Supermom to the rescue! I could fold clothes, talk on the phone, make dinner, and have Star Wars light saber fights with my youngest son. I went to school full time, worked full time, and still had plently of time to greet my boys when they arrived home from school, snacks ready for them. I could mow my three acres on my handy little riding lawn mower, deliver 12 puppies, comfort my boys when they had nightmares, and play on my homemade mega-slip-n-slide. I was everything a real mom and wife could be, in fact I was SUPERMOM! Then, without notice, my world fell apart...and it fell hard.
Everything happens for a reason
I re-evaluate my life all the time. I am always wondering what my purpose is. I like to believe that everything happens for a reason. And while it may take sometime to figure out what the reasoning is, it will eventually slap me in the face with the understanding that it has been there all along.
What's the reasoning behind losing everything, you ask? It's only when you've lost everything that you can see what you truly have! For me, that was so true. I had mustered up enough courage to walk into my dean's office to tell her the news. I fought back the tears, which I had learned to do quite well in the last couple of months. I couldn't believe the words coming out of my mouth. " I have to quit." My dean looked stunned. I was just three months short of receiving my Bachelor's degree for applied science of the stenograph machine for court reporting and I was a good student. "My doctor says I have too much damage in the joints of my hand to pursue a career in Court Reporting." As I walked out the tears just poured from my face. Life as I knew it was over.
Nothing left for me
At that time I had just taken short-term disability from my full time job. I went home, laid in bed, and that's where I stayed for the next couple of months. I was in bed, unable to acknowledge the world around me or the people I loved. I was left with nothing more than the "why me's" and the "what if's", and life went on without me. I wondered what I had done that was so bad that I was meant to live out the rest of my life with nothing but pain and disappointment. I was sick, and there was nothing else I could do. There was nothing left for me.
Then, again without notice, I was slapped upside my head, and the sad life I knew was meant for me to live, all changed. It's amazing how sometimes it takes losing everything you have, even who you thought you were, to see what you really have. My husband was distant to me, and my kids barely knew me as "mom" anymore. I had decided enough was enough! And in that instant, without a blink of the eye, my life changed.
I am a rheumatoid arthritis fighter!
Instead of being merely a rheumatoid arthitis sufferer, I became a rheumatoid arthritis fighter. After all, what kind of life would I have if I choose to just give up? That day I looked around and I noticed some things I hadn't noticed in a long time. I still had my husband who really did care and love me. I still had my kids who were more amazing than I could have ever imagined. And in my life, there was still a role for me. It was a role that I was meant to play, that I had long since forgotten about. This was MY LIFE, and I was ready to live it.
What happened to supermom, you ask? Now don't get me wrong, supermom never left. Supermom just had a much needed vacation. Supermom hadn't changed, she had just adjusted. I took baby steps at first. I kept appointments when I could, instead of being scared to face reality. I loved my kids and my husband. I laughed when my boys laughed, and I smiled everytime I saw them. About the time I thought I had forgotten that life could be so good, it reached out and slapped me. Yes, I was sick. But that didn't mean I had to change and that I was no longer the person that I once was, it just meant I had adjusted to my circumstances. I woke up one morning and my amazing life was starring me right in the face.
Living well with RA
Rheumatoid arthritis can change you if you let it. It can take away hopes and dreams. It can take away a sense of ones self. It can cause depression, insecurities, self doubt, and heavy fears. But what it can't take away is you, plain and simple. You can chose to live life despite your disease, or you can watch it pass you buy. I lost far too much time with the people I love. Now I live each day enjoying it to the fullest. Yes, I lost far too much, but what I gained I would never trade for the life I once knew. I take time to relax, because I have to have strength and energy for my boys. I take my medications daily, because I want to feel well enough to go on a date with my husband. I look around today and see that I have far more than I could ever have imagined! Life can be good with Rheumatoid Arthritis. And yes, we all still have couch days and pity parties, but we can still live life well. Take the time to look around and see what you have, and really appreciate it. You might just find that even though you live daily with rheumatoid arthritis, your life might just be more fufilling than you could have ever imagined! Good luck and best wishes!
Published On: April 22, 2009