Learn from Other Tribes

Guess what, we are spending too much time talking only to each other instead of learning from others. Don’t misunderstand, the PsA community is the greatest for supporting one another, learning from one another and gaining an appreciation for living with PsA directly or indirectly. It always has been, it always will be the most important tool and network. However, we also can learn from others from other communities.

Learning from other communities

The reality of life is that everyone has something that has impacted their life in a majorly upending way. Sometimes physical, sometimes mental, sometimes financial. The only guarantee is that everyone is going to get knocked down in life and it’s how we respond to it that builds our character and determines our quality of time on this earth. This is universal.

So, with that in mind, why wouldn’t we be able to learn from someone who at first thought is fighting a different battle? For example, does watching a loved one in a state of seemingly unending sickness every time they get their shot leaving you helpless on how to help them? Why not, do some research on some cancer communities on ideas for helping someone going through chemo. Did a recent insurance change send your medication prices through the roof to where you aren’t sure how you’ll cover bills each month? Why not look at some financial communities and learn from people who have been at the bottom of the barrel and survived and maybe even ultimately thrived?

Looking beyond ourselves

The reality is we often feel like no one understands us who isn’t going through the exact same journey as we are. In fact, at times we even turn on our own community because perhaps they are in remission while our loved one is fighting tooth and nail every minute of the day. Though a completely natural reaction, it’s not really beneficial for anyone. We need to take time to learn from others no matter where they are in their journey.

Within any strong community there is a sense of tribal loyalty and desire to remain insular, but what can be so wonderful about looking beyond ourselves is that it can be incredibly refreshing to gain a new perspective. It also brings people closer together to see that even though we all have a different road to walk, the struggles can often manifest the same. Being able to bring back the knowledge we’ve gained from others can be one of the greatest gifts we can give to our own community. Additionally, it allows us to share information about PsA to those who may not know or understand a thing about it. Awareness leads to advocacy time and time again.

The caregiver community

So as caregivers, what do we do?

First, why not spend some time on some of the other Health-Union sites to learn about what others are faced. We may find the golden ticket in the most unlikely of places. Skim the post titles, don’t worry about the condition and if it speaks to you read it, comment on it and don’t be afraid to ask a question. Tell them your family has been hit by PsA but their story of living with someone with Endometriosis spoke to you and why.

Meet and mingle with others

Second, get out in the real world and meet some people. Why not sign up for a run or walk that supports another cause. Those events are pretty much guaranteed to be a great time full of a lot of great people. Talk to people in line for the free bagels. Visit the resource fair. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn.

Check out a support group

Third, look for some general support groups in your area. Many hospitals, churches, and community centers offer group meetings for anyone going through difficult times across the board. Why not pop in for a meeting? You don’t have to go back if nothing speaks to you, but what does it hurt to go once and see what you hear. You never know, it may be as simple as someone fighting depression just found an amazing tranquil spot on a local lake that helps center their mind. You can check that spot out too and see if it speaks to you.

Learn from friends and family members

Fourth, and most importantly, look to your friends and learn from them. Don’t forget to look at what’s right in front of you and what they’ve been through in their own lives. Maybe your gorgeous, successful friend went through a horribly awkward stage when they were a teenager and dealt with unending bullying. Their story could be incredibly inspirational to a kid you know just beginning to face flakes on a keyboard from their scalp or having to sit out kickball because it’s too painful and the mockery that can come along with it.

This all came to me from what I’ve seen in my own life. In addition to having a best friend with PsA I have many other diseases that have impacted my family. What I’ve found myself doing time and again is taking what I’ve learned from my friend and applying it to helping my other loved ones with their struggles in different ways. It’s been beyond beneficial all around.

So, keep our tribe strong. Keep sharing our stories, leaning on each other and growing together, but also don’t be afraid to look beyond our tribe to enhance our strength. We’ll all benefit in the end.

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