Being Positive With Rheumatoid Arthritis

RA Guy Adventures of RA Guy

PositivityBeing positive doesn’t necessarily lessen the severe pain that I often experience as a result of having rheumatoid arthritis, but it certainly makes it much easier to cope with and accept as part of my life. A couple of years ago, I (and others) planted this seed in the dark, gloomy world that I had lived in for all too long. Even though my physical condition continues to worsen, my personal outlook continues to looks even brighter and happier. At times this may seem like an oxymoron, but I would not have it any other way.

I used to think that I had only two choices when it came to living with RA: deny my illness and continue to lead the life that I was used to, or make some adjustments (a.k.a. “give in”)  and feel like I had lost all hope for a better future. I now know that my world is no longer black and white, but that it is filled with an endless amount of beautiful shades of grey somewhere in between these two goalposts.

Arthritis Support Board: I Will Conquer My RA
All of us have been talking how aggressive & early treatment with DMARDs is the best way to achieve conquest over RA. However, this is just a part of the jigsaw, definitely a major one. However, that’s not all for success. There is that additional piece of the jigsaw forgotten by many– the healing power of positive thinking.
Read More: http://doctorakerkar.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/…

Many people assume that positive thinking does not allow me to accept all of the emotions, both good and bad, that my chronic illness and my disability bring into my life. Actually, I did used to feel this way, though, before positive thinking –that I was always supposed to be happy, no matter what happened. I now know that the real meaning of positive thinking is allowing myself to connect with and move through any type of feeling that presents itself in my life.

I have learned that no matter how bleak the situation might look–no matter how bad the pain or how serious my disability–that there is always a silver lining that can be found. By looking for the positive, no matter how strong the negative, I feel just a little more empowered to encounter the pain and disability again. This past week, my work week was book-ended with two major flares. The first, on Monday morning, totally caught me off guard and quite literally left me floored. The second one, on Friday afternoon, was just as severe but was something that I got through with relative ease. I don’t think I would have been able to deal with Friday’s flare in the way I did had it not been for the occurrence of Monday’s flare.

Positivera: Positivity Is Contagious
I also believe down to my bones that staying positive will not only help each other but will also guide our practitioners to stay positive too in the way they deal with patients. You can really be the muse!
Read More: http://positivera.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/…

Over the past few weeks, one of my major goals has been to figure out how to reintroduce a fitness routine into my life that is marked with chronic pain and thinning cartilage in my knees. It’s a challenge, trying to combine a fixed workout routine with an erratic disease. I am learning that sometimes the best thing it to take an afternoon nap and not go to the gym to lift weights (as I did Monday afternoon). Other times, being strong means staying in bed and resting, instead of going to the swimming pool (as I did Wednesday morning). Still, there were many opportunities this past week for me to do my exercises. Positive thinking means focusing on what I can do, and not obsessing on what I can’t do.

Most importantly, being positive means being able to reach a point, as I did this past week, where I no longer think “I will conquer rheumatoid arthritis”. Instead, I woke up one day and told myself: “I have conquered rheumatoid arthritis”.

Sure, the toll that this chronic illness continues to take on my body is becoming more and more visible both to myself and others.

But when it comes to my mind, and my life, I’m happy to say that I–and not my illness–am in charge!

For more positive thinking resources from other people who are living with rheumatoid arthritis, be sure to visit The Life And Adventures Of Cateepoo and Loving With Chronic Illness.

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