5 Things I Avoid During a Flare

Flare-ups from psoriatic arthritis and other painful chronic conditions do more than inflict pain and fatigue; they also alter my emotional state. Back in December, I shared different ways I get through a flare. Today I want to share five things I avoid doing.

1. Social media:

While many people find scrolling through their social media feed a pleasant distraction, for me it is like entering a snake pit. The anger that I have towards my illnesses at that moment consumes me. Even though I would normally be genuinely happy for my friends and family who are living their lives and sharing their joy on the internet, I become jealous and bitter because I am stuck in bed. Angry or depressing posts fuel my rage allowing the beast within to grow. Social media is a humongous no-no when pain and fatigue take my emotions hostage. At the very least if I do happen to venture into cyberland, I never allow myself to reply to a comment or post until I am emotionally ready to do so.

2. Conversations:

Unlike social media where I can take time to reply, a conversation requires an immediate response. Giving someone my undivided attention and/or sharing my thoughts and opinions are impossible when I am engaged in a war with my body. To lessen the risk of saying something I can’t take back, I keep my verbal engagements to a minimum and never discuss anything of importance during a severe flare.

3. Keeping a schedule:

Trying to adhere to my daily routine is futile when flaring. If my body decides it want to go to sleep for the night at four in the afternoon, then that is what it is going to do. Fighting it only make things worse. The harder I fight the more intense my pain becomes. During a flare the gloves come off and I submit to my body’s demands.

4. Cooking:

I often feel like a zombie when I am experiencing a flare. Because of this I have left the oven on for hours after cooking, forgotten to put leftover ingredients away, forgotten to add the most important ingredients in a recipe, and burnt my hands because I forgot to use a potholder. To continue feeding my family when I am unable to cook I keep a freezer full of foods that they can prepare themselves and set aside some extra cash so my husband pick up take-out occasionally.

5. Feeling guilty:

I used to emotionally beat myself up for allowing my body to control my life. However, I was wrong. I don’t allow flares, they aren’t controllable. Once I accepted that this was just another aspect of my diseases that I had to learn to live with I was able to let go of the guilt that would eat at me.

What do you avoid when your body is flaring?

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