Four Ways Psoriatic Arthritis Filled My Life with Fear
Before psoriatic arthritis, I loved life. I laughed, I played and was always up for an adventure. Life was fun and I was happy. I began noticing a change in my attitude soon after receiving my diagnosis. I had become miserable and fearful of everything.
What did I fear? It would be easier to answer what I didn’t fear.
Fear of psoriatic arthritis treatment
I became fearful of every treatment offered. This included natural and alternative forms. I feared they wouldn’t work. Would it be worth the time and effort? Would it cause more problems? I feared the expense. Could I afford to try it and if it did work, would I be able to afford continued treatment?
As much as I wanted to be happy, I feared what happiness would bring. Living with a chronic illness means having to endure pain. Although the pain is physical, it also shreds us emotionally. There were times when it was easier to not allow myself to feel joy, pleasure, or happiness because afterward the moments of despair, sadness, and anger would often be felt deeper and stronger than before.
Socializing with psoriatic arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis turned me into a hermit. I feared what people would think if they saw me with a mobility aid. On the flip side, I also feared the judgment of being seen without one if I was having a good day. I feared not being able to communicate the way I used to. There are times when chronic pain steals my words. I fear being made fun of or sounding stupid. But most of all, I fear being interrogated about my mental health and treatment plan.
There are a time and a place for conversations regarding my health and how I treat my diseases. Unfortunately, that is all some people want to talk about. It’s almost as if talking about my pain and struggles makes them feel better. This is one of the reasons I keep a small social circle.
Fear of losing myself to psoriatic arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis changed me. There were things I had to give up and dreams I had to let go of. Modifying my activities and altering my dreams felt like saying good-bye to who I was. All of these changes made me question who I was. Would I like the new me? Most importantly, would my husband, children, family, and friends continue to love and like me?
Thankfully, I no longer live in fear. Yes, I worry, but I no longer allow that worry to consume my mind and life. Some things work, some don’t. I had to find joy in the painful points of my chronic journey in order to find and feel joy in my life. I stopped spending time with people who felt the need to belittle my illnesses or only pitied me.
Overcoming all of the fears
More importantly, I learned that not being able to do everything I used to or having to make modifications doesn’t define who I am. Taking on new hobbies, careers, or activities didn’t change who I was, instead, they showed me and others that I was capable of more than I had realized and you are too!!
What fears did psoriatic arthritis trigger in your life? How have you dealt with those fears?
Have you ever applied for disability?