Well its now approaching my 10 year Arthritis anniversary and Ive been thinking about how far my condition has come over the years. Someone once told me that dealing with the acceptance of having a chronic condition was like grieving for a person. You have to deal with the loss of things that will never be and things that will never be again. Over the years my condition has been very up and down with flare up and periods of remission. The first few years I think where the easiest for me as things weren’t too severe. I had to take medication every day and also had to watch how much activity I done. It was when things started to progress around 4 years ago ,I became much sorer , my energy levels dropped, I went onto some serious medication and flare ups would last longer that I started to feel like I couldn’t cope. It was then that I released that my condition was here to stay. There was no running away from the fact I had a chronic condition and things would only get worse. Denial, well I was good at that one. I would pretend that I was ok. I never put it down on any application whether that be for college or a job. If im honest I was embarrassed and I hated the look of disbelief when I would tell people. If no one knew then it wasn’t true. Then came anger, I hated everyone and anyone. I was resentful of people my age that could do the things I couldn’t. I felt like a child in a playground who was never allowed to join in on the games but the worst part was I was the one who stopped me playing. At that point depression took over me. With all of this bubbling inside me , I ended up in a big black hole that I could see no way of getting out of. My life had been turned upside down. It took a lot of support from my family , some medication and help from the doctors to see me through it. There are still many times I look at myself and my life and wonder how different things would be had I not had been diagnosed with this condition. What kind of job would I have , would I still have the same friends , would I still be the same person as I was. The only thing I can be sure about is I’m not the same person who I was before and for that I am thankful. Being in a deep dark hole and feeling like you have nothing in the world makes you appreciate the things you do have. Its not until you have your world come crashing down around you that you realise what means the world and what doesn’t. I have understanding, compassion and empathy for people and situations that I can honestly say I never had before. I may not have an amazing life, I cant work for now, I don’t have lots of expensive things and I cant do things people my age do. What I do have is love and support from my family & friends and if I manage to have that the rest of my days I will be extremely blessed. That’s not to say that everything is rosy and I do struggle but I have to keep my head high and be determined not to let this condition take me down whatever the future will hold.
Thanks everyone for taking the time to read. Sending pain free hugs to you all.
Love Stacey x