Normality, when something happens that shakes up your. You look forward to returning to normality, meaning the usual happenings of everyday life. Our state of being being, something that is just as expected. But this is not to be when you’re living with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It has made us forget what is expected and to be prepared for the unexpected, a life now filled with uncertainty and a whole new normal.
Things like going out to dinner, playing at the park, jogging, days without harsh interruptions are all gone. This has you wondering “Where has your normal gone”. Have you forgotten what it feels like to have a life that’s filled with normalcy and what that simply means. We have forgotten but would give anything to have those days back before Rheumatoid Arthritis. Days without restrictions simply gone because a disease had other ideas.
Do you find yourself longing for those days when you didn’t have to worry about whether you would be able to even get out of bed on any given day or were you still in bed and awake suffering from days before leaving no room for guessing letting you know this is how your life has now become. Did you find that a week or 2 had passed and you were still dealing with pain and fatigue that didn’t allow for anything to happen that would even mimic normalcy. Not only are you dealing with your pain but medications with side effects that barely leaves you coherent enough to function. This is what normal has become for us as RA takes on its own persona with us.
Long gone are those days when you didn’t have to worry about what a simple cough meant or a spot on your body or what a non-specific ache that’s not in joint means. You find yourself worrying more because you know your life has changed and your body has changed and the system that you depended on to fight for you isn’t as strong a fighter as it use to be. Actually, you see it has become our enemy. Because of this we realize it isn’t easy to take these things for granted because our systems are so much more vulnerable. This makes us fight more and harder to protect ourselves to be safe changing what we see as normal. Fighting when we should be resting and enjoying peaceful times. As much as we want to be, we will never be normal as it was known again.
What it does to losing our abilities and life as it once was is very difficult. So often we pretend things are normal only to make ourselves feel we haven’t lost so much. We can only pretend to be okay for so long because pretending has a way of slowly losing its ground. So yes we can look back and wish for our normal life but we have almost forgotten what that feels like. No more spontaneity with such things as cooking, dates, cleaning or anything that would take us out of our normal days. It is a gamble to think we will be able to do what is expected of us. A gamble we hope we would win more than not. Yes, there are those days we may get a break and feel okay but that can be a curse because we always find that we over do it trying to make up for what we haven’t done. The consequences of wanting to be normal.
Through our walk with this disease, we know there will be many who will never understand our plight and what we have lost. They will never know how much we just want a normal life again to be able to do what many take for granted. They will never know how much we look back and try to remember just how we did things before getting RA. You see it takes away something from every aspect of our lives making it difficult to process the loss of what once was. But what we have to do now is try our best to adjust to this new life that has been thrown upon us. It is not easy and it is not simple but it is the reality that is our NEW NORMAL.