Come Out, Come Out!

Wanda Sykes, one of my favorite comedians, came out yesterday as a result of Prop. 8. I salute her and can only imagine the courage it took as a Black entertainer to identify herself as gay. I’ve been counting on Queen Latifah, but I guess she feels she has too much to lose, and that’s the problem.

It’s easy for me as a heterosexual white woman to feel frustrated with Queen Latifah, Anderson Cooper, and John Travolta for refusing to come out of the closet. The gay community could use their help in teaching the ignorant that gay is normal and okay.

To help inspire anyone who’s afraid to come out, let me say this:

I have fibromyalgia!

In January of this year, I wrote about fibromyalgia here and made fun of it as a fake disorder. I still get comments about it, both mocking and defensive. It’s still a divisive subject, and it’s easy to see why.

When I got the fibromyalgia diagnosis a few months ago, I was furious. I told the rhumatologist, “But I don’t want that! I don’t even believe in it!” She was sympathetic. I called my friends, who all laughed hysterically, just as I’d expected. I laughed too. It fucking serves me right for making fun of it.   The doctor urged me to start walking instead of sitting on my ass all day. I forced my self to walk my dog, and ended up in the hospital. [see Pain Journals] There, I was in too much pain to think about fibromyalgia. Later, I was reminded of it when I woke up each morning with sore muscles and feeling like I’d been the loser in a titanic boxing match.

I still think it’s funny, though! I wrote a song about fibromyalgia while I was in the hospital, delirious on morphine. If I knew how to add audio to this, I’d sing it right now, that’s how good it is. I even want the pink Fibromyalgia Awareness Bracelet (hint: think Christmas!)

My poor husband begs me every day to “do something” for my fibromyalgia. He even brought home two awful books last night about how to “manage” it. The books make me more disgusted than ever with Fibro, as we call it in the Fibro business. The “illness” is traced to everything you can think of: childhood abuse, overly-sensitive nervous system, fucked up neuro-transmitters, chronic stress. The symptoms, again, include insomnia, restless sleep, depression, fatigue, fucked up digestive system, fuzzy memory, head ache, bla bla bla.

Basically, the Fibro portrait is that of a screwed-up woman with emotional problems. Who wants to identify with that?? It’s stupid and embarrassing, like hemmmoroids or psoriasis only worse because it’s not even supposed to exist.

So, here is my coming out party. Yay for me! I am bravely admitting that every one of my muscles is sore and I wake up going Ow! Ow! like an old man with lumbago. I’m not planning to do anything about it unless it starts impinging on my lifestyle of doing nothing.

Now, does anyone want to come out if you’ve been too embarrassed or afraid to? Or would you like to make fun of my Fibro? Let the games begin.

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32 Responses to Come Out, Come Out!

  1. K-Line says:

    Sister: Fibromyalgia sucks! I had chronic fatigue (as the outcome of a really bad bout of mono in my teens followed by a lot of stressful school shit / burning the candle at both ends). It made my 20s rather miserable.

    I’ve done a lot of things to work it through – some of which may be helpful to you (though your diagnosis is different). If you’d like to email me to chat more, pls. do. In short, it’s all kinds of annoying crap like insane amounts of yoga and not eating sugar and sleeping rather constantly at times. Nonetheless, it worked for me. (Till I had the baby, came down with serious post natal depression and almost did myself in!) Ah, life…

  2. OMGGMAB says:

    Sister Wolf, I am sorry for your chronic pain, but try some alternative medicine of which there is a plethora in CA. Try Buddhism, acupuncture, seances, whatever it takes. Mind over matter – I am supporting you thru the cosmos!

    K-Line, I am empathetic of your plight, but do you realize what a role model and mentor you will be to poor Bristol? Think of the chronic fatigue she will have later in life after having mono for 8 months and then popping out little Mark. Hang in there, you are needed! Not to make light, just hoping to give you a laugh.

  3. annemarie says:

    At the age of 25, a proctologist told me that I had the anus of an 80 yr old woman.
    Yep, good luck beating that one.

  4. cybill says:

    Annemarie, NO ONE could beat that one, that is fucking fantastic!!

    Sister Wolf, I’m afraid you may have a different and very specific strain of the disease called fantasmyalgia – you just think you don’t believe in a disease which doesn’t exist. I’m sure relief will lie somewhere between the shops and a nice bottle of red.

  5. Sister Wolf says:

    K-line – Oh no, but I must have sugar! I’m glad you’re better now. xo

    OMGGMAB – I love how you’re always thinking of the adopted kids. You are so maternal.

    annemarie -hahahahahahha, no fair!

    cybill – That damn annemarie and her anus. I DO actually find relief from shopping!

  6. arline says:

    I don’t know if you would be into this, but yoga may help. I have worked with people with fibromyalgia and it seems to help. So does massage.

    I think your humor, and belief in health will serve you more than you think. See yourself as healthy and you will be. But it is important to take care of yourself physically.

    As for annemarie, I thought I had it bad with my digestive issues…

  7. Bex says:

    No no no! Anderson Cooper is not gay!!!

  8. Trini says:

    Anderson IS gay and ladies around the world weep.

  9. Sister Wolf says:

    Okay! And I don’t have fibromyalgia! Is it a deal, Bex??

  10. Sister Wolf says:

    Oh Trini, you’ve ruined my deal with Bex!

  11. Slumlord. says:

    zoloft 200mg daily.

  12. Sal says:

    The best I can do is that I’m really, REALLY hairy. No, seriously. Think a gorilla that’s OD’ed on Rogaine.

    Sister, I’m sending you massive amounts of cyberhugs. Because those won’t hurt you like real hugs might.

  13. sleepy says:

    Sorry to hear of your diagnosis but I’m a great believer in not believing in things!

    About Wanda. I didn’t realise she wasn’t out!

  14. honeypants says:

    Oh wow, that sucks! I’m sorry! I love you!

    And if it helps… I have teh supersucky painful combo of Charcot Marie Tooth and Plantar Fasciitis, so I can totally empathize about the annoying pain. 10 minutes on my exercise bike this morning, and it felt like someone was slicing the arch of my foot with a razor. Maybe in a few years, we can get Hoverounds and go rolling around starting trouble together?

    Or you could give my teenage philosophy a try (since we’re both 14) — ignore it long enough and it’ll go away.

    Or, or maybe, you could write a blog making fun of people who win the lottery, and then that will happen to you too? If you win, you’ve gotta give me a cut though 😉

  15. jools says:

    ha! everyone is so much funnier than me! i have severe erosive rheumatoid arthritis! but i feel fabulous! a little denial, a little shopping, a lot of pilates, eating right, eating bad, alot more shopping, sleep when you need it. seriously sister- as huey lewis said so succinctly- i want a new drug!

  16. Ooooh, so sorry to hear you have fibro, Sister. I didn’t believe in it either, but I guess I’ll have to if you have it.
    I’ve got rheumatoid arthritis, and had my hip replaced at 35. A combination of shopping and opiates gets me through. Just say no to yoga!

  17. OMGGMAB says:

    I have two adolescent girls who are a pain in the ass. Does that count? (Wine and shopping do help with that too.)

  18. David Duff says:

    I felt fine until I read this thread – now I don’t feel too good so I think I’ll go and lie down in a dark room.

    And, Annemarie, I did live in some hopes of a budding attachment, you know, hands across the sea, that sort of thing, seeing as you have a soft spot for second-hand car traders; but alas, after your comment above my vision of you has suffered what I think that clever Mr. Thomas Kuhn would have called ‘a paradigm shift’.

    Now, where’s my aspirin . . .

  19. hammie says:

    Are you sure about John Travolta? And do the gays actually WANT him?

    I would like to out the boys from High Five, and Sportacus from “Lazy Town”. But I obviously watch too much children’s tv.

    I always thought that the Blue Wiggle had exceptionally good hair for a straight man but my sister tells me he is married. (!!??)

    Hooray for Wanda, the only reason I got through Evan Almighty without chewing through my own leg, and I hope Queen Latifah can follow her soon. She makes some shit films but she also rocks the negro kids in Hair Spray, and was not too shabby in “Stranger than Fiction” either.

    I have no confessions. You know all my shit SW and you still love me?

  20. annemarie says:

    Come back to me David Duff! Come back to me! I have heard that stop-start shitting can reboot any flaccid a-hole! That little sucker will be nice and tight for you, i swear!

  21. Sister Wolf says:

    Arline -Thank you, I will try to make myself do yoga. xo

    Slumlord – Been there. I’m maxed out on effexor.

    Sal -OH I LOVE THAT! Armpits, too??

    Sleepy – Yep, Wanda was kind of obvious, but not Out.

    Honeypants – Is Hoveround the thing with a commercial where the guy goes “Hi, I’m Tom Cruise!” but he isn’t Tom Cruise?? I am sorry about your pain, and I’m sure it’s all my fault. Yes, we will cause trouble together!

    Jools – Okay, I will follow your example until Huey gives us the drugs. xo

    Iheartfashion – No yoga? Should I double up on the shopping??

    OMGGMAB -YES, that counts!! Just don’t let them give you Fibro.

    David – You mean you were hoping for a younger looking anus? Men!!

    hammie – I love you unconditionally, of course.

    annemarie – You may have to face the fact that David Duff is only out for a youthful anus and NOTHING MORE. Better to find out now before your heart is broken.

  22. cker says:

    I agree with Hammie – Sportacus from Lazy Town needs to be outed.

    As for chronic illnesses I think annemarie wins the big prize! I can’t possibly beat that one. We can all be thankful that we don’t suffer from DAS – Dumb Ass Syndrome. Palin is the poster child for that syndrome. There is also the little known LAD which afflict teens around the world. It is more commonly called Lazy Ass Disorder. There is one more obscure disorder known as TMB that afflicts those we simply don’t like. These individuals suffer from Too Many Birthdays and we wish they’d quit having them.

  23. Skye says:

    No, Sportacus from Lazy Town needs to be executed.

    A few years ago I had Ross River Fever, which made me all headachy and fatigued and dizzy and achy and no one diagnosed it. They just kept telling me to get into meditation or do some exercise (which would result in me vomiting and passing out) because I was clearly just neurotic. Finally after 3 months of this a doctor finally did the right blood test, and suddenly I wasn’t crazy anymore. Miracle!

    Ross River Fever recurs whenever you get stressed or run down, so I have these days or sometimes weeks where I walk around feeling hungover all the time – which sucks when I didn’t even get drunk in the first place. It really is the stupidest thing ever, and I hate it – but at least it does go away again.

  24. HelOnWheels says:

    Oh, SW, I’m so sorry to hear about your Fibro. I’m with evebybody on the self-medication bandwagon.

    I have chronic migraines. There are times when no medication will help and I spend the day vomiting. I’m not allowed to self-medicate with red wine because they think it contributes to my migraines. I tend to conveniently “forget” that, and the bit about chocolate, coffee, cheese, etc. What’s a little vomiting for a life lived??

    John Travolta? Really? Even if it’s true, would the gays really want him since he comes with that pyramid-plan/scam-masquerading-as-religion thing-a-mabob?

  25. I’ve had psorasis for years and it’s a flaking pain. Worse it means I have a few inches of arthritis in my spine in only a specific plce but becasue I’ve got it there I won’t get it anywhere else. Whoopee do!

    Don’t do yoga do tai chi.

    Sportacus is a perv viz a viz Stephanie!

  26. Tobi Lynne says:

    SW, I would seriously consider what arline said …. yoga could definitely help.

  27. Sonja says:

    Duff Dude really should hook up with the Russian Princess, don’t you think, Sister? have they been introduced?

  28. Mark says:

    Speaking for the gays, WE DON’T WANT THE BLOATED CREEPY SCIENTOLOGIST CLOSET CASE KNOWN AS JOHN TRAVOLTA. WE DO WANT ANDERSON COOPER. And personally, I’ll take Tom Selleck, even at 63 years old.

  29. Andrea says:

    Sister Wolf,
    I linked to your site from Kingdom of Style, and have been reading your blog for about 6 months, and I can relate. I am a 50 something Jewish woman living in New York and I have fibromyalgia too. Sometimes the pain can be so agonizing! I went to a rheumatologist and she put me on neurontin and then lyrica (the new one) and they really didn’t work. Then my internist suggested Elavil, which is an antidepressant, and I was a little resistant, but I tried it and it actually worked for me. I have much less pain than before. I have a whole routine in the morning where I get up, eat (because advil kiils the stomach), and then take 3 Advil, wait for it to take effect, and then shower and try to get on with my day. I would love to commiserate with you if you want. Many people I know (including my husband, who happens to be a doctor) just don’t understand what we are going through.

  30. Sister Wolf says:

    cker- who the hell is this Sportacus?!

    Skye -wow, this is a new one. Horrible. I’m glad you finally got a diagnosis!!!

    HelOnWHeels -oh god, I agree, life without chocolate and coffee is worthless.

    Make DO – Ow for the arthritis. Brave of you to Come out!

    Tobi Lynne – Thank you xoxo

    Sonja. He WAS her friend! Hahahha, good call.

    Mark – Your taste is always impeccable.

    Andrea – Waaaaah! Yes for commiserating.

  31. GoDammit is Right says:

    Like K-Line and arline said, Yoga helps. My wife has FM and teaches yoga. She also teaches yoga for MS which helps them gain back a lot of their loss strength. Since it is a entire mind/body problem, it only makes sense to attack with something the same way. Of course, the opioids will help you get started :).

  32. Hope says:

    You’re kidding, right?

    I guess I had nothing better to do (many nights) while I lie sleepless in bed other than to listen to angry people mock my illness and tell me how sorry and lazy I am, how selfish, what a whiny little attention seeker I am. So, night after night I skimmed through reading all the things my friends and my family really think about me but prefer not to come right out and say. I read to understand the secret bitterness growing in my oldest son’s heart toward me with each passing day as it is also growing toward his younger brother who has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. All the anger and disrespect that he’s masking but letting seep out in little nuances….because he’s sick of taking up my slack–explained! All the abandonment feelings and loneliness as none of my friends check on me or dare to even try to be in my life anymore–explained! All the snickers at work behind my back, the aggravation shown me by coworkers when they had to perform a task due to my fingers and hands losing the ability to grasp things, all that mocking–explained. So, I came back night after night to educate myself on what society thinks of me and what the people I love really feel toward me.

    And then you say you have fibromyalgia. That is insane.

    What I want to know is if you had been experiencing symptoms at the time of your original post but were too pissed at a fibromyalgic mother for the lack of nurturing and support you needed as a child for you to even admit to yourself what was happening in your body.

    I know this is an old post. If you are anywhere around please tell me how it was that you were inspired to write an article opening up an onslaught of bitterness toward sufferers only to find yourself in this condition months later.

    I will say that although the article and comments that followed were very painful to read, I am not happy that this happened to you. Fibromyalgia has taken away the life I loved and given me something I have to muddle through until the relief of death brings this to a close. Although I still probably daily allow myself to hope that one day I could regain what I have lost (although time is gone foever), the reality is there will probably be no cure in my lifetime and most of the effort I put forth will only ever provide minimum improvement to my life.
    This is not something I would wish on anyone. It still baffles that this happened to you.

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