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Meet with local people who live with Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (FM/CFS). We discuss, share, laugh, and conquer the misconceptions regarding these disabling conditions of FM/CFS and other diseases that may arise from FM/CFS. This group has been set up to be a "closed group" to create an atmosphere of security, trust, and comfort. Your spouse or significant other is always welcome to join you at our meetings if you wish. We have found that your support person will have a better understanding about you as well as what we do at our group meetings, therefore, it can increase the amount of support a member receives from his or her support person.
Our meetings are held at USF in the Morsani building the first and third Sunday of the month. The months that have five Sundays we create a social event. They are a lot of fun and family and friends are welcome. We use a general discussion format for most of the meetings. Sometimes we will have guest speakers who have knowledge regarding our disorder and can usually offer us something new. There are never speakers who come to specifically "sell" something. We are looking for knowledge based speakers primarily.
What to expect for your first meeting? You will be greeted with our name tag box and asked to make a name tag for yourself. (This is one of our ways to recycle.) You may find a seat or chose to mingle with the other members during our 30 minute social time at the beginning of each meeting, from 2:30 to 3:00 P.M.. You are welcome to bring a drink or food if you would like to, there are no restrictions in our room. Although our meeting starts at 2:30 P.M., we formally sit down at 3:00 P.M. The thirty minutes is used to chat with other members, but mostly it was created for members who may be running behind. (This happens a lot with our disorder.) If we have a guest speaker it will be noted on the web site. Although we usually have a specific subject to discuss each meeting, sometimes the discussions take a turn into another topic all together. We keep it pretty loose so to meet the needs of the members attending.
Although our membership is high, the meeting turn-outs are not generally a true reflection. We average between 12-18 members at most meetings. We understand how difficult it is to get up and out of the house some days. So, if you are looking for a place that supports feeling better, gaining knowledge, and making new firends then there is a high probability you will be happy you came. Please try out at least one meeting to see if you gain more benefits from attending than if you had chosen to stay home and rest in bed. You may be surprised!
Thank you for join us and I hope you will find our group a place to call home. I look forward to meeting you at the next meeting.
FYI -After a new member signs up with our group he or she has up to three months to attend a meeting before being removed from the group. This rule also applies to all members; if any member goes three months without coming to at least one meeting, he or she will be removed from the group as well.
"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power."
-- Alan Cohen