Fighting Depression

CloudOver the past year, there were many moments when I just wanted to be left alone. I didn’t want to hear any type of advice. Words of encouragement were often transformed midair into little daggers that somehow made me feel worse instead of better. On top of struggling with a major progression of my rheumatoid arthritis, I was also having a difficult time accepting the full extent of my depression.

And as is often the case with depression, my mind was constantly tricking itself into believing that I was more comfortable staying where I was, than trying to dig myself out of the emotional hole that I was in. “Too difficult”, “not possible” and “I can’t” were phrases that all too often floated around in my head.

So when helping hands were offered, I often found it much easier to snap at them.

“I don’t need help. I can help myself.”

So true, yet so false at the same time.

I could help myself…but I would need help in doing so.

I started seeking the help that I needed.

But even when my therapist would encourage me to work through my feelings and try to move to a better place, even when my therapist would offer suggestions that sounded oh so exciting, I still felt slightly…offended.

How could anyone possibly know the pain that I am experiencing? How could anyone possibly understand what I am going through?

How dare anyone even try to suggest what I should do in order to make things better?

(For a while there, I actually lost sight of the fact that it was I who was searching for answers. It was I who was asking for help.)

And even though I may not have known it at the time, friends and family members were doing their best to help. My therapist and doctor were doing their best to help. I forced myself to see past my anger and depression, and try to realize what was actually going on, even though I did not fully understand it.

So when helping hands were offered, I reached out, and grabbed on tightly.

All the pulling in the world would not have been successful. I had to pitch in as well and do some climbing of my own. Ultimately, I overcame my depression. While living with rheumatoid arthritis is a challenge, living with rheumatoid arthritis and depression is an even bigger challenge. This is just one of the many important lessons that I continue to learn on my journey with rheumatoid arthritis.

I can only hope that should I fall again, that I will once again receive helping hands, suggestions, and words of advice…no matter how annoying they might seem at the time.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

13 Comments
13 comments
  1. Rosalyn says:

    Keep up the good work! I play “turtle” and hide in my shell when I’m tired of the disease, but I know it’s a good thing to reach out for those who care about me, so I make myself stay connected through phone calls or emails… not as good as a hug but still keeping me from getting so wrapped up in my life and its issues. I have to remind myself that RA comes and goes for no apparent reason, and it may be a week or a month, but I will see happier times.

  2. Judith says:

    I have found that tai chi really helps me a lot. It can be a very gentle form of stretching and exercise (which can still hurt like the dickens!) but concentrating on where my achy body is seems to help get out of my head.

  3. KathyB. says:

    Helping hands are often the hands of those who love you dearly and want only your best…and the offer of help is the offer and concern of loved ones. We all should be so fortunate as you, and I think from reading your posts that your loved ones feel fortunate to have you.That being said, we totally understand !

  4. Laurie says:

    WIth RA it’s a whole lot of being “sick and tired of being sick and tired” I am glad we are all brought together here, it helps on those blue days to have someone who understands you!
    Hugs…..

  5. Lana says:

    I can definitely relate. People who have always been independent don’t know how to be dependant. I still find myself in the “I can do by myself” rut despite knowing all too well that it isn’t always true. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am not alone and there are people willing to help me. I got so used to being the “go to” person for help that I forgot what it meant to need help. I go through bouts of depression myself where I go through the “why me’s” more often than I would like. I take my anger out where I shouldn’t and while my loved ones try to understand, it can be difficult. I keep reminding myself that is not always about “me.” It is about the people I love and it helps. It keeps me moving, it keeps me strong, and it keeps me smiling.

    Throughout this, I have learned that pity parties are fine provided we do not let them consume us. I guess what I am saying is, sometimes reminding ourselves helps. Sometimes, when I find myself getting consumed with the pity, I remind myself of a post you wrote about pity and how sometimes you have to remind yourself to stop. I have for along time taken that advice and I thank you for that. :) Anyways, hang in there – you have a lot more inspiring to do.

  6. Ldy Louise says:

    Me too, I can relate to you rosalyn x
    Keep your chin up ra guy xx
    We are all around you, supporting you xx

  7. Louise says:

    Keep ya chin up guys, we all seem to experience the same low feelings when it comes to this horrid disease…… good days and bad days, and the bad days seem to last forever, but hey, the sunshine is nearly here, so happy days :) xx

  8. RA SB says:

    Sometimes I think we are living paralell RA lives. Everytime you are struggling with something, I happen to be going through the same thing. Or each time you are having a good period, same thing. Weird. Also, we experienced onset about the same time I think. Six and half years ago? Is that about right?

    So trust me – I completely get your post. And you’re right – there is almost no living with us. But at the same time, people honestly just don’t know how horrible this disease can be. And if ANYTHING else in your life is going downhill, forget it!

    But, as someone pointed out to me…what are our options? Give up or keep going. That’s it. We have to choose to keep going. That’s it.

    Love to you Sweetheart,
    RA SB

  9. teresa says:

    Thank you for your post. I’ve laid in bed for 2 days, sad, depressed, angry, and in pain. I even wondered about you and many others who bring their stories here. There was nothing I could find five years ago for support online. I’m so glad you’re here and hope you know how much your blog means to me and so many others.

  10. VICKI says:

    AS I READ YOUR POST, I WAS NODDING MY HEAD..YES, YES, YES AND TEARS WERE STREAMING DOWN MY FACE..IN THIRTEEN YEARS OF THE HORRIFIC DISEASE I HAVE LEARNED TO “ALLOW” MYSELF PITY PARTIES..I THINK WE’D BE CRAZY NOT TOO! AS THE YEARS HAVE COME AND GONE I HAVE REALIZED (BELEIVE IT OR NOT) RA HAS TAUGHT ME SOME VALUABLE LESSONS:
    BE KIND TO PEOPLE WHO ARE IRRITATING YOU AS YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT THEY ARE GOING THRU.
    DR’S ARE NOT BAD PEOPLE (USED TO JUDGE DR’S HARSHLY)
    THERE IS PEACE BEYOND WHAT YOU CAN PHYSICALLY DO! BEING A FORMER RUNNER/SWIMMER TYPE A PERSONALITY, THIS IS HUGE FOR ME.
    I’VE KNOW PAIN, AS ALL OF YOU, AND HAVE THE ABILITY TO BOUNCE BACK
    I NOW LIVE LIFE FROM THE INSIDE OUT……..NOT THE OUTSIDE IN
    I AM KINDER
    I AM MUCH MORE PATIENT THAN I EVER KNEW I COULD POSSIBLY BE
    I SEE WITH MY HEART AND NOT MY EYES
    USED TO BE SOMEWHAT EOGTISTICAL…..NOW I’M TRULY HUMBLED
    APPRECIATE THE BEAUTY OF NATURE…..DIDN’T HAVE TIME BEFOE

    THE LIST GOES ON AND ON……SO, BY EXPERIENCING THESE AWARENESSES, I AM ABLE TO MOST OF THE TIME GET PAST MY “PITY PARTY”….IT’S IN THOSE “DARK TIMES” THAT I USUALY HAVE THESE AWARENESS COME TO ME! I CRY AND AM GRATEFUL THAT I HAVE BEEN SO TRULY HUMBLED!
    TO ALL OF YOU GOING THRU THIS EXPERIENCE OF RA..I TRULY HONOR AND RESPECT YOU A BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE!
    HUGS,
    VICKI

  11. Di says:

    I feel so depressed a lot of the time.. How DO you dig yourself out? More drugs?? I dont want any more drugs !!!

  12. Sibila says:

    Hi guys, it feels such a relief to read and inspiraional too!
    my boyfriend has RA and at the moment is very depressed, he even is talking of breaking up with me.I love him , I just want to help, he says he doesn’t want to be a burden for me and also that he wants to be alone.I am quite sad n confused at the moment, i have told him not to rush to any decision, i hope everything looks brighter soon.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>