Defeating the Purpose

Alisha - Invisible FI don’t know how many of you think about your PURPOSE. I try not to – it depresses me. In fact, the thought of it depressed me for 3 years so now I avoid it. One of our fabulous FCK bloggers, Alisha Nurse from The Invisible F, has been thinking “a lot of things about it.”

Your Life is Worth More than you Know

As always I am thinking about purpose. A lot of things about it.

I don’t know if the same is true for anyone else who has walked in my shoes, but every time I have seriously considered suicide or acted towards it, I always wondered what the world would be like without me. I say world, but I mean what would it be like for the people in my world to not have me anymore.

I always felt my existence had been meaningless.

And while I still struggle with this to a great degree, I’ve realised something imperative.

I’d always thought without me life would just go on. The people who love me would mourn but eventually life would carry on as it does. I don’t think I’ve made any significant contributions to the world to not be forgotten. Not yet anyway.

Years ago, I visited my home country from which I’d migrated. When it was time to leave, I was surprised at how my little sister wept. She went to school inconsolable. I left and later found that she had cried herself so sick, the school telephoned to ask for a relative to pick her up. I was moved to tears and overwhelmed. This was an important moment for me.

The power of love

When my half-sister was born I was indifferent to her due to no fault of her own. That’s actually putting it mildly. She had been welcomed into the world with loving arms, whereas I’d been told I was an unwanted child. As I grappled with trying to survive a childhood riddled with fear and numerous problems, I showed my sister little love and expected none in return.

But my God, she loved me. And she loved me so much that I couldn’t understand. She loved me even when I didn’t love her back.

I didn’t deserve it. But such is the power of love, it turned my cold heart inside-out, and shook me up. I couldn’t not love her back, my little sweet potato muffin.

Now she loves me and I love her.

When I almost went to my death my sister didn’t know. When she found out again she wept again. And I understood how I had hurt her. I know that had I been successful, it would have hurt many loved ones. But I felt that if I did pass on it would have impacted on my sister’s life in some great way. I am actually convinced it would have altered her life. People close to my sister have before told me of how she dotes on me and is influenced by me. I didn’t know.

I say all of that to say no matter how insignificant we think we are and our existences may be, to someone we are so special, that a world without us would break them.

We struggle, yes we do. But if ever we venture down to the path of death we must know it’s not only our lives we take. We are likely taking someone else’s.

Be encouraged.

If you feel suicidal, please know that you are not alone and you do not have to walk that road alone. Reach out. There are some numbers below that you can ring to get help.

Need help?

In Australia, call 13 11 14 Lifeline Australia
In the USA, call 1 800 SUICIDE or 1 800 273 TALK
In the UK, call 0800 068 4141
In New Zealand, call 0800 543 354

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It’s Like Thunder(Clap)!

If you follow my Twitter or Facebook page, you will know that I have been nagging everybody to support and promote our ‘Make Fibromyalgia VISIBLE’ Thunderclap; and with 14 days to go, it’s time I started nagging you!

I REALLY want to hit 200,000! Please help.

I REALLY want to hit 200,000! Please help.

What is Thunderclap?

Thunderclap is a tool that lets a message be heard by saying it together. When we reach our goal number (which we have blitzed!), Thunderclap will share the same message on EVERY supporters’ Twitter and/or Facebook page at the same time! You and others will share the same message together, spreading an idea through Facebook and Twitter that cannot be ignored!

For example:

Clap 1

Click on this picture to support and promote the Thunderclap.

What is THIS Thunderclap?

Firstly, this is NOT a Facebook page or website specific project – so I am hoping that this will be supported by ALL of us!

clap 2

Click on this picture to support and promote the Thunderclap.

I don’t know how to turn Facebook purple (like the breast cancer awareness people do with pink), so this Thunderclap is me asking EVERYONE to upload the following cover photo to their own profiles for the entire month of May.


Click on this picture to get full-size header to save and upload to your cover photo.

The message will be published on every supporters’ Facebook page and/or Twitter feed (because we have reached the goal number) on May 01 at 12:00 AM EDT. Here’s the world-wide times (yes, I know it’s a small picture — just click on it to enlarge):


What Can YOU do to Help?

1. To support the THUNDERCLAP personally, click the link then you can:

  • add more social reach with Twitter or Facebook; and/or
  • promote the THUNDERCLAP by sharing or tweeting.

2. You can promote it on your Facebook page

clap 3

3. You can write a blog post to let all your followers know about the project.

clap 4

4. On May 1st, upload the cover photo to your Facebook page (AND upload your VISIBLE Army picture to your profile photo)

Our goal: to no longer be ignored! Just think…we could be trending in May!

I really hope you jump on board…and I hope this campaign can bring some major awareness!

Many people (and doctors) do not know what it is (or doubt its existence) – it is time to make people aware!

Help take the mystery out of Fibromyalgia, and help spread something more powerful: HOPE!


Please share, tweet, re-blog, etc. Let’s get as much coverage as possible!

Fluid Ink, the Phantom Scribbler, and Smudj


Rainer Galea is a cartoonist/illustrator who became seriously ill with Fibromyalgia (FM) after completing her Masters. The illness completely decimated her physically and psychologically. In a bid to deal with the onslaught of symptoms, she took to her art to encapsulate the pain of FM.

She has been asked to write her experience of the syndrome to educate people on the disease by chronic pain researchers and educators. Rainer’s art looks at the psychological/philosophical workings of the human psyche. Her cartoons have been published world wide in the education of human and animal rights. More of her work can be seen at Fluid Ink.

Here’s Rainer’s article (via

Fluid Ink, the Phantom Scribbler and Smudj

Genesis: To cut a very long story short, Smudj was born from a very dark period in my life. So dark that not a pin prick of light could be seen. I was on the knife edge of suicidal, wanting to be sliced into oblivion.

Close to a year before Smudj smeared its way on my page, my body had developed an autoimmune syndrome called Fibromyalgia. It fell upon me over a two week period. One day I was a healthy 30 year old, the next day my body was being torn apart by pain so severe and barbaric that no words have the courage to encapsulate the true horror of it.

The pain was uncompromising, merciless and relentless. It was primordial, raw and naked. Never had I felt this depth of physical pain before. It sliced through my neck, shoulders, back legs, arms. Everywhere. I could not walk for 4 months. I could not dress myself. I could not hold a book or even a pencil. My mother had to spoon feed me because it was too painful to hold eating utensils.

My central nervous system was so over active that the slightest touch would send electrical signals screaming throughout my body. I could only bear to have a shower once a week: each droplet of water was akin to a needle piercing my skin. There was no rest anywhere, at anytime. Due to the pain I could not sleep more than a couple of hours a night. Without sleep the body cannot dream and to compensate the brain will dream while one is awake. My brain was drenched in images that tried to make sense of a body that had become a torture chamber. While awake I could see termites burrowing into my skin and eating my muscles. I knew I was hallucinating, but it did not stop me from surrounding my bed with crackers and frozen chops in the hope that the “termites” would eat these offerings instead of me.

For three years this severe pain went on, but by the end of the first year, all I could think about was escaping the pain. I lost my career, my relationship and the majority of my friends abandoned me: even my beloved dog had to be put down because of cancer. No one in my family could stand being in the room with me for long periods because they felt too impotent to do anything. Time evaporated not into weeks, or days, or hours, or minutes. I was only existing from one eternal moment to the next. My body felt as if it was being mutilated by an invisible madman and all I could do was lie in bed trying not to move for fear that my body would be jolted with burning, electric shocks: nerve pain was rampaging through every fibre of self. No one in the medical profession knew what was wrong with me and no one could stop what was happening. I came to intimately know there are worse things then death and I was being hollowed out by it physically, mentally and spiritually. In order to leech these toxic thoughts coursing through me, I instinctively began to draw them out.

Smudj was born. Smudj was me.

I was being smudged out of the world. My will to live blurred. Reality as I knew it disappeared and it would never be the same again. And in this crack of knowing, the dark, inky shadow of pain and depression began to swallow me whole.

I would like to say part of my recovery included a montage of me in slow motion with inspirational music overlayed on my images. But, in reality, it was (is) slow, frustrating, painful, and at times, just plain scary. It was (is) day in, day out of physio, stretching, massages, initiated by never ending cycles of pain and sleeplessness. I researched, trialed and screwed up different techniques and dietary frameworks until I got it right for my body. It is physically, psychologically, socially and financially draining.

People with chronic pain do not just go through one stage of grief, we go through multiple deaths coming, without reprieve, from all directions, as relationships with dreams, people, self and the world around us change and explode. The person I knew as “me” was altered, bucked from her self controlled trajectory in both minute and monumental ways. My psychology contracted, stagnated and then started to expand, metamorphosing into another of which I am still trying to understand. I had undergone a psychic death and continue a psychic rebirth, and, as with all births, the labor pains are hard and arduous.

To those who are dealing with chronic pain, I know you are struggling. I know at times you feel hopeless. I know you feel deserted and betrayed by body, the medical community, people you know and circumstance in general. Like you, I have been in the darkest and most painful of places, both physically and psychological. I was told that there was no hope, no cure, to just get use to this being your inverted life, and for awhile, I excepted their words as my reality until my own voice started to internally object and remind me of what I was capable of, of what I had already achieved. Very angrily it started saying:

Get up. Get researching. Get moving. Get asking questions. Stop accepting an outcome by people who have no freaking clue what they are talking about and who have not the freaking idea of who you are.

I have improved radically since the first few years of fibro. I can walk, dress, feed myself, I can hold a book, wield a pencil, put my thoughts on paper and clothe them in ink and colour. My goal of becoming a renowned cartoonist still spins with fever in my veins. I have wrestled my legs back and for the most part look “healthy”, but I still deal with the sensation of burning, numbing, aching pain, but nothing in comparison to the hell hole I endured. I have crawled, dragged, screamed and raged my self into Life again, and although I am still wanting for further healing, I no longer see a tunnel without end.

There is Light. There is Belief. And Hope, that most fundamental strength of all human emotions, stands up anew, shakes off the cobwebs and walks through my world once more.