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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 team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.