A woman holds her head in her hands as 2 variations of herself look angrily over her shoulder

My Psoriatic Arthritis Is Not My Fault

“You can do everything right and still not be well.” - Dr. Will Bulsiewicz

I’ve spent quite a few years now trying to wrangle my psoriatic arthritis into semi-manageable. More often than not, this condition has felt more like a runaway train destroying my body than not. I know that might seem a little dramatic, but it is true.

I like to be in control. Maybe a little too much, but that's something else for me to work through. Because of my control issues, I thought how I was controlling this runaway train was because I was doing something wrong, and therefore my psoriatic arthritis disease progression was my own fault.

Psoriatic arthritis is out of my control

There have been times when I feel like I have been able to mildly slow down the progression of PsA, but only for brief periods of time. Which I have only been able to attribute to the overlap of both all the right medications and my attempt at the autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet.

But since, I’ve learned that lightning strikes in the same place only once. So, being the researcher at heart that I am, I kept looking.

An unending game of disease whack-a-mole

I wouldn't stop until I found that lightning in a bottle. There are a number of reasons for this, not the least of which is that, basically, my body feels like a raging inferno of inflammation. And this raging inferno has now resulted in several autoimmune diagnoses, which of course, is one thing.

More than that, there has never been a point at which all of my diseases, particularly my psoriatic arthritis, have been under control at the same time. It feels like an unending game of disease whack-a-mole. And let’s be honest, I’ve never been good at that game.

Surely, there is something else I can do to manage my pain

So in my attempt to better manage the mess I find myself in, I’ve been slowly limping through piles and piles of research, all circling around functional medicine, gut health, and supplemental therapy options. Quite a great deal of the research claims great success when used to manage many autoimmune conditions, including psoriatic arthritis.

So, it is because of this and my current unending psoriatic arthritis flare that I began to heavily research functional medicine. I just kept telling myself that there has to be something more, something different that I haven’t tried yet.

An attempt to do everything right

There is probably someone further along on this journey that will tell me it is a fool’s errand. But in a way, I’m already okay with that. Not to mention, I’m quite certain I’m not the first person to go in search of something better, something different.

But it was during this research that I stumbled across a YouTube video. I’ll just be honest here and label it for what it was. I fell face-first into a giant YouTube rabbit hole. It was an interview with Dr. Will Bulsiewicz in which he said, “You can do everything right and still not be well.”

This disease is not my fault

I haven’t read anything recently that has struck me so deeply. It was at that moment that I finally felt free from the guilt I carried; after all this time, I finally began to see that this disease, my psoriatic arthritis, wasn't my fault.

Was it “good” news that I could do everything right and still be sick? Eh, not really, I guess. In fact, I’m pretty sure that it very well might have meant to do the opposite. But for me, it removed the burden of blame that has weighed so heavily from my aching shoulders.

Enough with the self-blame. Let's try self-compassion.

I can do all the right things, including eating the right foods, getting my daily movement in, taking medications, and on and on - and still be sick. Hearing that was, in its own way, so liberating. It was almost as if I'd finally been convinced that I wasn’t sick because I was doing all the wrong things.

For so long, I secretly believed that somehow, I was sick because I had done something wrong. And I have finally learned that that is simply not the truth. Maybe now, you will believe it, too.

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