Feeling "Normal" Despite Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hollybgroovin Health Guide
  • The difference is...


    I really appreciate the differences in my two boys, in fact I celebrate them. I love them more than I ever thought possible to love someone, and I tell them all day everyday how they make me the happiest momma in the world! My oldest son Gavin is nine. He is brilliant. He has always been in the 98 percentile of students in the united states as far as testing at his age goes. He has a big vocabulary and loves to use new words to impress us. He is truly my little man and is always making sure his younger brother knows how things should go and what things need to be done. He takes pride in his all-star soccer capabilities and pushes himself when he is not quite happy with his grades. Then there is Jake, my six year old. He is just now starting to show a little interest in school and I fully believe that is only because he is the class clown. He love books, but that is usually only when he is writing them and drawing all the illustrations himself. He is naturally hilarious with the facial expressions similar to a cartoon character. Sometimes my boys are like night and day but I encourage each one of them to be themselves, to pursue their loves whether it be sports or art, and I teach them to stand tall and be proud of who they are. They love the fact that they are different, and well...I love it more than they could ever imagine!

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    What is "normal"

    What is the definition of "normal"? And why are we as rheumatoid arthritis sufferers always wanting to fit that definition? Is "normal" a person who wakes up in the morning, takes a shower, gets ready for work, comes homes to eat dinner, does the laundry, and goes to bed? A couple years ago that is all I wanted. And I mean I wanted that bad! I just wanted to be a normal person living a normal life...a life I felt I had been robbed of by rheumatoid arthritis. I just wanted to be normal. I would ask my husband on a daily basis why I couldn't just be a normal person, and of course he never quite knew how to answer that question. On my bad flare days I would lay in bed, sometimes for weeks at a time, and dream about being normal once again.



    I have come a long way in my fight with rheumatoid arthritis. I do complete soul searching everyday. I am always trying to find meaning in my being sick with such an awful disease. I believe that one of the most wonderful things that I have found out about myself in my many soul searching sessions is that I am NOT NORMAL! Being normal used to be the only thing that I thought would make me happy, and I tried desperately to pursue it. And then one day, I realized how lucky I was just to NOT be normal, to just be myself!


    You are NOT NORMAL

    You may by sitting there wanting the same things out of your life that I once wanted. You may be dwelling on the fact that your hands no longer can do the same things that "normal" hands can do. You may be dwelling on the fact that you can no longer work a "normal" job. You may even be dwelling on the fact that it's not normal to have to take so many medications for your disease, and then take even more to combat the side effects of your first medications. Well, let me tell you something...You are NOT NORMAL either!


    Who are you?

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    If you aren't at the point yet to where you can be happy with the fact that you aren't normal, then let me help you. Let me tell you just exactly who you are now or who you may be in the future...


    You are strong. I mean you are the strongest of the strong. You have endured more physical and emotional pain than any "normal" person could ever imagine! You are compassionate. Your heart breaks (and let's confess, you may have cried more than once) just knowing that there are others who have suffered in the same horrible pain as you! You're appreciative. You appreciate those days when you are able to roll out of bed, or take that extra step in the morning. And let's be honest, you may have smiled more than once when you could do a little more one day then you could the day before. You laugh louder and harder than any "normal" person could ever dream of. You can definitely appreciate laughter when living with a disease that tries desperately to take that away. So No, you are NOT NORMAL, you are so much more!


    So today throw "normal" out the window and start to appreciate who you are...I mean who you REALLY are. We spend so much time appreciating the differences in others, yet we often fail to appreciate the differences in ourselves. You might just find that you are so much better than "NORMAL"! Good luck and best wishes!


Published On: May 26, 2009