There is a fine, fine line between losing hope and moving forward. Yesterday Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy crossed that line multiple times, and it was scary as hell. My biggest victory during the afternoon was lifting my own fork to feed myself – before yesterday I would have never been able to envision that such a seemingly simple task could be so difficult. I now know otherwise. (I did ask for help in cutting my food as it’s been weeks that this has become increasingly more difficult. I always know my place setting – it’s the one with a steak knife, no matter what is being served.)
But today is a new day.
I spent last night and this morning reaching out to my personal support network, both near and far. This was a big jump for me, as I begin to finally accept that asking for support is not a sign of weakness, but is indeed a sign of strength. I know I still have a lot to process on the path of asking for help, but being able to write the previous sentence with ease is a big step forward for me. (And I really do need these big steps, as my physical steps have become shorter and slower.)
Sometimes the support we are looking for comes from the individuals we expect it from the most. Sometimes is does not comes from the individuals we expect it from the most. At other times, it surprises us and comes from places where we least expect it.
Some of the strongest shows of support that I have received during the past few days have come from my readers, from fellow superheroes in online support groups, and even from the manager at my fitness club who told me that I would not be charged for any days that I lost at the gym due to limitations of my rheumatoid arthritis. For this, I am grateful.
Some of the strongest shows of support that I have received during the past few days have come from loved ones close in my life. It is hard to see the effect that my illness has on them, but I am learning that by working together we can all become stronger. I am working past feeling that I am burdening them, and learning that in talking and crying we can together move forward. For this, I am grateful.
I close today’s post with sincerity instead of humor. To everyone near and far, personal and virtual, – THANK YOU for your support. That is just what I need to get me through moments like this.
[Looking forward: I am going to my rheumatologist this afternoon for some anti-inflammatory injections. I am also lining up a physical therapist familiar with RA to exercise my body during some of the most difficult periods.]
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!