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Cheerleading My Way through PsA

Living with PsA and my other chronic illnesses has taught me that I am my best advocate. Nobody, not one friend, family member, or doctor is going to care for my well-being as much as me. But it goes beyond advocating for my care and treatment, I also had to take on the job of cheerleading myself through each day. Today I am sharing two ways that I give myself the encouragement that I need to live with multiple chronic illnesses.

Hang in there!

It is easy to fall down the rabbit hole of depression and despair when experiencing a severe flare. I can’t expect my friends and family to be by my side telling me that it will be okay throughout one, so I do it myself. Every time I find myself thinking that I can’t take another minute of my illness, I remind myself that this too shall pass. It may not end in an hour or a day, but like all flares it will eventually end. I remind myself to be patient and that any attempt to fight the flare will only result in more downtime. This may sound strange, but I have to give myself permission to care for myself. The reason I have to do this is because I used to believe that resting or napping meant that I was lazy or wasting time. The reality is that having to spend a few days in bed now and then is hard work! Especially on an emotional level as I am always thinking about what isn’t getting done. Thinking about how I am going to catch up after my flare passes can be overwhelming. So I tell myself to relax, breath slowly, and focus on what is most important at that moment which is caring for my body.

You can do it!

I used to talk myself out of trying new activities or going places. One reason was because I feared the pain that would most likely follow. Another reason was a bad past experience made me believe that I could never try again. Then one day the little, but feisty cheerleader in my head screamed “Yes you can!” And she was right. I had to stop looking at my bad experiences as failures. Sure it didn’t work out that time, but if I planned and did things differently I might have a better experience next time. So I pump myself up and begin looking for alternative ways to do something or methods that could make what I want to do less painful.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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