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After a Diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis, Where Did I Go?

Psoriatic arthritis came like a thief in the night and took something that I thought was untouchable: myself. Talk about a humbling lesson in life.

Sitting, paging through a local magazine the other day, an image caught my eye. An image of bright green leaves with touches of pinks and purple flowers that added just the right amount of color. Placed on a table in front of this magical background was a tall gin bottle with gold flecks in.

This was an image that spoke to my heart. The part of my heart that feels as if it has been lost forever, a young woman whose lust for life was large.

Life after a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis

I sat and wondered for a while what had happened to her. The truth is, it’s not just one thing. An accumulation of things in my life have lead me to the woman I am now. I love this current version of myself and I am proud to have made it through everything. More importantly, I love that I still have compassion for people after it all.

The really sad thing is the person who came off worst from it, was me. It has taken me years to realize, admit and accept this. I somehow managed to keep my understanding of everyone else. Over time I became less tolerant of my quirks and became so hard to keep up with my standards. If I could tell anyone who was going through the lessons of the same trial, it would be this: Be kind and look after yourself. Treat yourself as you would treat your best friend.

Coping through the pains of psoriatic arthritis

At the tender age of 34, some days I struggle to bring my leg up so that I can tie the laces of my sneakers. Struggling to do every day things was never on my to-do list. I have managed to get myself onto a long-term pain medication that helps healing and less overall pain. I keen on new results and always remain excited and hopeful.

My best friend said to me today, that she was glad that I decided to go on this new medication. I forget sometimes how much she worries and how my condition affects her life too. See the thing is, my best friend Sam, she knew me before all of this. She knew that girl better than anyone, she has walked the line with me, dried my tears, and talked me in and out of all the right things, I would be lost without her.

A lesson in living with psoriatic arthritis

When I saw this image, it was as if that door opened just a sliver, just enough to let me see the essence of my being. She is still there, light beaming in, and with glitter in the air. In that single moment, I felt all the joy that I feel has been stripped away with a glimmer of hope to find it again. Maybe it was never stolen, just buried underneath everything I had to carry.

By no means do I want the old version of me back. I have survived too many life lessons, too much heartache and too much grief to ever be the same again. I would just like to find my light again for me. With all the challenges of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, I know there is a way to have happiness too.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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