Feeling Like a Psoriatic Failure

Psoriatic arthritis impacts every part of my life. As much as I wish it wasn’t true, I’m also a realist who understands (and on a good day, accepts) the reality of the situation.

On the bad days, I can’t help but get down on myself. It's on these days where all I can see is my life littered with failures. Psoriatic arthritis makes everything I try and do ten times more difficult. This makes it ten times more likely that I will fail at pretty much anything I try and do.

The limitations of PsA make me feel like a failure...

Heck, most days I can’t even lift a regular coffee mug without spilling it all over myself. But I suppose that’s a story for a different day. Big or small, the chances are when it comes down to it, I will fall far short of my expectations.

There are a million reasons why. Fatigue probably being the most prevalent. But that doesn’t mean joint swelling and pain don’t get in their licks as well. I make plans and have to cancel. I start projects that others have to finish. I end up in bed leaving others to clean up the mess.

I try not to take it personally. After all, I know that failure isn’t necessarily my "fault." It’s just another sacrifice at the altar of the psoriatic arthritis beast. But that doesn’t make it hurt any less.

I look around at my friends, they are successful in their fields, on the outside at least, appearing to have it all together. At the very least, they can get out of bed every day, get showered and dressed, without giving it a second thought.

Different ways I can stop being so hard on myself

Whereas there are quite a few days when I have to plan my entire day around how I’m going to shower that day. My first answer would be to simply not make plans, to begin with. Don’t start projects, don’t do anything at all. But you know as well as I do that that really isn’t the answer.

Everyone, whether they have psoriatic arthritis or not, has to learn how to manage feelings of failure. We just happen to experience them more than most. Often easier said than done, try and focus on the good things, the successes you’ve had for the day, the week, or the month. Even if it feels like something “small,” hold onto it and celebrate it.

When you start to get “down” on yourself, it can throw you down a long, dark tunnel. One negative feeling can begin to snowball so much that it becomes all you can see. Wasting too much energy focusing on the negative feelings of failure can spiral out of control all too quickly.

As human beings, we are about so much more than the accomplishments in our lives. We are capable of so much in this world. What are your strengths? Are you a compassionate person? A great friend? Are you an empathetic listener? Focus on all the good you are able to contribute to the world as a person.

We're not failures. We're warriors!

Even though these feelings of failure seem like they can go on and on forever, the reality is that often when we feel this way, it is only temporary. In time, these feelings can pass.

Most likely, I’m feeling like a failure because I’ve been sidelined by a flare. It all seems to be part of the ups and downs of living with psoriatic arthritis. The ebb and flow of flares also come with its own cyclical nature.

When it comes down to it, we are not failures at all. In fact, I think we are all pretty bad*ss individuals. The mountains we conquer every single day are unimaginable for most people.

The things we hide, the parts of this disease that we share with no one, the fact that we make it to the end of every single day, often still with a smile, makes us the most successful warriors in the world.

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