Rheumatoid Arthritis and Keeping a Positive Attitude

Hollybgroovin Health Guide
  • I read a quote the other day and it really got me thinking:

    “Sometimes life knocks you down, so that the only way you have to look, is up.”

    It’s a wonderful quote, isn’t it?



    Sometimes life knocks you down!

    All of us with rheumatoid arthritis definitely know what it’s like to be knocked down in life, whether it be from the actual diagnosis, the obstacles the disease brings, or the losses having a chronic illness has caused. Sometimes I feel that by having rheumatoid arthritis, everything that I have ever worked for has been taken away. It’s a very scary, lonely place to be when you feel like you have lost it all. How discouraging is it to feel like you have worked so hard, and yet you have to start all over again?

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    When you can’t do anything else, just look up!

    The fact is, starting your life over is scary. It is also necessary. I have said before that life doesn’t stop just because we have rheumatoid arthritis. Life moves on with or without us.

    At this point there is a very important decision to be made. Do we move forward, or do we let rheumatoid arthritis keep us down? For at least the first two years after my diagnosis, I watched life move forward without me. It was a choice that only I could have made. I chose to feel sorry for myself. I chose to be consumed by my pain, anger, and depression. I chose to give up. It was only when I was at my lowest that there was nowhere to look but up. That’s when it all changed.



    Looking up was not easy!

    I remember lying on the couch one warm summer afternoon. It had been the only thing I had been able to do for months and months. I was stuck in my permanent “Couch Days.” You know those days. Those are the days you want to just lay on the couch and pull the covers over your head, and make it all go away. I looked around at my boys and my husband. My boys had a play date, and my husband was rushing around trying to get them ready. My husband and boys gave me a kiss goodbye and hurried on to their play date. After they left I laid on the couch upset and confused. When did they grow up? How did they get so big, so fast? Then it hit me like a pile of bricks. Life had happened without me. While they were busy growing up, I was busy feeling sorry for myself. I will never in my life forget that day. It was the day I chose to fight this disease. It was the day I vowed to never let life move on without me. It wasn’t an easy decision. Truthfully it was much easier lying on that couch feeling sorry for myself. I didn’t have to face life that way.



    "Looking up", means different things to different people. What does looking up mean to me? To me it means living my life again…to the fullest. To me it means smiling through the pain. To me it means taking that first step to start all over. It means realizing that I am not alone. There are so many others like me who are struggling to look up when it’s so much easier to lay down and watch life pass us by. I realized I had too much to live for. We all face many of the same obstacles when dealing with this disease. Only you can make the decision to go on, to fight rheumatoid arthritis, and to live again and start over. So when life knocks you down, look up! You just might discover a beautiful sunrise filled with endless possibilities, or you might discover a gorgeous sunset filled with new promises for tomorrow. The choice is yours alone to make! When it feels like there is nothing else you can do… LOOK UP!

Published On: March 30, 2008