Are Fibromyalgia Support Groups Always Helpful?
Support Groups are to help you with many things, including a place that you feel comfortable to share your discomfort resentment, fear, emotional and physical set backs. If your group is only focusing on these feelings, is it truly helping you? No.
It seems that Support Groups have become a place to only give understanding that everyone who has Fibro experiences pain (at times it seems to have become a competition who has it harder), and there is nothing you can do but blame and complain.
Complain, yes I did use that word. It is sharing the first, second, and even third time you have the same discussion of what you are experiencing. It becomes complaining, when the group meetings only discuss how you feel without offering new tools, coping skills, education, and trying to find the solution.
It is not enough to just state the problem.
Your Support Group should allow you your moment to express your frustration, anger, resentment, guilt, fear, feeling of isolation, but it should not just stop there. It is not enough to express how you feel. What are you doing to make your situation better. What is your Support Group offering you in the way of help to move forward?
To state a problem in a group without implementing new coping skills, tools, updated relevant information, along with challenging your comfort zone, is a group of people just complaining what they dislike about their life. Depressing.
It is not HELPING you.
This does not mean that I disagree with Support Groups. The complete opposite. Support Groups can be a wonderful, encouraging, positive group environment that offers not only a sense of belonging, but a place that allows you to express yourself, challenges you, offers new perspectives, as well as tools and options that can and will offer you a better way of living.
Does your Support Group do this?
Or has your Support Group become focused on the symptoms, anger and negative feelings? Which with all honestly is easy to do.
If you are in a Support Group I ask you to look, be honest, do not lie or justify it to yourself. Is your Suppport Group focused on the negative or the positive? When you leave, have you learned something new? Have you found a way to look at something in a different way? Have they celebrated your triumphs? Are you progressing? If you are at a standstill it may be time for you to look for a new group.
If you are looking for a Support Group with individuals who are working TOWARDS a common, who help, encourage, motivate, and offers tools towards those goals, it will be a wonderful experience where you will gain a wonderful network of friends and support. Here are couple of things that will help you on your journey to finding the right group for you;
~Feel comfortable within the group
~A place to compare notes about resources (Doctors, alternative therapies, drugs)
~Getting practical advice and up to date information about treatment options
~Learning new skills, tools, coping skills
~TALKING OPENLY AND HONESTLY ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS
~Clearly stated "confidentiality" agreement
~Open discussions and offering new perspectives
A Support Group will not allow you to stay and focused on your setbacks, instead they will give you an ear, empathy, understanding, encouragement, and help you move to a better life, to the goals you have set and celebrate with you.