People often tell me that I am “misleading” the public about the “realities” of living with rheumatoid arthritis.
When I read such comments, I’m not exactly sure what to think. I wonder: do these people know that I’ve written *years* of blog posts in which I describe some of my most challenging times, and talk about what’s it’s like to reach a point where I could barely move and had to be fed, bathed, and clothed by others? I also ask myself, do they know just how many personal details I’ve shared (publicly) about the multiple episodes of suicidal ideation that I’ve experienced throughout the years, information that is painful to share but which I do nonetheless all in the hopes of helping others who find themselves in the dark spot where I once was?
Then I look at the things that provoke such comments–my ability to smile and laugh even (especially) in the face of excruciating pain, my figuring out how to bring my disease that was boiling out of control down to a more gentle simmer (on most days), my being able to accomplish feats that I never thought possible even before RA entered my life, and my learning how to cope well and live well with this painful and debilitating disease–and I tell myself: if showing others that it IS possible to bounce back up from some of the lowest lows and that it IS possible to live life to it’s fullest even with a disease like rheumatoid arthritis is, in *any* way, misleading…then “mislead” is exactly what I’ll continue to do.
Stay tuned…for the next Adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!