Focus

focusA week ago today, I took one of the most important steps in battling depression.

I admitted that I was depressed.

And just like that, things seemed to get so much better. Okay, so they didn’t get better overnight…it took me a few days to completely come out of my slump. I did, however,  immediately start occupying myself with things other than my pain, and I noticed that this made a huge (positive) difference in my emotional well-being.

As I previously wrote, last month I was busier than I’ve been in a long time. Although I still took the time to take care of my body and my rheumatoid arthritis, I definitely did not have any extra time to dwell on any pain or shortcomings that I experienced on daily basis.

This month, I’ve been happy that my work schedule has been drastically reduced – I’m currently only teaching one seminar course that meets twice a week. It took me a while to realize that I wasn’t using my extra time as well as I could be using it. I started sleeping in late. I started spending more time lounging around my house. I started spending more time thinking about my chronic pain. Rheumatoid arthritis was once again becoming the main focus of my life.

So I decided to make some changes.

I went back to the gym. (My membership had expired a few weeks ago, and I had not yet renewed it.) I started spending more time reading at coffee shops. I started taking long walks. This past Sunday, my husband and I went to eat  lunch at a place that I’ve always wanted to go – it’s a large colonial patio with good food and live Tango music! I went to a museum. I went to a museum again.

Any even though my body continues to have issues on a regular basis, I feel so much better.

Earlier today I once again went to my neighborhood health clinic for an anti-inflammatory injection. (My left sciatic nerve is once again giving me a lot of problems.) As I was leaving, I had a funny thought.

“There’s always something wrong with my body…but I always know exactly what to do.

Experiencing this confidence felt nice. Yes, if it’s not my hands it’s my ankles or my back or me knee of a combination of the above or now the opposite side of the body…and even on a few rare occasions none of the above. Each day is always different from the previous day. Something is always wrong. My immune system, after all, is continually attacking my joints.

But I always know exactly what to do.

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

P.S. Thanks for all of the kind comments in my previous blog post!

11 Comments
11 comments
  1. Mallen says:

    I’ve been feeling simular RAGuy. It usually hits around this time. I call them my November Blahs. Last week I actually admitted to some friends that I was feeling depressed (which really is something I would never do). I’ve been feeling much better since then. I guess admitting it is really the first step! I’m glad you are feeling better too!

  2. Carla says:

    Good for you! The first step in solving a problem is recognizing the problem. I think the second step is understanding that you (alone) have the power to make the changes. I continue to be impressed by introspection, your honesty, and your journey. All the best.

  3. Sunita Kulkarni says:

    Is it difficult to get good medications where you are? We all have to work…and its hard, but why make life more difficult. Do you have srong views against anti-TNF therapies? I’m puzzled.

  4. talltennisgal says:

    It seems the more RA sufferers I get to know, we all seem to downplay depression or “blues”. You hit the nail right on the head when you talk about naming it! Speaking it out loud. I told a dear friend and neighbor last night, “I am scared. I am pissed off at this disease”. Just saying it out loud to someone else made it so much better. Your blog is my lifeline right now. I am just reading so many posts and feel such kindred spirits here. Happy New Year, RA Guy. Keep it coming…you are such a gift to the RA community.

  5. Smriti says:

    It is common for me too to fall into the bouts of depression quite foten bcoz of RA. But even I’ve noticed many times that doing activities that you like, especially outside the house, helps a great deal in fighting the depression.

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