sewing and Chronic Pain

“How do these even go together?”, you ask. Sewing is one of those activities that can be a lot easier on the body. You are basically seated the entire time and you don’t need a huge range of movement. On bad days, I can’t put pins into the fabric so I stay away or I do small things. I’ve actually started doing several projects at once so I can switch between them and choose what I can and can’t do. I choose a good day and cut out a ton of patterns at once and then I just get to sew.

It’s important with any chronic illness to feel productive and sewing does that for me. I am able to work through it and create something beautiful and increase the outward beauty I have.

The single worst thing to do if you have a chronic illness is to stop everything. Don’t stop. Don’t sit on the couch. Don’t immediately quit your job. Don’t fall into the pit of despair. Don’t drown in the lava. Keep going. Do what you can with the spoons you are given. Create something. Some days, I just sketch something or I write something or I will tell myself a story.

There is lots of stuff out there about the benefits of creativity and mental illness. While there aren’t as many articles on creativity and chronic illness, the benefits are there. Creativity helps recovery.

The ability to create something even the smallest thing is a way of pushing through the lava. I can make it to higher ground and feel better. Improv helps, but that is very physically exhausting and leaves me feeling pretty horrible the day after. Sewing, on the other hand, is within my spoon limit. I can take as little as 20 minutes and work on sewing a seam and then eventually have a dress to wear and feel good about. Not only that, but it’s a dress that, when I wear it, I want to kiss the mirror and say wonderful things about myself.

Not only that, but I get to write about it and I get to take part in a wonderful community of sewing bloggers. You all help on a daily basis.

Sewing may not be the answer to healing my body, but it helps with all the mental fallout of walking through lava on a daily basis. It helps lift me out of a sad mood and work toward loving myself again.

Thanks for reading. ❤

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50 thoughts on “Chronic Pain, Body Positivity, and Sewing

  1. What an honest and moving post, Andie! I don’t have chronic pain so I know I can’t fully understand, but I have struggled with depression in the past, and it seems they are similar in a lot of ways. What you want do is just check the fuck out of life and do nothing forever, but that is never helpful. You can try to fake it ’til you make it, but that can just keep you stuck in a cycle of pitying yourself and wishing your life was more “normal”, as if there’s such a thing as a normal life or a “right way” to have a life. (I don’t mean you as in you personally, I mean in my experience.) For me, doing exactly what you did in this post and just accepting that it WAS my reality, somehow made it so much more bearable. So much stress was created by arguing with the way things were, but it felt so much better to just finally submit to them. Being open with it and accepting of it and treating myself not as something flawed, but as someone whose life just happens to be one that includes depression, helped so so so much. When I stopped fighting against it, it stopped fighting against me. I truly think the brain is so powerful when it comes to stuff like this. The more we can teach ourselves to re-frame, to be adaptable, to be accepting, the easier it all becomes. I am sure it is so hard to keep a positive outlook when you are experiencing pain each and every single day, but I sincerely hope that you will be able to get better by having support around you and by accepting your condition and knowing you are going to be stronger than it. Your self-care plan seems like the perfect way of re-framing. You are showing your body love instead of hatred, which is exactly what helped in my case.

    It might sound a little dumb, but I always really liked this quote from Rainer Maria Rilke: “Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” It’s always been comforting to me because it reminds me to take each moment at a time. It can be so daunting to think something is going to last the rest of your life, or to wonder when something will end. But one day at a time, it is much more manageable. And it also reminds me to embrace even the ugly parts of life. I wouldn’t say depression has ever been something I’ve been happy to have, but I will say that I now feel so grateful for all the beautiful parts of life, and also I’ve seen how I’ve grown because of going through tough times.

    Hugs!

    • I have also gone through depression and wear the scars of it on my skin. The journey I went through in my teens and early 20s with that has really framed how I am thinking of this stage of my life. Our brains are wonderful things and capable of so much so I know I can get through this. I am glad you are recovering (and really that stage is never truly complete; we are works in progress). ❤ I am grateful for your friendship in so many ways. I said it before in that post you had a while ago about failure, but I really needed that. I love how you think about the world and really enjoy hearing your perspective. I think we have similar views, if different experiences.

      That quote is lovely and something to live by. ❤ Thank you for sharing your story. /hugs

      • I definitely agree! I love that more and more of us are being open with our stories, especially in the current “Instagram culture” of showing only perfection, because it shows that these pains we experience are a normal part of life. They’re nothing to hide or be ashamed of or hate yourself for. Knowing that I have friends all over the world who understand me is so uplifting!

      • I completely agree. I always prefer being honest about who I am over only showing perfection. Human beings are flawed and their flaws are just as wonderful as their perfections. ❤ I love having friends all over the world who understand me, too. ❤ ❤

  2. While I don’t have nearly the levels of pain you do, I understand to some degree – my migraines, knee-pain flare ups, and upper back/neck issues suck and really don’t make it easy to stay positive. I wish I lived closer just so we could binge watch tv shows together on the not-so-great days.

    I’m glad you’ve found a way to work sewing into your personal treatment. Creativity and building something with your owns hands is incredibly uplifting and rewarding! How can it not be a positive?

    I love your positive attitude and adorable photos you post on IG – you always make me smile! Don’t ever change! =)

    • I am sorry to hear you have pain, too. 😦 I do wish we lived closer so we could binge watch tv on the bad days. ❤

      I'm so glad I make you smile. 😀 Don't worry. I won't ever change. 🙂 /hugs

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. I have a cousin with fibromyalgia and its helps me to understand what she’s going through. Also, not exactly the same thing, but my grandma had osteoarthritis that was very bad and she was in constant pain. I can’t imagine how it would feel to have steady pain that never goes away. My thoughts are with you, Andie, and I’m hoping that the possibility of relief may be in your future. You are a strong woman to deal with this on a daily basis while continuing to be positive and doing things that you love and make you happy.

    I also agree with Nicole. I struggled with depression in my early twenties until I figured out how to deal with it. Expressing my emotions helped a lot to not keep things bottled up. Keeping a positive outlook and doing what makes me happy keeps me going. Of course, with depression it can loom in the shadows, but I’ve learned how to keep it there and remain my generally sunny self. 🙂

    • The comparison of depression with fibromyalgia is actually pretty apt. I also struggled in my late teens/early 20s. It’s quite the mental game to get myself out of bed and get going. Not very different from how it felt when I was at the bottom with depression. In both circumstances, expressing myself has helped a lot. We carry so much inside and forget that others can help.

      I’m so glad that depression is more in the shadows for you and that you have chosen to share that sunny self with the world. I’m grateful to have met such a wonderful person. ❤ Many hugs to you!

  4. My thoughts are with you, Andie. This is a very inspiring post and some aspects really resonate with me. I don’t have time right now to give you the thoughtful comments you deserve but I will say briefly that I have PCOS and I can relate to your thoughts on chronic illness. Its something that affects me every day of my life and it can be so easy to be frustrated and feel like I am a victim of my body, unable to have any control over it no matter what I do. Most days I’m fine, but some days its a real struggle, and its nice to hear your positive and reassuring words. Lots of love!!

    • I’ve know many people in my life with PCOS and my heart goes out to you. It’s a tough thing to deal with. Definitely always good to chat with people who are going through something similar and able to understand. Thank you for sharing that. ❤ Lots of love back to you! ❤

  5. Thank you for sharing your journey; that was a very moving post.

    Beyond chronic back issues (thanks boobs!), which I keep in check with regular chiropractor visits, I don’t struggle with chronic pain, but I’ve struggled with body image my entire life. I was actually content to hate my body until I was pregnant and found out that I was expecting a daughter. Under no circumstances did I want my body hatred passed down to my daughter, and that was the catalyst for me to start working towards body acceptance.

    • Thanks for reading, Michelle. 🙂 Seriously, thanks boobs! LOL 😉

      It’s very important to me that I also don’t pass that down to my stepdaughter, but instead express body acceptance. 🙂 I’m glad to hear that things changed for you and you have a better body image now. You are a wonderful person and deserve that self love. 🙂 Hugs.

  6. I’ve spent the last 30 years in gradually worsening pain, and was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year, although like you, I don’t quite fit all the criteria. I liken it to screaming all the time on the inside and putting a smile on my face on the outside.

    I like the spoons analogy, but I see it more as spending them on things I enjoy. You might see me doing something strenuous, and then wonder why I find it so hard to do things like vacuum, but it’s because I’m spending my spoons on things that are FUN. Pain + Fun > Pain + Drudgery.

    Thank you for writing this. I might sew today. 🙂

    • Thank you for sharing. It’s sad to hear that you suffer as well. I hope that we can both see an end to the pain and maybe with more research, there will be a cure for us or the next generation. 🙂

      I totally agree about using spoons on things I love. I’ve reconciled a lot of my inner neat freak in favour of doing things I like with the spoons I have. ❤

      I hope you get to sew today! 😀 Hugs!

  7. I love this post so much. Thank you so much for writing it. I also really appreciate how you talk about the relationship between body positivity and self-care and tie your experiences with chronic pain so flawlessly into the discussion. It might sound a little cheesy but I teared up during several moments while reading this, and would love to forward the post on to several body-positive activist friends of mine. Sewing has helped me through so many of my own issues stemming from living in a society that puts a never-ending amount of scrutiny on women’s bodies. Plus, I’m so glad that you sew because I love seeing the things you make 🙂 Knowing your experiences around what you sew makes seeing your creations all the more exciting. Thanks again for offering this glimpse into your world.

    • Oh, thank you so much for your wonderful words. ❤ I can honestly say I cried a bit when writing it. It was very cathartic and meant a lot to me to share. Definitely forward it to whomever you like. 🙂 I'm so glad that sewing has helped you as well. It's definitely a great way of taking control of things and rejecting a lot of the scrutiny on women's bodies. 🙂

      Thank you so much for your kind words. 🙂 Hugs!

  8. I knew we were Sew Sisters, but I didn’t know just how much we had in common aside from sewing! I too have hypermobile joints. In school I would gross other kids out with how far my elbows would bend back. My hip (specifically the right one because I sleep mostly on my left side) pops out at night and when I get up in the morning I kind of have to make it go back in to place, assuming the muscles aren’t so tight that it won’t go back in to place. My doctor has suggested but not diagnosed FM. In truth, I just feel like my body is on fire. I have figured out that corn is a big trigger for my flares, and sometimes dairy. I keep eliminating foods in hopes of finding my magic bullet. I can love me and I can except this body that rebels against me, but the loss of mobility is what really gets me. I feel like mobility is freedom. My point that the pain started getting really bad came about 4 years ago when I was training for a sprint triathlon and like you in the best shape of my life. My left knee started getting really sore, and my rotator cuffs were hurting every night. When I would do a hard training session I would lay in bed crying that night because it felt like my bones ached. I have worked with chiropractors, acupuncturists, MDs, osteopaths, but never have gotten the relief I have always been hoping for. I even had one doctor tell my husband that he needed to pay more attention to me because there was nothing wrong with me. It was all my husband could do not to punch the doctor. I am not depressed, and I can’t stress that enough to other people. I am just in pain. Some days a lot, occasionally a little, but the pain NEVER goes away. I hate that this is something that we have in common, but am happy to hear another story like mine. {{HUGS}}

    • 😦 We truly are twins in almost every way, Alicia. ❤ It makes me so sad to hear that you are dealing with the same thing. I have cut out so many things from my diet, too, in hopes that it is the trigger, but the pain persists. I wonder sometimes if I triggered it with all that I was doing at the time my pain came on; there definitely has to be more to it: a cause or something that can be helped one day. I am glad I shared it and we can chat about this. If you ever need to chat, please don't hesitate. (andrea.leathley(at)gmail.com) I am here for you. I'd love to swap stories and things that help. ❤ ❤ So many hugs to you.

      • I am always sorry to learn of another living with chronic pain. I have severe degenerative disc disease, degenerative arthritis and the pain never stops, I’m just happy to have a day where I can tolerate it. I so “get” your post. Only two years ago I enjoyed riding my motorcycle, but my illness has progressed and I have had to give that up. It seems that letting go of what brought joy to my life is now a near constant. I see, albeit slowly. My hands are failing now, but thank God my eyesight is hanging in, with reading glasses. I pray you continue to have more good days than bad.

      • I’m so sorry to hear that you suffer, Yvonne. 😦 I hope that you have more good days than bad and that your eyesight keeps hanging in. It’s so tough to let go of the things we love. Many hugs!

  9. Only recently have I come to know the debilitating effects of fibromyalgia when a contractor working at my house disclosed that he recently lost his wife who had suffered with fibromyalgia for many years. Unfortunately, up until that point I really did know the serious implications of this condition. I applaud your candor in sharing your personal challenges and wish you nothing but the best.

  10. Brave! Could have been written by me, the chronic Illness part, I think my sewing is cooking, and being bed bound for a long while now, I can’t even do that. About the weight same here, strangely people think it’s by choice I’m obese, I used to be a ballet dancer, but even though the weight I love my body, I hate my illness. Had to smile about your lava example, I use porridge that has been standing for a while, the thickness, you have to move trough 😉 thanks for sharing, I just came out on my blog just now 😉 so we have a similar timing, it’s scary, on Facebook lots of people were very harsh and opinionated, even my own little sister 😦 but I hope that I will get the positivity that you have ( and I always had) back soon. At the moment I don’t get the point of it all. Thanks sweetheart for your honesty and inspiration xxxxSteffie

    • I’m so sorry to hear that people where harsh and opinionated. 😦 That’s so tough. I’m lucky to have an incredible support system and very supportive friends and family. I wish you had that, too. It’s a lot easier to be positive when your support system is rooting for your recovery and backing you 100%. I’m here for you, if you ever need someone to chat with! Many hugs! ❤ ❤

  11. Big huge massive hugs Andie!

    Thank you so much for this – it’s really helped me understand, and I appreciate it must have been difficult to put out there.

    You are one super amazing wonderful and beautiful woman! *hugs*

  12. I became emotional reading this. I have a few bodily aches and anxiety/depression that gets me down from time to time, but it is nothing compaired to what you experience on a daily basis. Thank you for sharing your story, you are a truly inspiring and amazing woman!

  13. Thanks for writing Andie! I’m so sorry you’ve suffered and are suffering. I know it’s hard to talk about and harder to live. I’ve dealt with a pretty severe dairy intolerance that I think I’ve always had but only found out about since 2008. It’s caused me a whole host of GI issues which have been worsened in pregnancy in trying to medicate it all away. After my third son, my body just kind of fell apart. I so resonate with your thoughts here and the spoon theory explains a lot of how my days have been the past 2 years. I’m stronger and healthier now than I probably ever have been in my adult life, but it’s only after countless days where I’ve been stuck sitting in pain and anxiety over the pain. It’s been hard having to give up a life long dream to be a food writer because what won’t make me sick and what I want to cook rarely coincide. I’ve found a lot of peace in my faith and my husband has been a rock , helping me to keep on keeping on.

    I’ve been so, so glad for sewing and writing. As you say, it’s totally within my spoon limit to sew a seam, make up a dress bodice, or write a post whereas other things just take too much out of me when I don’t have anything to give.

    I’m thinking about you, and I’d gladly binge watch old movies and Doctor Who with you were it possible! And keep sewing…I love your work, it always inspires me to create!

    • I’m so sorry you suffer as well, but I am glad you are in a stronger/healthier place now! It’s so important to have a good support system and I am grateful for mine, as well. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had to give up your dream. 😦 I’m glad that you are sewing, though, as a creative outlet. ❤ Your work inspires me, too! I really need to bust out my Hudson pants pattern that I got a million years ago and make up a pair. Your versions make me want to! 🙂

      Thinking about you, too, and we can always binge watch old movies and Doctor Who through social media. ❤ ❤

  14. Andie, I’ve been putting off reading this so I could sit down and read it properly and I am so glad I did. It’s beautiful, and I am so sorry to hear that you are having such a hard, hard, time with the pain. It sounds awful. You wouldn’t know from your blog posts that you can’t sew some days because it hurts, and that is testimony to your strength. But also this open and honest blog post is a real show of strength. I hope you feel better for sharing, and I’m sure a lot of other people do too. I always admire your body positivity, and I appreciate how hard it must be to keep on keeping on when your body isn’t being too positive towards you. You are so awesome. Also, ‘did they ever beg for the gloves to come off!’ is all kinds of awesome and made me laugh out loud xxx

    • Thanks, Rosie. ❤ ❤ I do feel better for having shared this. It's definitely difficult to be positive all the time about a jerk of a body, but I am trying and this helped get out some of those feelings. 🙂 You're awesome! 🙂

      Heheh, I loved making them beg. 😉

  15. Thank you very much for your post.
    I don’t have any chronical illness myself, so it would sound wrong to say I know how you feel. But I am faced with a severe illness at the moment, too and many of the things you wrote struck a chord in me. It sounds odd, but it helps to know that other people fight as well in their lives and the strength I read in your lines made me feel a little stronger myself and eventually made me decide to keep on blogging (I don’t know if you read my blog, but I paused a few weeks ago after I got the diagnosis, now I am searching for words to re-animate my blog).
    Thank you so very much for showing me that it is worth fighting, no matter how hard it gets.
    I wish you all the best and that you will soon find a medication that helps you and makes your life a little easier,
    love, ette

    • I’m so sorry to hear of your illness, Ette. 😦 I saw the entry in April and wasn’t sure what to say. I am glad that my entry helped you feel stronger and I hope it increases from here and that you can return to blogging. I miss your entries. ❤ You are definitely worth fighting for. If you ever need to chat, I am here for you. Many hugs to you! ❤ ❤

  16. Andie it was so nice to meet you today. If I had of read this before I would have given you a big hug. Hang in there .

    • It was lovely to meet you, too, Bev! It was a great day today and I felt quite good. By the time we go to sit down, though, it was much needed. 🙂 I’m definitely keeping positive. 🙂

  17. Just found your blog and this post. I too have fibromyalgia and it has completely changed my life in many of the ways you mentioned here. I have had it for 22 years and have learned to cope pretty much. Lately I have been seeing results after visiting a functional medicine doctor though I am not saying here that I am cured or miraculously healed mind you.
    I am very sorry that you are in the same boat as me. Hang in there.

      • Good luck Andie. I think that bringing this out in the open really helps because it releives some stress. I hope you write more about it. I have a sewing blog but also a health journal that I began in order to help me sort out my health. I just started it but I am dedicating it to chronic pain and weight loss. If you are ever up to it or find you need support or ideas you can easily find me there:) No pressure though!

  18. You are my shero, Andie. I’m late replying to this, but wanted you to know how much I appreciate your story. Finding ways to love, clothe, and heal our bodies is every woman’s journey. Yours is especially inspiring.

    I hope this craft and community continue to lift you up.

  19. Pingback: Diagnosis | Sew Pretty in Pink

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