One thing I realize after being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, it is a very lonely disease. So many of the people in your life seem to disappear over time. The ones that offer their dying support and seem to understand what you’re going through don’t really understand at all and they leave one by one time and time again.
The truth is, they don’t really understand what Rheumatoid Arthritis is and what it’s all about. They expect life as it was to continue but as it turns out it doesn’t and never will be again and as they slowly began to realize this, they tend to walk away from your new reality as well as the reality facing them. Those that promise to be by your side when you need them are nowhere to be found. You are now wondering where has all of your family and friends gone, that support that was promised in the beginning. Yes I get lonely and I’m sure most of the friends and family I have told I have Rheumatoid Arthritis don’t even remember I told them. I’m sure this has happened to many of you also and this is a sad but brutal truth.
There are many days and nights you find yourself wondering why are you facing this disease alone or with fewer people than you started off with. You remember how family and friends promised to be there for you to help you if you needed them but here you are crying in pain with no one but yourself. You find you hardly ever get a phone call asking how you’re doing from those you thought you knew you could count on and these can even be some of the very people that you see sometimes daily and never a word mentioned. I live it and it’s amazing how normal they all think that I am but I go on just as I am because it’s not up to me to bring it up. So this has become the norm for me/us. This just goes to show the reality of just how misunderstood life is with RA and just how misunderstood the disease is. Loneliness is a big part of our disease and it eats away at us and no one seems to notice.
We are forced to face this disease in every aspect of our lives each and every day. It tears us apart and dealing with this alone can be devastating. Wanting and needing someone to be there for us is very important but so many of us face isolation at its worst. Who doesn’t need a comforting shoulder to lean on or comforting words from those in their lives but because our condition is chronic this can become too much for many. We may appear to be overwhelming and be left alone but it is not us that’s overwhelming, it is Rheumatoid Arthritis and the affects it has on us. I need people in my life to ask if I am okay when I am hurting, I want someone there to say can I do anything for you even though they cannot, I want those in my life to say I’m here for you just to let me know they are even though they may just be there to listen. This is what we need when we are going through the most difficult time of our lives. Never to be alone in our pain and suffering with RA.
Loneliness doesn’t have to be our enemy here. We didn’t create this disease we were given it. We just want to be able to have people in our lives that we can count on when we are having our highs and our lows. I hope we can conquer loneliness since we can’t conquer Rheumatoid Arthritis yet. Thanks for stopping and I hope you stop by again and I hope you aren’t facing loneliness. I speak for you too!