alt=a woman with her pieces of motivation scattered around her

My Motivation Done Got up and Went!

Last updated: August 2022

My apologies to those of you who cringed at the grammar. My southern is showing!

We are expected to deal with so much

We deal with so many issues related to a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis. Pain, joint deformity, severe fatigue, concomitant diagnoses, surgeries, changes in relationships, changes in work, and changes in social life. We learn to juggle, re-arrange, accommodate, compromise, adjust, re-adjust, etc.

Health challenges of RA

While most of us deal with fatigue and pain daily, we find that some days are much harder than others. We rest, muddle through, get a steroid shot (in my case), and keep putting “one foot in front of the other”. (I’m hearing Fred Astaire sing those lyrics from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”.) We cope and do what we need to do.

Current events in the news

This summer of 2022 is different. We have dealt with historical events in the last two years. A pandemic unlike any we have seen in our lifetime that keeps mutating and rearing its ugly head time and again. Add in political unrest and increasing violence to make a mess of a nightmare stew. I have watched friends who never coped with rheumatoid arthritis almost fall apart in these times. In some ways, folks with RA are ahead of the learning curve.

Combined, this can be completely overwhelming!

And yet, what happens when people with rheumatoid arthritis add these issues on top of what we already have? I can almost hear us crying out for relief!

I started changing the way I live

I have always been an extrovert. I used to love to be with people and do fun things, but I now find that I am becoming more of an introvert. I value my alone time. Instead of being energized by being with people, I am now relieved when I am alone. All I want to do is rest, read books, play games on my phone, and be left alone. I prefer going out to eat alone, before the supper rush. Due to a medication change and fail, I have not been able to attend church and sing. Singing brings me joy. I do enjoy time with friends, but much less frequently.

How do we find relief? It is individual for each person. What has astounded me is that my needs have changed so much! Are you finding that for yourself? At first, I was concerned that something was wrong with me. I have since realized it is okay for you to change to fit your situation. You do not have to be stuck!

I’ve noticed a decrease in my motivation

What does all this have to do with motivation? Everything, right?

Have you truly counted the cost of the last two years in addition to what you already work with? I am beginning to realize that cost.

This week I have felt no joy in my calling as a parish nurse. Last week I had bits of joy. Now it is difficult to even come to work. I am tired of being exhausted. I struggle with my supervisor’s demand that I increase my workload. When I do increase my workload, she briefly thanks me and then requires more. I built this position from the ground up autonomously. My previous supervisors allowed me to minister as I was called and were always grateful.

What can we do to feel better?

I am coming to terms with this situation and realizing that I have already reduced my social life to compensate. Is that the right decision? Should I only live to work? I am making small changes as I can.

When motivation ends or pauses, what can we do?

  • If you are a person of faith, pray and give it over.
  • Realize that the loss of motivation is temporary.
  • Grieve for the loss.
  • Rest
  • Brainstorm ideas, no matter how silly.
  • Put one foot in front of the other until it comes back.

Please share your thoughts and ideas!

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