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Coping lately

Hi everyone, I've had RA for almost 20 years. My kids were young so I just plowed through. They are grown now and some of my friends are starting to have aches and pains, minor really insignificant pains, something you'd expect at our age 60's not life altering chronic pain. I find it infuriating the way they complain to me. I never complained nor did anyone want to hear it. There were SO many things I couldn't do, like sitting at my sons football games, being involved in the neighborhood or PTA such things. I could only do as much as I could do get through each day, no empathy or even a casserole from these friends who now whine endlessly. Now 20 years later, as we are aging I'm supposed to feel sorry for you because you can't so skiing, then swimming, then shopping, then to a play, then pump gas, then do housework? All in one day, poor baby. My attitude is worrisome because I would think that being through as much as I have been and suffering in silence I would be empathetic but I'm reacting, inside, opposite....I want to say, complain to someone else who has a paper cut.

  1. I get it. Just like you, so many of our members have dealt with the ups and downs of their RA journey and silence and have experienced far worse than the average healthy individual could even imagine. Not having that understanding and sense of empathy creates such a huge wedge between those who have RA and those who don't. As time goes on and our peers experience their sense of pain and have their complaints, I can see why it's hard for you to be there from a genuine standpoint. You've battled through your toughest days, pushed through when you didn't want to, and even suffered physically and emotionally, all alone. It hurts. I want to encourage you to give grace to those who never understood your position or even cared to ask how you were doing or if you needed anything. Not for them, but for you. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for many people to not understand what those with rheumatoid arthritis are going through. Don't let this frustrate you, but let it encourage you to voice all that you've been through as someone who knows pain. Though all of our pains are different, we all know what it's like to hurt. You'll always have this community who understand fully all that you've had to endure and I commend and admire your strength on how far you've come. Stay encouraged, be true to yourself, and be the change you'd like to see. Wishing you all the best, Latoya (Team Member)

    1. Thank you. I will try, as that is the person I thought I was. We've been robbed of so much I don't want my soul taken too 😉

      1. That last sentence- now that spoke to me! You got this! -Latoya (Team Member)

      2. Hi . Let me echo Latoya - you do have this. It is only normal to get frustrated at the years of lack of understanding from others and then to be asked to suddenly be the sounding board for every ache and pain that simply comes from a life of activity (activities you often could not participate in). The fact that it bothers you to feel this way actually speaks volumes about you and your level of empathy. Our patient leader just wrote this article on people with chronic conditions often being more empathetic: There really is something to this, which may be why it bothers you that you are not feeling your normal empathetic self - the reality is that you're just being human. As Latoya noted, in this case it may be time to give yourself some grace. Wishing you the best and know that people here get it. Richard ( Team)

    2. Thank you so much, I will read the article.

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