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Being Thankful For RA

It sounds weird.  It sounds almost antithetical to say that you are thankful for a chronic illness.

But in reality, I am thankful for RA.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.

I wouldn’t have found my chosen career path.

I wouldn’t have started a blog.

I wouldn’t have met so many amazing people through the chronic illness online community.

When I first got sick, I worried that anyone I met would not know a key part of me, that there was a part of me that was missing that I couldn’t get back.  But I think the opposite is actually true.

There is an essence of myself that has been enhanced.  People are totally seeing the “real” me.

I haven’t lost myself.

In fact, RA helped me find myself.

It’s hard to explain.  If you haven’t been in this position, it’s hard to understand.

My life is certainly different than it was before I got sick, and in many ways, it was easier.  But it was a life that I was living for everyone other than myself.

But now I live for me.  Now I live for today.

And despite my illnesses, I hope for tomorrow.

So this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for my family and friends, for my boyfriend, for the opportunities I have been given.  I don’t take them for granted.

I’m thankful for the good days, and wish the bad days were less (and less bad).

I’m thankful for my old medical team and my new medical team.

I’m thankful for a break from school to catch up on life.

I’m thankful for all of the opportunities I have to share my experiences with illness, and for all those who listen, read, and hear what I have to say.

And I’m grateful for this crazy, strange, beautiful journey I’m on and all the places I have left to go and things I have left to do.

What are you thankful for?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Mary Sophia Hawks moderator
    1 year ago

    Absolutely! Walking daily with God is the only way I can cope. Bravo!

  • jaide winn
    6 years ago

    RA and other autoimmune disorders that I have been diagnosed with have been difficult for me to accept. Mainly, because it took my life as I once knew it. It took my job, my social interaction, etc. However, there have been some good things come from it. I agree with you, I now live for me. I used to be a major pleaser and live for everyone else, but being diagnosed has helped me see that I have to take care of myself and say “no” at times. It has shown me how to set boundaries in my life. It also has taught me to get the drama out of my life. My mother was a huge source of drama for me, and as difficult as it has been, I had to let her go for my own health and sanity. Having these health issues has made me more grateful for the simple things in life. And, most important, these diagnoses have brought God back in my life. I realized for the first time, that I can’t handle this all by myself. I realized I needed God to take control of my life turn my life over to Him. I don’t have the endurance or the energy to worry and try to control things, and God and His greatness handles that for me. I still struggle with relinquishing control, but I know that God knows what is best for me. I couldn’t make it through this without Him. So, yes, being diagnosed with all of this stuff has been a blessing in my life too.

  • Andrew Lumpe, PhD moderator
    6 years ago

    Jaide, I love your perspective and how RA caused you to trust more in God and give more control to him.

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