Over 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!