Other People’s Eyes

Since Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy lives with a chronic illness that is misunderstood by many people, it should come as no surprise that many times in the past he hoped that people could see the world through his eyes, if only for a short time. “If only they knew what it was really like to live with rheumatoid arthritis.”

Let me qualify this a little further, though, because I never wanted anybody else to actually experience the pain that I experience on a daily basis…I would never hope this onto my worst enemy (if I had a worst enemy). I just wanted them to get a little better sense of the physical and emotional struggles that are ever-present.

For a long time, I got sort of stuck in this phase of believing that people around me would never understand what it is like to live with rheumatoid arthritis, unless they lived with it directly. Then it dawned on me…they are living with it directly. They often do see the crippling effect that it has on my entire person. During my mother’s last visit, she once asked me if I was in pain. She commented that when my pain is at it’s worst, it is easy to tell because it is written all over my face.

Maybe others really are seeing things through my eyes, more than I think might be the case.

There was one of my siblings, who contacted my parents during my recent two day internet service outage to make sure that I was okay. (I was not answering my Vonage phone nor responding to email, so this created some concern.)

There is my partner of almost ten years, who unwillingly continues to explore new lows in our relationship – a relationship that has been rocked this past year by the presence of chronic illness.

There is that person within my support network, who continues to go above and beyond in order to help me not only get back on my feet, but to guarantee that I remain standing upright.

There is a kind friend who I met online this past year. We do now speak often, but when we do we always share interesting bits of information ranging from the trivial to the profound. This morning I found out that she is mourning the death of her her father.

There are readers, who continue to be more generous that I could have ever imagined, when it comes to making donations here in my blog.

I have learned that yes, I do need a lot of support as I continue to live with rheumatoid arthritis. But support is a two-way road. I too have to provide support to those who are around me, near and far.

Together, we can get though all of the challenges that we would otherwise face alone.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

5 Comments
5 comments
  1. MissDazey says:

    I know that everyone has something to deal within their own lives. It might not be RA or even an illness, but life is life. It is filled with good and bad stuff. Through the years I have learned that by supporting others, being more cheerful, positive, and caring that I am less stressed about my own ups and downs.

  2. Alisa says:

    You said it ALL in your last line :”Together, we can get through all of the challenges that we would otherwise face alone.”
    Keep well. x

  3. RA Guy's Mom says:

    What in the world would be do if we didn’t have someone (one or more persons) to turn to both in times of despair and happiness?–it’s what keeps us going. Life is a series of challenges and it’s with support that we get through those challenges.

  4. Wren says:

    Thanks for touching on an angle to the ongoing RA saga that I tend to overlook: how OTHERS perceive the disease as it manifests in me. Like you (and most of us who have RA) I’ve wished that, just for a minute, my friends and loved ones could FEEL how this feels. Perhaps they’d understand better. But you’re right, RA Guy. They DO experience it in many other ways. Thanks again — for helping me keep my own thinking compassionate and empathetic. We really are all in this together.

  5. Lana says:

    “Together, we can get though all of the challenges that we would otherwise face alone.” You are absolutely right. We have all found our challenges with this disease, but we have all have found our strengths. Sometimes, we feel like we are figthing alone, but when in truth, we are not fighting alone. We fighitng with the people who stand by us. The Ups and downs are always there but life goes on and we never go on alone.

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