Reaching a Breaking Point
A while ago, I wrote an article about how subconsciously practicing denial of my condition has impacted my understanding of RA, in that I consistently downplay the disease’s effects on my body. This really results from a fear of actually having the disease and from trying to protect myself from the realization that I will always have RA. That article was published recently, but I wrote it in July.
Denial of my RA diagnosis
Since then, I’ve had a lot of realizations and experiences that have reformulated my understanding of denial, and these experiences have guided me to a breaking point: the denial that I’ve perpetuated for so long is now fully salient, but with that comes the concomitant recognition that I can deconstruct it. A few questions surface: how did I get to this point? How has this affected me? And, more importantly, how can I progress beyond this point?
My progress has slowed since my RA diagnosis
To be fully transparent, I have not been taking good care of my body. The food that I eat, the amount of alcohol that I drink, the work and stress that I put myself through is all beginning to take a toll on the everyday functioning of my life.
I fear that I'm back to square one
I’ve taken a few steps back from where I was after being diagnosed. My RA flares are coming back despite being on Humira. I’m about as fatigued as I was a year ago when I was first diagnosed and not on any medications (which is hard to believe that it’s only been one year since I’ve been diagnosed). And coming back to the same situation, same life point where I was a year ago scares me. I don’t want to ever be that sick again. I don’t want to be miserable, tired, upset, and cranky like that, and I fear I’m on the way back.
But that path ends today.
Acceptance and taking better care of my body
I’ve realized that in order to actually live a good life, a life worth living, I must begin to take better care of my body. This includes eating better foods, keeping stress at bay, and more importantly listening to my body. That all sounds good but it is fundamentally more difficult to achieve than it seems.
Coming to terms with the longevity of RA
Where all of this ultimately stems from is that I never tangibly realized the longevity of this condition. When I wake up tomorrow morning, I’ll still have RA. In a year, I’ll still have RA. In ten years, I’ll still have RA. It’s not going away. And typing it and saying it out loud makes it more real.
I guess I’m realizing I never wanted it to be real, but there’s nothing I can do about that now. The only thing I can do is try to elevate my physical and mental well-being to the highest that it can be. Through my limited life experience, I’m learning this is not an easy task. At all.
When was your last flare?