24/7/365: Yes, It Never Ends

RA Guy Adventures of RA Guy 3 Comments

It used to be, when I looked at all of the challenges that I continually face day in and day out, that I would get depressed. After all, it’s hard enough to get through a rough period, whether it be emotional, physical, or a combination of the two; it’s even harder to have to do so on a daily basis.

Recently, however, I’ve noticed–usually late in the evening, as I’m getting ready to go to sleep–that when I look back at my day, I experience true feelings of joy. My happiness is not dependent upon whether my day was “rough” or “easy,” nor is is based upon whether or not I was in a flare.  These feelings that I experience, at the end of each day, come from the knowledge that once again, I successfully overcame all of these challenges.

Yes, I know I’ll have to do as much again tomorrow. But once it becomes routine, once I realize that this feeling of success has nothing to do with how little or how much I have been able to accomplish during the day, everything becomes just a little bit easier.

I’d also like to add that “how well” I cope with these challenges is a major factor in how well I feel, emotionally, right before I drift off to sleep. But even this statement, I question. Yes, there are days when my first impression is that I’m not coping very well at all. (A little over a week and a half ago I had three major anxiety attacks within a 24 hour period.) When tears take over and when my fears continue to sneak up on me, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that I’m not coping well. When I look back at these episodes, though, I realize that even during these most challenging times, I’m coping the best I can. And in its own certain way, coping the best I can does mean that I am coping well.

Yes, I will live with these challenges every day, for the rest of my life. Such a statement used to instill in me a sense of panic, fright, anger, and so many other negative emotions. Now, believe it or not, I actually feel a sense of joy. I’m not happy that I *have to* deal with pain and disability on a daily basis, but I’m certainly happy that I *can*.

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

Comments 3

  1. Lene

    Y’know, that’s brilliant. Of course I should add how well I cope with challenges to my daily review of what got done! When you just focus on the things on the to do list, sooner or later you get sucked into beating yourself up because you didn’t get everything done. Instead, if you can consider that you dealt with a bad day with some degree of grace, you have a success. This is wonderful. Thanks so much!

  2. Tanya

    Way to stay positive RA Guy, we can always count on you for words of encouragement. I had a rough RA day too today but appreciating the smiles on my kids faces today melted all that away. Yes, my RA prevented me from getting done what I had planned to do (and it seems to always flare when I have a lot going on), but maybe that’s so I could focus on my kids rather than that to do list, which I won’t ever be completely caught up on anyway. There’s always something to be done, but taking care of myself and my kids needs to stay my priority. i so enjoy your site! Thanks, Tanya

  3. Carla

    Great accomplishments come in many shapes and forms, including sometimes just making it through the day. As you so convincingly point out, we need to celebrate these accomplishments for what they are.

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