A common question I’ve received from my new readers is: How do I stay so positive?
Truthfully, each day is a new day. Some days are harder than others.
Just like the different diseases that ravage our bodies and/or minds, there are ebbs and flows. When I was first diagnosed in early 2012, I fell into a dark depression for a number of months. It was hard to see how I would ever learn to live with a disease that was going to eventually take everything from me.
How did I find my way out of that dark spot?
I found fellow spoonies online. I found people who were like me who showed me how to smile in the face of my disease. I found friends.
The truth of the matter is we can’t do this alone. Because some days are HARD and I need to know I can call on someone who will remind me that there is hope. Because one day I will be that ray of hope for someone else.
Once I found that support system, I was able to research my disease and start taking matters into my own hands. Getting informed so I could make the best decisions for my health gave me some of the power back. I couldn’t change the fact I had RA, but I could do something about how it would impact my life.
I’ll be honest, there were still some dark days. I still have days where I wake up and am angry at the life I have lost. I’m angry that I have to take a handful of medication just to be able to function at a fraction of the person I used to be. Those days will come. On those days, I try to remember to be kind to myself. I seek out a friend who will understand where I’m at and will help me make it to the next day.
Most days I wake up and embrace my new life. I may not be able to work but I have the ability to volunteer my time and services to help others like me. I may be hurting but I have the freedom to take a nap or rest as needed. Being limited in my abilities has inspired new hobbies for me. I can finally read all those books that have been on my list for years. Being home all day, I can cook nice dinners for my fiance. I have the freedom to write, which has always been a passion of mine.
I know it’s not easy, this life we lead. I know there are times it’s hard to find happiness in the midst of the pain. And it’s okay to have some down days. The important thing is that you try again the next day. And remember that you are never alone. We are here, and we’re fighting with you.