We Are All in This Together

I find it difficult to spend time in most chronic illness groups. You might think it is because I don’t like being reminded of how difficult it can be to live with psoriatic arthritis, but that’s not it. You may also assume that it is because I think that everyone just uses those groups to complain about their lives, but that isn’t it either. The reason I limit my chronic illness group time is because of how nasty people can be. Instead of encouraging or uplifting each other, there are many who thrive on pulling people down to their level of unhappiness or are unwilling to allow anyone to have an opinion that differs from theirs.

Chronic cliques

Then there are the cliques. Honestly, I thought life would be different after high school, but it truly is no different. I am appalled by the number of people I see go after someone who isn’t treating their chronic illness in the same manner. Apparently, these people forgot that everyone has the right to choose how they treat their illness. You can disagree with it or even oppose it, but you don’t have to tear everyone down who chooses to go that route. It is no secret that I have chosen to address all of my chronic conditions naturally and alternatively. However, you will never hear me tell someone that is treating the same illnesses pharmaceutically that they are stupid or that they shouldn’t. That is their choice. If asked, I will share my opinion, but I wouldn’t degrade someone for their choice. There are also groups who make you feel unwelcome if you aren’t “sick” enough. Seriously??!! Sick is sick! Just because someone is doing better than you are at the moment, doesn’t mean that they don’t have the same disease.

One club

The level of one’s pain and how they treat their disease doesn’t change the fact that we are all in this together. That is why I like groups like the one on psoriatic-arthritis.com, when someone is having a bad moment, people try to uplift or encourage them. I like that we are not all the same. It helps give us insight into what works and what doesn’t. It sheds light on changes that we can make to our own lives and offers assurance when we wonder if all the hard work we are doing to battle our disease is worth it. No one should be belittled because of only having one diagnosis. No one should feel excluded for being in remission or for having their pain and symptoms well managed.

Finding the right fit for you

Chronic illness groups should be places for people at any stage of the game. My advice to anyone who doesn’t want to hear about someone doing better than them or how they are not following the same protocol is to create your own group and stop attacking people in others. I for one love how diverse the world we live in is and would hate to think of everyone having to endure the same level of pain and anger on a daily basis. If the negativity of online groups is weighing on you, keep looking. They are hard to find, but there are some really great groups focused on encouraging, uplifting, and supporting each other.

Do you spend much time in chronic illness groups? Why or why not?

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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