Do you feel alone with your disease? Are you suffering in silence while you’re surrounded by a room full of people? People who you thought would understand your plight but really do not understand what you’re going through with a disease that’s making you face so much more than the pain it brings everyday. A disease that makes you feel more isolated than you ever thought possible. So I ask “Why Must We Be Subjected To The Loneliness Of Isolation” for a disease that we cannot control. Isolation, the epitome of what makes our emotional pain almost too much to bear.
Rheumatoid Arthritis, our chronic and painful disease which brings us pain each and every day. Pain that fights us as vigorously as we fight it. Still, explaining just how much we struggle seems to go unnoticed and unaccepted by so many, thus causing us to fall into the pit of isolation. Isolation is being separated from others which defines exactly how we feel more times than we should. This is how we are forced to feel when we have reached our limits trying to explain the magnitude of this disease and its effects. Feeling that what we’re saying is lost on deaf ears, faint hearts and closed minds sends us into isolation. Our hope that knowing what we face would be embraced by others has left us with the harsh reality that this may never be. There is a barrier that has yet to be torn down. Barrier + Us = Isolation. We find ourselves shrinking back into ourselves to be protected from what we know can be insincere gestures, unkind comments and solutions to solve what many fail to truly understand. So hence comes our need to turn away from those who are not true in their feelings thus paving our way to walk right into our bouts of isolation.
We maybe constantly asked “How Are You” only to be told we have been suffering with the same illness for such a long time. Also, there are times we maybe asked about our disease only to realize that halfway through our response the interest is gone or we’re made to feel what we’re going through is no more than a mere episode of a temporary illness giving truth to the fact that many do not understand Rheumatoid Arthritis. We have grown emotionally tired from trying to make others understand this disease or to see how much we struggle or how debilitating it is, so for us Isolation is inevitable. Why should it be this way? Why is understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis such a difficult thing to do? It is true the term arthritis may throw many off but that is why we work tirelessly trying to explain exactly what we are dealing with but it seems we still go unheard. It is critical that the difference be made known that our disease is one that affects our immune system which causes problems with our joints as well as a host of other organs. Still, as much as we have repeated these differences, they have not made the changes we’d hope for.
Facing isolation alone can be devastating because we are in need of understanding and support. Chronic means life long, forever lasting, daily pain and many uncertainties ahead but definitely not isolation. This just happens to be one of the emotional side effects of having Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is not good and it is not fair. It is not our fault but we are forced into it as a means of coping. But this can be a two way process. Others isolate us for their own reasons, maybe because they don’t or won’t understand what we go through or because they don’t want to take this walk with us. As sad as that may sound, it is true. For anyone to truly understand our plight, they will have to walk in our shoes simply to see how it feels to be misunderstood, mislabeled, criticized, ignored and not believed about a disease that has taken over your life. You will find that you may smile, turn away, walk away and deal with it all by yourself just as we have done.
What everyone should understand, A Chronic Disease Is A Family Disease”. We all go through it together and it is not meant for one or the other but for all. That is why togetherness is important because Isolation can be a main emotion that we are forced to face while dealing with this disease and it makes our struggle harder than it should be. Understanding and Support will make all of the difference in the world, it brings together what misunderstanding has torn apart. No one should be left alone to deal with any illness, so why does it have to be this way. So I ask that you take a moment and reflect on it, think if it were you, how would you feel if you needed understanding and support. What we need is free, it doesn’t cost anything but some of your time and thought. Think about it, see our world through our eyes!!!
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