The Optimistic Pessimist and living with RA
It's truely hard to look at the glass and see it as half full when it is so clearly half empty. It is truely hard to look at the sky and say what a beautiful day it is when the sky is black and it is pouring down hard. It is truely hard to say I will have a such a great life when your dreams and plans have been ripped away.
Struggling for positivity
Sometimes I like to call myself an optimistic pessimist. Yes, I do know that doesn't make much since, but it is truely how I see myself sometimes. When I am in pain I struggle to even pour anything in the glass, much less to say it is half empty. And when I feel well...well, my glass just stays full. I would stay positive all the time if I could. My life would be full of sunny days. I would wake up with birds chirping and a song in my heart. If I could stay positive there would be no more talk of Rheumatoid Arthritis. But the fact is, there is rheumatoid arthritis, so yes...there is pessimism.
The pain, the pain!
I began a pretty bad flare about a month ago. I felt the pain before I would even wake up in the morning. I didn't want to even open my eyes, and I wouldn't have either if that darn throbbing would have just gone away. It started with pain in the morning and a little stiffness at night and I was just positive that it would pass soon. By week three ( I am on week six) it was full blown pain and stiffness that just wouldn't work itself out. I can promise you that all positivity left my body and all I wanted to do was throw that half empty glass across the room, except that I couldn't lift my arms past my waist. Everyone else saw me as optimistic. I saw me as pessimistic. I was a full blown bonafide optimistic pessimist.
My dirty secret
So now you all know my dirty little secret. I am not always positive. Let me repeat...I am NOT always positive! And let me tell you why I am just fine with that. Because that is what makes me normal. And I think alot of us rheumatoid arthritis sufferers struggle to find some "normal" in our lives. At week three there was not even a hint of positivity left in my body. I was in severe pain, and it was taking over quickly. I began to dread getting out of bed in the morning, and all I wanted was for the day to be over so I could try to sleep through the pain and throbbing once again. I was depressed and my world was over.
Just a reminder
This is just another reminder of how strong us rheumatoid arthritis sufferers are. We struggle through the pain to find hope and positivity in it all. We may not find it right away. It may even take days, weeks, months, or years. But we do fight for it, and let me tell you that sure is one hard fight, isn't it? But we don't give up. Yes, our flares may push us back a few steps in the fight, but we still fight for positivity. We fight because we are fighters, and that in itself sure sounds positive to me.
I am an optimistic pessimist!
I am on week six of my flare right now. I have spent the last three weeks watching my kids be dissappointed when their mom couldn't do anything fun with them. I see the desperation in my husbands eyes when I cry because I WANT to clean but can't. I hear the whispering and know that they wonder if I will end up back in bed with the covers pulled over my head wasting my life away with my pessimistic "my life is over and I am doomed to live the rest of it in severe pain" rountine. So I fight. Yes, my glass may be half empty...but that's only because my children are mischeviously stealing sips of lemonade from it. So I may be an optimistic pessimist, but that also makes me a fighter, and I AM okay with that!
The choice is yours
So if you are struggling to stay positive, please know that you are not alone. There are may of us optimistic pessimists out there who are fighting to see the glass as half full. How many people do you know with rheumatoid arthritis that are positive ALL the time? I sure don't know any. I struggle with it everyday. So how do I do it, you ask? I spend everyday fighting the pessimistic side of me. I look around all day for things that will remind me how great life can still be with this disease. I watch my kids smile when they see me smile. And yes, I will smile throught the pain just to see them smile. But I am a fighter so I can handle it. My search for positivity continues everyday, after all we all have a choice in this...Is your cup half empty or half full? Good luck and best wishes!
Published On: July 07, 2009