December 7


Fibro Setbacks and Recovery

By Sue Ingebretson

December 7, 2021

Acceptance, chronic illness, Fibro, fibromyalgia, Healing, kindness, muscle, process, recovery, setbacks

Have you experienced fibro setbacks? Does your fibromyalgia recovery feel like two steps forward and three back? You may be surprised to learn that setbacks are a necessary part of the chronic illness healing and recovery process.

Why are fibromyalgia setbacks necessary? Read on to discover this interesting truth.

The Nature of a Setback

Progress feels great. Imagine making a discovery that truly propels you forward in your health journey. Perhaps it’s a diet tweak, a doable fitness routine, or a successful stress management technique for dealing with challenges.

Whatever it is, you’re grateful to have found it and you’re thrilled to implement it in your daily life and see the benefits. Even better, you feel the benefits.

Until ….

Something happens, right? When things are going along tickety-boo, something always seems to jump in the way. It doesn’t matter what it is — it’s just something that feels stifling and impedes progress.

Why does this happen?

Before we get into the why’s let’s take a look at something tangible that can help to illustrate the process.  

The Nature of Muscle Building

You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to know how to build a muscle. Muscles need exercise to develop. They need to expand and contract to grow. And something else must be present: resistance.

If you’re looking to build a stronger bicep, for example, you’d need to use weights, isometrics, resistance bands, or machines at the gym to accomplish this.

You can activate your bicep by itself all day long, but unless it has the right circumstances (resistance) to build and grow, your efforts will do very little. 

Muscles need to encounter a form of resistance

 to grow and strengthen.

The same goes for our healing process.

The Nature of Recovery

The way recovery works is this —

We learn something new, we apply it, it’s challenged in some way,

we adapt, and we keep the forward cycle moving.

It may seem like it would be nice if the challenging part didn’t happen. But it’s actually necessary for growth and development.

Any new learning or skill WILL be tested. (So, why fight it?)

The more times we say, “no thanks,” to sugary treats, the easier it becomes. It eventually blooms into a non-thinking habit. The more often we navigate and adapt to changes in our routines, the more confident we become. We adapt more quickly.

 As with physical muscles, mental muscles need exercise (and resistance) in order to adapt and grow. In fact, it’s mandatory.

The Nature of Success

So, the next time you feel sidelined by a setback, recognize it for what it is — just part of the process.

Rather than throwing your hands up in frustration, simply expect and accept setbacks.

Here are a few simple do’s and don’ts:


  • Do anticipate and plan for setbacks
  • Do practice creativity when it comes to navigating setbacks, and
  • Do practice kindness and patience with yourself at ALL times


  • Don’t view setbacks as failures (they’re not)
  • Don’t believe you’re at fault or to blame for setbacks (you’re not)
  • Don’t view setbacks as punitive, corrective, or punishing (they’re not)

Now that you know setbacks are an important part of the recovery process, is there any other part of the process you find challenging? Let me know in the comments below!

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"True Healing requires a combination of healthy nutrition, healthy body movements, and emotional wellness. This is what I call the Restoration Trio" ~ Sue Ingebretson