Dealing with Long Term Fears
The future. If you would have asked me 10, 15 years ago and I would have sworn that the future held nothing but sunshine and rainbows. I saw lifelong dreams coming true and envisioned myself growing into a strong, capable, and independent woman. Boy, does life ever have a way of disappointing you.
Dealing with long term fears
I’m sure you suspect that this is going to be rather of a “downer” article. And I suppose in some ways you’d probably be right. The future is uncertain. We are more likely than not, to have an earlier death than those without psoriatic arthritis. We will most likely suffer from one of a multitude of co-existing conditions. These are indeed very grim facts to face.
As each year passes, every blood test to check the functioning of our liver and kidneys, we face the unavoidable long term fears. We make our choices, hoping that that benefits outweigh the risks and we won’t have to add yet another diagnosis to the growing list. Yes, the prognosis is chronic and the future is scary.
But believe it or not, even while these long term fears are ever-present, we still have reasons to hope
I actually am strong
Yes, it isn’t the strength I’d envisioned for my future. My body isn’t physically strong. I don’t go to the gym. Instead of heading to the treadmill in the basement, on good days I can get in a few good yoga poses. Rather, my strength is one of will, persistence, courage.
I am capable
I’ve lost my idea of what capable should be. Now I’m capable of so much more. I’m capable of more empathy for others. I am capable in ways I never realized I could be. I’m capable of being my own advocate making sure that my voice is heard.
I am independent
Perhaps I’m not independent in the way I had thought I’d be. But I’m independent in a newer, freer way. I’ve accepted that “being independent” isn’t what I thought it was. It isn’t being able to solely rely on yourself. Being truly independent is realizing that you don’t have to fight this battle alone. You don’t have to struggle all by yourself.
Long term consequences of living with psoriatic arthritis
So, yes, my future isn’t as I had envisioned it. But maybe that is okay. Maybe my fears for the future should balance the good with the bad. The reality is that there are and will always be long term consequences of living with psoriatic arthritis. But at the same time, there are so many advancements and discoveries being made every day.
My future may be different than I had imagined, but that doesn’t mean that it is all bad. Where we think we will be is not always where we end up. But the sooner we accept that that is okay, the more we are able to embrace the idea that life might be different, but that doesn’t mean that it is all bad, even when it comes to dealing with long term fears.
Do you regularly track your psoriatic arthritis symptoms?