Starting the New Year with a New Approach to Living with PsA

Are you dreading or looking forward to the New Year? As long as I can remember, the New Year has always come with a sense of hope. There’s the hope of scientists finding a cure, possibilities of finding new ways to relieve pain, and the prospect of living better than I did the year before. However, if I want those hopes to become true, I need to take action, if I don’t those hopes will become unrealistic dreams.

The not so good days

The first 13 years of my chronic life were spent hoping, wishing, and waiting. For what you ask? I hoped a better life, one that was easier than living with a disease that had no respect for my desires. I wished for less pain. All I wanted was for my pain to decrease. And I waited for someone, anyone, to make my hopes and wishes come true. The problem with this was there wasn’t anyone who could make my life better. It was all on me!

New Year's resolutions

A few years ago, I changed how I thought about the New Year. Instead of hoping, wishing, and waiting, I began planning, preparing, and taking action. And guess what? It worked!! The years that followed were fantastic, even when my health wasn’t. Why? Because I stopped allowing my health to determine the value of my life, I ceased waiting for others to make my life better, and I got real about what to expect. Another reason it has worked is because I opened my mind to new possibilities. I allowed myself to try different pain relief treatments, ones that I would have laughed at in the past. Not everything I tried worked, but some did and boy did they make a difference! Allowing myself to use mobility aids without feeling ashamed was a big one back in 2013. That new attitude made it possible to do and see more.

Memory lane

Before coming up with my New Year’s vows to improve my life, I take a trip down memory lane. I look back at how my illnesses behaved. If there were periods of low pain, I make sure to do more of what I did during that time. On the flipside, I dissect periods of extreme pain and look for things I could have done differently. I may not be able to always avoid a flare, but there are things that I can do to make getting through one easier.

I will be applying a new approach this New Year. With all of the improvements I have experienced in regards to pain and inflammation, I find myself panicked anytime I catch a cold and need to rest for a day. My new approach will be to stop viewing the time needed to heal from an injury or cold the same as I did throughout the years chronic pain sentenced me to bed. I need to and will work hard to disassociate bedrest for an illness/injury with living in bed.

Are you ready to make 2019 a year of planning, preparing, and doing?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The 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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