Living with RA is a challenge. That's putting it mildly, right? How do we find purpose in our unpredictable RA world? How do we find happiness, and adjust to our “new normal?”
You all know that I recently retired because of health issues. That was about a month ago. During this time, I have been thinking very much about what direction my life will be taking.
I found HealthCentral two and a half years ago, when I was undiagnosed. I was scared and confused. Lene, and others, helped me sort through all of the confusion and encouraged me to push for a diagnosis. I would have felt so alone without this community. It was at that time, I decided it was important to help others living with RA.
I know we don't like to talk too much about suffering. It isn't something we should dwell on. But the truth is, we do suffer. We suffer from the physical pain, the fatigue, and the emotional pain that comes from having an invisible disease that others cannot detect or understand.
Since my diagnosis, I have done what I could to spread the truth about RA. I have written articles for HC, and spoken to groups of acquaintances at various social events, explaining that RA is an autoimmune disease that is systemic, and is not the same as OA.
The strange part is that I have also enlightened general practitioners and physical therapists about the pain and disability caused by uncontrolled RA. There is still a lot of ignorance about RA out there in the medical community. Many people only know one thing: Medications For RA Are Expensive.
Now that I am not working, I want to step up this goal for my life. I need to get my RA better controlled before I can do this, and I'm not exactly sure where I will go with this idea. I am thinking I will become an advocate and do as much as my health will allow.
The point is this: I have a purpose, a passion in my life. It is a purpose that is close to my heart and it doesn't feel like “work”. If you can find a purpose close to your heart that you can pursue as your health allows, you will be on the track to happiness.
I have another goal, or purpose, in my life. I started writing devotions this summer. I'm not sure why or how it happened, but I found myself being so appreciative for the good things in life, that I just had to write them down.
I shared some of these devotions with friends, and they have encouraged me to write a book of devotions. I haven't started it yet, but I do intend to continue this practice. It helps me focus on my core beliefs. It helps me identify the blessings in my life.
If you can find some focus in your life that is a positive influence on you and others, you need to purse that focus. It will be good for you. It will be good for others. We all know how much it helps us to help other people.
When we are doing something we enjoy, we tend to find happiness and contentment in our lives. I am not saying it is always easy. It isn't easy, but it is important.