You have Rheumatoid Arthritis and many don’t even know what it is.  Well, it’s an auto immune disorder that affects so many it’s a shame that everyone don’t know what it is.  It affects the joints but other parts of the body which can include the organs.  Guess what, with all of that, it leaves us all vulnerable to emotional breakdowns as well.  So here we are, the beginning of our lives with a world of chronic everything.

With a life changed forever, nothing is the same.  I’m never going to be same again.  The days of being happy, vibrant and non-stop are forever gone.  I’m slow, pained, angry, emotional and concerned.  I can’t do the things I want to do and when I take a chance and go for it, I pay the price.  So here comes the questions/complaints from people: “what’s wrong with you”, are you still sick, aren’t you any better or I thought what you had would be gone by now.  I say to them, I’m just not feeling well today and I get this strange look of “not again”.  What does that do a person who is suffering every day.  You find yourself defending having a disease you have no control over or how you will be feeling from one day to the next.

Yes, I have tried explaining why I have been sick so much and it’s true I shouldn’t have to do that but I guess it comes to a point when the looks you get and the comments can get the best of you and you start to feel somewhat defeated.  The shame of it all is the need for me or anyone to feel they should have to do this.  Being sick is not something that we asked for, it is something that we have been dealt.  We are never given a day when we are totally okay so when someone sees us and we’re not at our best, the negativity comes.  This causes us to slip into our defense mode.  Why should my pain or anyone’s pain have to be explained.  Why should being tired and worn out need to be explained.    Defending a disease and its affects should never be a part of our struggle.

We are so many times alone in our struggles but having to defend our illness is the ultimate insult.  We may or may not feel better but we will never get well.  We will always have aches, pains, fatigue, loneliness, sadness and more but we should never have to explain why that doesn’t get better.  We have a chronic disease and that means a life time and if that is understood, it would mean everyone would realize we are people who have challenges every day of our lives in some form or fashion.

Do you find yourself telling the same people the same things over and over again about your RA.  About your symptoms, how you feel, how you can’t do the things you use to do or how there are days you just can’t get out of bed and move on with life in a normal way.  Do you feel you’re working overtime explaining what they just don’t hear.  That it seems, we’re defending what should not have to be defended, a chronic disease that we have. A disease that you were unfortunate in getting.

Remember, RA does not define who you are.  We are still the people that we were just unable to do some of things that we use to do and go places that we use to go and unable to give all that we once could.  We don’t have to defend being sick with a disease that has taken over our lives because it has already done enough to us and explaining is just much of an extra burden.

Thank you for your time. Be Blessed.

photo credit:  pixabay