Don’t worry, there will be no talk of a red room of pain (like we need any more pain!?) and this post has absolutely nothing to do with the book/film of a similar title. Rather, I want to take a look at what life can be like when you are living with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is, of course, a syndrome known to cause pain, fatigue and sleep problems. However, as those of us who have this condition know, the list of symptoms is much greater than that and it can sometimes feel endless. With an array of weird and wonderful symptoms comes a number of associated problems.

Here is a humorous look at life with fibromyalgia and the issues many will have encountered. I dub them 15 shades of fibromyalgia:

1. Sometimes your eyes see things but fail to inform your brain

“It’s right in front of me how did I not see that?!”

2. Your brain seeks revenge by temporarily forgetting the meaning of words or what words are altogether

“Let me just Google that.”

3. Don’t worry though, your brain is great at remembering things at 4am

“Yes I absolutely needed to know that right this second, thank you brain.”

4. Talking of the brain, it also sucks at remembering names

“What’s their name again!?”

5. Sometimes your body lets you away with things you thought were “over doing it” but don’t be fooled… the next time you try to do the exact same thing you won’t be so lucky

“Why body? Just why?”

6. If you have fibro you need to rest but too much and your fatigue becomes worse

“How do I win?!”

7. You can randomly develop intolerances for foods you’ve eaten your whole life

“How will I survive without bread?!”

8. Alcohol becomes the devil

“Kill me now!”

9. All those meds that are supposed to help often cause more problems than they solve

“I can reduce my pain but in doing so I’ll get stomach issues, anxiety and increased fatigue…”

10. But the pharmaceutical industry does a good job of making sure you never want to stop taking these drugs

“Coming off a drug= absolute hell.”

11. Silence becomes a thing of the past

“Tinnitus. Enough said.”

12. Sensory overload is an actual thing

“It’s all just too much!”

13. Every now and again your body will throw something new at you that makes you question if you have yet another illness

“Well that’s something different!”

14. Meanwhile, some people will be quick to diagnosis you with something else

“Maybe it’s lupus?”

15. It generally turns out that fibro has more wonderfully weird symptoms than you ever knew

“I don’t know whether to be sad or relieved it’s just my fibro.”

Can you relate to these or is there anything else you would add? Let me know in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out “10 Struggles People With Chronic Illness Will Understand“.


Hello, I'm Donna. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2013 and started this blog shortly after. After my health declined significantly the following year, I decided to become my own advocate and searched for answers. It took two years but, in 2016, I finally discovered I had Lyme Disease. On February Stars, I share my personal journey back to better health; discussing what has helped me and the mistakes I've made along the way. I also cover topics on self-improvement, managing symptoms and living life to the fullest with chronic illness.


  1. Pingback: You may like… | Fibromyalgia Awareness UK

  2. Heidi Barnett Reply

    So true Donna, I will add hormones..with fibro it just exacerbates each other! Loving the pics lol. Us fibromites definitely get a what I call a mixed bag offering an ‘unlucky dip’!
    Heidi x

    • Haha yes very much an “unlucky dip”. Hormones are definitely a problem for sure!

    • Hello, glad you enjoyed the post. Yes those two could easily be added! Thank you so much, I really appreciate you sharing my post. Let me know more about how I can join in 🙂

  3. Relate, relate oh and did I mention I relate. Could I add tooth pain even when there’s no tooth there

    • There are so many random aches and pains relating to fibro. Sorry to hear you suffer with your teeth. Sounds horrible 🙁

    • Phanotm pain.. Agreed.. Comes from nowhere.. Also been called referred pain.. “So the pain in my toe is recered pain from the pain in my head?”

  4. Rena Gallahar Reply

    I was searching on IG and found your page. This is all so true!! I’ve always said most people that don’t have fibro doesn’t understand what we go through. I was diagnosed abt 7 years ago, my mom has it along with allot of other health issues, my sister has it but the worst is my 15 year old daughter was diagnosed abt a year ago. She hurts 24/7 and being her mom it kills me that u can’t take her pain away. She’s our rhumatoligist youngest patient but we go next month to a pedatric rumo . She’s always cheered and very active but which now she can’t do. It’s all so sad. I wish I could find a support group for teens so she wouldn’t feel so alone

    • Hi Rena, I am sorry to hear that you all suffer from fibro too. It must be so difficult for you all and to especially see your daughter in pain. It’s an incredibly hard illness to live with and devastating someone so young is going through it. I know that there seems to be a young community of people on Instagram with chronic illnesses. One account I’ve come across is @spoonie_support. I also have seen accounts where they have set up pen pals but the names escape me. Might be worth looking into?

      • One of the support groups that do pen pals is Spoonie Mail – SPOONIES ONLY
        I know there are all ages in the group. A lot of girls 18, 19. 20 for sure.

    • Thank you for your comment and thanks for stopping by. Good luck with your blog, I hope you enjoy blogging as much as I do 🙂

  5. Chest & shoulder pain and restless legs at night are killers for me I have not had a full nights sleep in the past 9 months so I’m like a zombie in the morning with the added brain fog it’s Lunch time before I can function

    • Gosh I really feel for you. I know how horrible not sleeping is and it really does make all your symptoms so much worse, doesn’t it? I don’t have much help regarding the restless legs but I use a heat pad for pain. You can purchase one from dreamland that has a cut off timer on it, making it suitable for use in bed. It might be worth trying. I also know that Julie, from the blog Counting My Spoons, swears by CBD muscle rub for pain. Might be worth looking into.

  6. lisa tillett Reply

    Very good Donna. I’m not sure if this was meant to make me laugh but it put a smlie on my face .. or maybe that’s cos my meds are kicking in . Well done hun xx

    • Thank you Lisa, I am glad my humour came across and this post made you smile 🙂

  7. Totally deal with all of this daily and c-ptsd as well .so lots of fun . Not . Your post was great

  8. Michelle Matthews Reply

    I am so sensitive to odours. Paint. Flowers . Smokers . Bleach. The list goes on. I can control what happens in my house but not when I’m out and about. That on top of everything else.

    • I can relate to that, honestly my sense of smell is ridiculous! I do everyone’s head in by smelling things that no one else can!

  9. Had shingles in the head once ,twice in the eyes are my head wrecked , sensitivity in ears and nose and was told I have fibro to

  10. diagnosed with fibro 6 mths ago then whet to the rhumatologist and got told that i might have lupus but that the only way to detect that is to take a blood test well the blood test came back positive but I have yet to find out for sure if it is fibro or lupus or both … and they wanted me to go get an mri of my hand because i have had psorisis all my life and she believes that i have a rare form or psoriatic arthuritus.
    I find out next month the answers to both of these but in the mean time i take my lyrica and my tramadol for my migrains and i take all the other things for my health and life goes on.. I just really hate feeling like an invalid some weeks and feeling super overwhelmingly good other times it is enough to drive a woman insane …

    • Sorry to hear you may have lupus. I do believe they can be coexisting conditions. You would probably enjoy the blog ‘The Wolf & Me’ and will certainly find lots of useful information there. Oh I empathise. It is horrible to be feeling ‘good’ one week and to be unable to do so many things the next, it’s very frustrating.

    • Glad you have discovered my blog Crystal and that you have enjoyed this post. I do love a good .gif 😀

  11. Damaries Dee Reply

    OMG Donna!! thank you for this post and so many other post you have shared, you have made me laugh, thank you. Ive been having a “fibro episode” since Tuesday afternoon and yes, all of this applied. I couldn’t stop laughing because you found a humorous way to express what we feel and I thank you for it. I was diagnosed with fibro a month ago but doctor believes I have it since 2011 after 2 mayor surgeries to fight cervical cancer. Is all confusing at times because I also have neuropathy since 2006 and the symptoms are very similar but when Im having a “fibro flare” it makes the neuropathy act up, is crazy for me and confusing. I think at times, Im like everyone else that looks at us and say we look fine. I see myself, Im in my middle 40’s I look young and healthy but not really. Again, Donna, thank for making me laugh.

    • Thank you, I am glad this post made you smile. I’m sorry you’ve been in a flare since Tuesday and to hear all that you have gone through previously. Life can be so unkind. It’s great that you can find the humour in your situation and are able to laugh about it. Yes, it’s difficult when you look healthy but underneath you are not. I think there needs to be more awareness of the difficulties faced by those living with invisible illness. Take care.

  12. kathi white Reply

    Yes, yes, yes. I’ve blamed so many of those symptom on other things.

  13. Omg…I love your blog. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at number 13. “Well that’s something new!” And the question over relief or sadness that it is Fibro. I have health anxiety and a fear of the doctors as well so it’s fun, fun, fun. I wouldn’t be able to function without knowing other people are going through the same things.

    • Hi Dawn, thanks so much I’m glad you like the post. Gosh you are so right, it’s never fun going to the doctors. I always get anxious about it too. Yes connecting with people going through the same is really important 🙂 Helps keep us sane sometimes!!

  14. I needed this giggle! I’m newly diagnosed with fibromyalgia and most of my doctor’s don’t have a clue what’s going on with me, and just lump everything under fibro. But this list, yep all of it sounds like me!

    • Hi Ashley. I am sorry to hear you have fibromyalgia too but I am glad this post made you laugh. Oh I can relate. Once you get that diagnosis everything seems to be down to your fibro– even if it is something new.

      • shauna costello Reply

        We need to move to FIBRO Island , only those of us who have it and those who understand can come…All of the above points are me to a tee. The brain fog oh God, I think my employees think I am stoned half the time, lol, I probably would function better if I was

  15. shauna costello Reply

    its so good to know I am not crazy and that all of these things happen to others and not just me ….Im not saying I am happy your life sucks too , I am just saying I am glad that I am not alone

    • I know exactly what you mean Shauna, it’s so helpful to know of others going through the same. Brain fog is the worst and can absolutely make you feel like you are not with it.

  16. No , I don’t have anything to add. You’ve covered us totally. As sad as I feel most of the time is as funny as the way you have described our problems. Yes I busted out laughing a few times. Not that it’s funny. But the familiarity was so uncanny. Thank you so much. Xoxo

    • I’m glad I made you laugh as that was my intention with this post 🙂 I know exactly what you mean though! If you didn’t laugh, you would cry.

  17. diagnosed in 2008 , and as soon as I get dress ,I want to take it off. Clothes just bother me ,hurt my skin, anyone else like that. No more libido and highly sensitive to sounds ,smells ,taste . Will they ever find a cure?

    • I truly hope one day they will. Sending gentle hugs your way, I totally empathise with your situation.

  18. Everything there is me but add in the restless legs, constantly itchy skin and throw in the IBS for good measure. It is the collection of aches and pains, the proverbial ” straw that broke the camel’s back”, that wear us down. No one ever said life would be easy…lol.

    • It most definitely isn’t easy. The list of symptoms can feel endless can’t it? I hope you find more helpful info here and thanks for dropping by and commenting 🙂

  19. Thanks for the smile! I have been suffering from fibro for years but was finally diagnosed in March. I am a teacher, so it’s REALLY hard to concentrate sometimes when the “fog” starts “rolling in” and I have to focus on the kids instead of the pain. I feel that other people, even people in my family, don’t understand and say that it is all in my head! In fact I was just told that a couple of days ago by someone in my family (in-laws). I’m afraid that to them I am being lazy and fishing for attention. No one really understands unless they have it too! I have asked for prayers from my church and friends because I sometimes feel like I let me illness determine how I live instead of me learning how to live with the illness. Make any sense?

    • It makes absolute sense. Living well will this illness means accepting change and embracing it, which is a difficult process to go through. I’m sorry to hear you are facing these challenges from family. It’s so difficult for others to understand but attitudes like that are so unhelpful 🙁 Know that you are not alone, you are certainly not lazy and the fact you are working as a teacher despite how you are feeling– well I feel you are doing awesome!! You’ve got this, always remember that. Take care.

  20. Newly diagnosed With fibro at the age of 27, the same age as my mother btw, and I have been feeling the effects of the fibro since 2012… This made my laugh so bad, and it feels good to laugh at the pain, the brainfog, and mye body in general! I look forward to keep Reading (and Reading ever single previous post) this blog! <3

    • Hi Karine, I am sorry to hear you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I guess it is positive that you now know what you are dealing with, given you have suffered from symptoms for many years. Though I imagine you had an idea of your mother has fibro too. I am so pleased to hear this post made you laugh and brought a smile to your day 🙂

  21. Spot on I love it, I can relate to pretty much everything on the list! I’ve spoken to a nutritionist about food intolerances so hopefully, they will improve. One of the scariest new symptoms was a pain in my chest wall, I thought I was having a heart attack for a few minutes. Afterwards, I did some research and found out about a problem with the muscles between the ribs causing this problem in other people with Fibro. It still freaks me out for a couple of minutes when it rears it’s head once in a while!

    • Thank you, Susan. Good luck with the diet changes, I hope they help you to feel better. Is it costochondritis? It’s so painful, isn’t it? I hope that it settles down soon.

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