The Psoriatic Arthritis Community
There is no community in this world like the chronic illness community. We support each other, offer encouragement and understanding, and help each other feel a little less alone with the burden we carry. The strength of the community is only as strong as the support we show each other. It can be hard to know where to turn when we have questions, feel frustrated, or just need someone who could really understand.
Having access to a strong support community can make all the difference in the world. In a lot of ways, we are much more fortunate in this respect than years ago, before there were diverse online communities and forums. I love knowing that when I have questions, chances are there are others out there who have had the same questions.
I have found more helpful information within the psoriatic arthritis community than any book or even my doctor’s office. Our amazing community of people who live with this disease, day in and day out, hold within us a wealth of knowledge and experiences. Rashes, aches, pains, side effects, and reactions, you name it, chances are someone had incredibly helpful information to share.
Understanding and encouragement
Many unique challenges come with life with psoriatic arthritis, both physical and emotional. Unless you actually live with PsA, it is nearly impossible to truly understand the impact it has on your life. The wonderful part of having a PsA community is that there are people in this world who really, truly understand. We all need encouragement for the hard days, someone to lift us up and remind us that life isn’t all bad.
A safe place for empathy and support
Psoriatic arthritis is a frustrating, alienating, and isolating disease. There have been so many days when all I’ve wanted to do is scream, cry, and rage at the universe at the unfairness of it all. In addition, it takes a huge toll on our patience and sucks up what little energy we have when we start the day. More than anything, the PsA community is a safe place to vent without reprisal or judgement about things that only we will understand.
Keep in mind
The written word can be a bit tricky. It doesn’t have the luxury of tone or nonverbal cues. There are some things that it is important to keep in mind. Sometimes words can be misinterpreted and a tiny spark quickly gets fanned to flames. To keep our community a safe and constructive place for everyone, it is always important to keep this in mind. Pain can make us short tempered and misplaced frustration at this disease can sometimes make communication difficult, even with the best of intentions.
Together, we are stronger than we ever could be alone. Living with PsA allows us unique insight into what it is like to live every day with the burden of a chronic illness. That unique insight allows us the opportunity to build each other up and to truly feel that we are not alone in our struggles.
How do you plan to recognize PsA Awareness Month?