A few years ago, I made a very concerted and intentional effort to change the focus of each and every new day. Instead of focusing on my pain and limitations, I would instead focus on what I *could* do.
I would focus on life.
As I adopted this new way of living—a way that has and continues to serve me quite well—I found myself emotionally unprepared for many of the reactions and comments that I received.
“Stop showing off,” or “you make me feel inadequate.”
“You’ve forgotten what it’s like to have RA”, or “I doubt you ever really had RA in the first place.”
“It’s irresponsible for you to talk about your decision to get off all medications,” or “you *can’t* get better…the only thing that keeps me going is knowing that I’m not as bad off as you are.”
I hold no anger or resentment to people who sent me such messages; in fact, my feelings are the exact opposite: I wish everyone well. And I hope that anyone who feels stuck behind this disease finds his or her way forward.
I *know* how hard it is to live with this disease, and I know just how completely overwhelming the pain and depression can be. I also know what it’s like to, on multiple occasions, have decided that it was time to end things, once and for all.
People often tell me that much of what I talk about nowadays is easier said than done, to which I would say: abso-effin-lutely. Finding a way to live well with this disease isn’t easy. But it IS possible.
And that is the thought that we always need to hold on to, no matter how rough things get.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!