“Ow, I hurt.”
“WHY DIDN’T YOU ASK FOR HELP??”
I recently wrote an article asking why I continually push my limits. Many community members commented with their experiences with the question “why do I keep doing that?”
They shared ‘habit’, ‘denial and ‘joy’ which are all valid and relatable emotions. But, nobody mentioned pride. It’s a weird word. It has a negative connotation and carries a pre-conceived notion that a person is conceited and arrogant. Regardless, I personally think a little self-confidence is good for the ego...
Pride - a part of my personality
There are two things should know about me 1) I still love Pokémon and 2) I am a very proud person. I always was proud. Proud that I was the first person in my grade to lose all my baby teeth, proud I was so good with animals and proud I got into college two weeks into my senior year of high school.
I was always aware of my ability even though I was not naturally good at anything. I, however, as a human being, could get better.
I am still a very confident person and that has been my downfall and blessing with RA.
Pride: A blessing for my life with RA
Blessing because I was too stubborn to give into the disease. I didn’t roll over and just take my diagnosis. I fought against it every step of the way.
Confidence and respect in ourselves, in our work and how we affect the world intrigues others. People trust and gravitate towards that energy. And, we like that. Who doesn’t? Who doesn’t feel good about themselves when other people like them? These are all signs we are social animals (which we are). So why don’t we show pride in our abilities, or disabilities, with RA?
It took me a long time to even ask that question. I was so fit and healthy prior to my 2010 diagnosis I felt humiliated. I retreated and hid from my friends, family, and work. All the pride I once felt whistled out of me like air from a popped balloon and I felt horrible. Different.
But, as I pieced my life back together my confidence came back. I was doing a lot even with my new limits and why shouldn't I show the world?
Pride: A downfall for my life with RA
Unfortunately, for those reasons, listed above, my pride was also my downfall.
My mother taught me how to be self-sufficient. By the time I was seven, I was ironing my own clothes. By the time I was ten, I knew how to care for a home and pay bills. After my mother passed away, the “chores” landed solely on my shoulders. I was an only child so I didn’t ask for help (I probably could have) and that mentality leached into other parts of my life.
When my Rheumatoid Arthritis was the most disabling I had no choice but to ask for help. I couldn’t manage on my own and I accepted that. As I became more comfortable with my diagnosis and self, my old ways crept back in. I was proud to do things on my own again.
Does Pride play a role in why we don’t as for help or push ourselves to do things on our own?
When was your last flare?