I know you feel it, the loss of a part of yourself and the sad truth of facing “you will never find that you that you’re longing for”. You desperately want it back but it is not meant to be. Rheumatoid Arthritis has simply taken it away. Maybe gradually or maybe suddenly before you knew what happened so you are now grieving the loss of yourself. The you before this disease stepped in and took so much away.
Do you feel like you’re searching but you just can’t find your way back to making things the way you feel they should be? This is our journey on the bumpy path we’re taking with this disease but along the way we find we are losing ourselves and sometimes those we love. This is how our story goes. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a joint disease so some might say, how can you lose yourself in that. Oh, but let me tell you just how it works. Yes, Rheumatoid Arthritis work on our joints but it is much, much more than that. Number One, it is our immune system that it affects which brings into play our joints. They are in effect the result of our immune system fighting itself, so with that comes the terrible pain that we are left feeling. Now comes our story of pain, guilt and loss.
No one can really grasp the severity of what it’s like to deal with pain everyday if you, yourself isn’t going through it. You may hear others say how bad it is but you really, really can’t know just what life is like in the world of someone with chronic pain. Our lives are changed forever and the mental toll it takes on us can’t be measured in words. This is the life of a Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferer. Our lives are ruled by pain, there is no stability and as much as we fight, we fall prey to the consequences of our painful times. So this is where we start to feel a sense of loss and a sense of guilt because we are no longer and can no longer be what we were before RA.
It is so often that we feel defeated because this disease has changed who we are and what our lives were once all about. We find we are so hard on ourselves for feeling like failures both to ourselves and those in our lives but that is something that we must try not to blame ourselves for. We tend to start to hate who we have become or who we have no choice of becoming. We have lost so much dealing with RA and there is not much more we have to give because there’s not much of the old us left so we feel the guilt and may wonder “What Is Our Purpose, What Do We Have To Offer” even though none of this is our fault, it is the reality in our world. Yes this is how it works with RA. It wears you down and makes you feel less than and fills you with guilt for all that you have lost the capacity to do.
So you see, we are much more than swollen joints and arthritis as some would say and the many thoughts of others of why we maybe the way we are. Well there is our story. Read the many pages seen daily through us. There is never one that is the same but each line will always start with “Today my pain…..To have pain and to live with pain everyday will change the life of anyone. It will wear you down and it will change who you are in many ways and it will make you emotional and send you into isolation. It will make you wish for more when there really isn’t more. So tell me, with all of this going on in our lives, how can we not feel we are losing ourselves. Our lives with this disease is a complicated one. As the song goes, “We Have Loved and We Have Lost” much in our lives.
Rheumatoid Arthritis from our perspective is a chronic disease with so many definitions and if you are with us long enough you will get to see them all through us. Our story is not a complicated one, it is simply a misunderstood one. So if our story was understood, then we would be too and maybe we would have one burden lifted off our shoulders. The truth is Rheumatoid Arthritis has so much to tell and it does with each of us everyday we wake up.
photo credit: glendaotero/freeimaging.com