Find Your Mantra When Living With Psoriatic Arthritis
Last updated: January 2020
After having psoriasis for over 55 years, psoriatic arthritis for 35 years and fibromyalgia for 2 years; these diseases have taken somewhat of a toll on me. When we are told we have a chronic illness, it’s a shock.
We have no choice but to get used to it. You need to find a way to enjoy this new life which is often characterized by lengthy therapies, pain, and uncertainties. We know there is no cure yet. At best, the disease can go into remission. This means it is brought to a standstill and symptoms can be alleviated.
Feeling defeat from psoriatic arthritis
Many therapies are lengthy, change our daily routine, are exhausting and uncomfortable. Movement and mobility can change, and general performance may decrease. This shakes up the lives and careers of a lot of us.
In addition, if we are still working, feelings of real or supposed stigmatization arise as well as feelings of guilt as we no longer can perform well at our jobs. Long downtimes in the job lead to economic losses. Sometimes, only part-time employment is possible due to illness.
We also have to deal with the economic security of our families which ties up additional forces against us. To overcome all the reasons to feel defeated, here are some mantras that I try to live by:
Stop worrying about other people and colleague’s opinion
Everyone lives in their own micro-world, with their own life-path and happiness. Only you can take care of your own happiness and well-being. No matter what happens, your physical and emotional health is the most important. Don’t judge other people for the way they behave, because some of them fail to understand the nature of having a chronic illness simply because they lack the knowledge.
Don’t force yourself
If you feel that you get tired and fatigued easily, that means that your body is trying to say something to you. Don’t ignore these alarms in order to get the work done. Take care of yourself, talk to your doctors about the symptoms and get enough rest.
Your job does not define you
You are a whole complex personality, and your job is just one aspect of your life. Reflect on your worth and try to accept the management of your illness as a part of your lifestyle. If you no longer have the energy for a 9 to 5 job, that is okay; find something that suits you.
The decision is up to you
If the best decision for you is to quit your job, then do it, it’s not personal. Remember this has nothing to do with knowledge of the person you are. We have uncontrollable factors that affect us more than people know. Just know both your limits and do your best. I still work every day, but my job had the understanding that I couldn’t commute anymore along with having brain fog and fatigue. They have allowed me to telecommute.
Prioritize your life over your condition
If you do decide to retire, enjoy it. There’s no more getting up early every morning to get dress, deal with traffic or people. You will have more time to spend with family and friends. Take time to write more and fellowship with others.
Find your purpose with psoriatic arthritis
Does retiring early means an early demise; of course not. You get to spend more time taking care of yourself. Many of us have worked our whole life and our careers are a big part of who we are. We all looked forward to retiring and rejoicing for that time to come, but when you are forced too, sometimes it’s no longer a celebration.
I know that as I think about retiring very soon myself; I think about what I want to do in my community. It’s easier said than done when you have several autoimmune diseases and can’t get out of bed each day or worst; can’t remember why you got out of bed. It will become harder to do volunteer work. Will I be able to give back as I once had?
You will have to find what works for you and what makes you feel good about yourself. I know for a fact that we with our diseases find it hard to even leave our homes. Don’t get frustrated, try to find some things that aren’t demanding. We all want to help people; just find your niche and do it.
Do you usually need to recover from a vacation?