I am brand new to this group. I was diagnosed with RA 20 years ago. Without going into a ton of detail, I have daily RA pain, very evident in my hands, peripheral neuropathy in my feet, and bone thinning from steroid usage. I have been put on pretty much every RA drug with occasional relief but unfortunately nothing that alleviates the pain. I accept that I have RA and do not let the disease and all it in entails dictate my life. My friends are aware that I have the disease but i don't talk about it much. If they ask how I'm doing or if I'm in pain, I answer them honestly. I just don't want to be who I am because of the disease I want to be who I am in spite of the disease. Having said that, I am pretty close to devastated after being told by a close friend that she believes and has told other friends in the group we hang with that she thinks I'm a hypochondriac. I am having such a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I keep this disease as private as I possibly can and don't share everything that it entails... The fact that someone I call a friend said that to me is crushing. I tried to explain to her that things like immune issues and diseases that are not visible oftentimes can be hard for others to accept as a real thing. I stopped talking after I said that because I realized I absolutely do not have to explain to anyone what I have and why was I trying to make her understand.... In addition, I was so offended that I thought I had to. I have read some posts on here that talk about friends... Friends that are supportive, that you can talk to. I do have one friend like that and I cherish that. I don't know why this one person's opinion and her ignorance have hurt me so much. I'm also incredibly angry about it and honestly don't know where to put that anger. I would really appreciate some input on this.