What are some of the positive/ empowering things you’ve learned throughout your arthritis journey
Living with significant health challenges can teach you a lot. What are some of the positive/ empowering things you’ve learned throughout your arthritis journey?
You can do what you put your mind to… And I apologize, because I’m walking up a really steep hill right now (laughs). I think [living with RA has] really helped me kind of, I don’t know, not humbled me, but made me realize so many things that people go through and you don’t know that they’re impacted. So I think that’s part of it. It’s just taught me to take care of myself, take care of others and be empathetic. And I guess my mom’s really been my rock. She’s always in my corner saying, “You want to do that? You do that. You want to travel? You want to go work out? You want to apply for that job?” She just says, “Go do whatever you want. Don’t let this hold you back.” So I try to keep that in my mind. That I have to have a career, and do well, and be healthy. And I’ll deal with, you know, what I have, but I think she really has helped me realize all that.
So many things. My relationship with my mom was really rocky in the early years. Somehow this condition kind of strengthened that relationship, and I was really grateful for it. I don’t know, it just felt like I kind of met my mom again. I love that part of it. It also taught me to believe in second chances, because my husband gave me a second chance by bringing me here and getting me proper treatment. I found a lot of sensitivity here in Canada… People really are genuinely caring when you bring it up. At least the people I’ve met so far. Let’s say, when I go to Toastmasters and they give me a space to talk about how I cope with my condition. They have found it so empowering for themselves, right? “Oh, you were so young and you still deal with pain. And you are coping with it with a smile, and you laugh and you’re silly.” So, I think you just learn to see, really, a lot of the positives. I learned that a lot of the material things don’t really matter if you don’t have health. I guess the priorities change in that sense. You just appreciate the small things more than anything. And you don’t know about tomorrow kind of thing.
So ya, I think I’m not angry anymore. I was blessed with my boy. I have my child and it brought a deeper love inside of me that I didn’t even know. It’s just different. And I am loving it. The fact that I know I’m tired but I have to keep going, but that’s ok.
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