Excuses, Reasons, and Normalcy
Have you ever been accused of using your psoriatic arthritis as an “excuse”? Perhaps you needed to cancel plans or didn’t clean the house. Maybe someone said to you in that tone, “Whatever, it’s fine. It’s always the same old excuse.”
Psoriatic arthritis and excuses
Being accused of using psoriatic arthritis as an “excuse” is a tough pill to swallow. It is a harsh word to use that can arguably feel more painful than even the joint damage and fatigue. Not to mention it’s implied meaning and associated accusations.
While we love our family and friends, being accused of using your chronic illness as an “excuse” can’t help but make us question the strength and validity of some of our most cherished relationships.
Anger with others and myself
At the same time, I can’t get too angry with them because if I’m being honest, I’ve even questioned myself in the same way. I’ve had moments where I felt guilty and overwhelmed. I worried that maybe I didn’t “push through” hard enough, or I said that I just couldn’t get something finished and I blamed it on my PsA.
Whether you assign the words to yourself, a hurt friend hurls them at you, or it is implied through a text or quick conversation, it all comes down to the same idea. But there again, we have another weighty word: blame. Right up there with the term "excuse," the blame is equally hurtful.
You aren’t good enough. Psoriatic arthritis doesn’t excuse your absence. You can’t blame the fatigue for your unfinished project.
Psoriatic arthritis is the reason for your absence. The reason the project is unfinished is because of the overwhelming fatigue. Perhaps you don’t think it is a big deal. But for many of us, your word choice makes a major difference. It changes how you see us and how we see ourselves in relationship to our psoriatic arthritis.
Wanting to feel "normal"
I think when it comes down to it, many people underestimate our desire to just be “normal.” They don’t understand that maybe we want to be able to spend the day binge-watching our favorite show simply because we feel like it and not because we are in too much pain to do anything else.
Or better yet, I want to reach the end of my day with just normal, every day, tired. Not bone-weary, dragging through mud and concrete kind of exhausted.
I want to be able to get an idea in my head for a project and actually complete the project without calling in for reinforcements. I'd like to avoid planning every single simple part of the process to allow for rest and flare times. That’s the “normalcy” I miss.
Is PsA excusing us from normalcy?
That is what I want while I’m awake in the middle of the night. In my heart of hearts, I desire that same “normalcy” that everyone else seems to take for granted all of the time.
I’m not asking for a fairy-tale life. I’m not asking for extraordinary or even just (as the young kids say), extra. I just want normalcy. And yet, even that basic request is too much.
Is psoriatic arthritis the excuse that we can never have a normal life? Or is it simply the reason?
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