Woman looking at a photo of herself before she was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis Pain Changes People

Photographs are the one single thing that triggers emotions and memories for me. This morning I retrieved a box marked “precious photos” that has moved with me and been in storage for a long time. A treasure trove to say the least.

So much has changed...

For the next few hours, I took myself and my daughter on a trip down memory lane. I laughed, I told stories and I realized that all of these photos are from before I got sick.

So much was different then, and I do not think that until today I have really absorbed and realized exactly how much has changed for me since my diagnoses. I would be lying if I said this did not bring me a measure of sadness.

Is it part of growing?

The woman in those photos is younger, with not a grey hair in sight, she had a lust for life that could rival some of the happiest and enthusiastic people I have met in my lifetime. Nothing weighed her down; I realized with a slight sadness today, that I miss her.

There is no way to pinpoint one specific thing that happened, no one single day or event that stands out and makes me feel “that was the day it changed for me.” My personal opinion, (which is not always a popular one) is that it was the accumulation of many small things along the way. The things that I took for granted or did not notice at the time.

If someone had said something to me at the time, I would have dismissed it and claimed it was part of growing. Being partially stubborn by nature, okay probably a bit more than partially, I would vehemently deny anything more than growth.

Pain and emotional turmoil

Over the years so much has changed since my diagnosis. If I sit and look back, I can tell that I have aged. Not just in years, I have aged in person and I am not sure that it is a good thing. The years of battling constant pain and emotional turmoil that walks hand in hand has almost brought me to my knees.

There is a saying that says pain changes people, I can vouch for this. The level of pain that most of us deal with on a day to day, minute to minute basis is nothing short of, too much to handle.

We do handle it though, some of us with less grace than others, but we all show up. Every day we go at it again and we give it our best.

More than just my illness

It is time for a change. Time to start paying attention to more than just my illness, it is time to find that spark again, that everyday lust for life despite the pain. I still have moments of pure joy, and I am not suffering from unmanageable depression.

It would be wonderful if the frequency of these moments can be increased, if only by a little. I am no fool and am well aware that I will not be that woman to the T again. Time to remind that I am not already 34, but that I am only 34 and there is so much living to still be done. I need to do more than just exist, I need to live.

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