Pushing, Pushing, Pushing Ourselves

It can be very difficult for people who do not have psoriatic arthritis to understand some of the choices we make. To be fair, they aren’t necessarily always the most logical choices. We choose our medicines hoping that the benefits will outweigh the risks. Sometimes we choose doctors not necessarily because they have the “best” credentials, rather perhaps because we feel like the “get” us or they listen well. One of the things my darling hubby has the most difficult time understanding is why I choose to push myself when I know that I will pay the price in pain later.

I know I’m not the only one who does it. We push ourselves, even though we know we shouldn’t. We push through one more load of laundry, or we push through our children’s birthday parties. Many of us push ourselves every single morning to go to work, even though we know when we get home, we will spend the evening nursing our pain.

Even though he has the best of intentions in his desire to see me rest or take it easy instead of push myself to certain pain, I often ignore his advice. Which begs the question, why?

Why would I knowingly choose to push my body knowing that if I do, it will cause me pain later?

My family means everything to me

The last thing I ever want to do is let my family down. They mean the world to me. More times than I can count, I’ve pushed past my limit, knowing full well how much pain it would cost me. Sure, the smart choice is to protect my body from pain, but sometimes smart isn’t always right.

I have no desire to have my life ruled by my PsA

In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m kind of a control freak. I don’t handle life well when I feel out of control of myself and the world around me. (Probably the reason I despise surprise parties with every fiber of my being.) Either way, pushing my body makes me feel like even for just that moment in time, that PsA doesn’t control me. I make my own choices.

I have something to prove

Because I’m a warrior and psoriatic arthritis is my enemy, I need to prove to myself that while I may not win this battle, I will win the war. I choose to push myself because I need to prove to myself that I CAN. I can survive that event, that trip, or even that chore. Each time I push myself and survive, I win.

I just want to feel semi-normal

Normal people, those who don’t live with a chronic illness, have a much greater freedom to do as they please without risking rebellion from their bodies. Sometimes, I just want to feel normal again. I want to try and set aside the fact that I have PsA long enough to remember who I was before. So yes, I push myself when I know I shouldn’t. Just to have a little quality time with the old me.

Somebody’s gotta do it, and I don’t really have a choice

When it comes down to it, sometimes I push myself when I shouldn’t simply because somebody’s gotta do it, and I don’t really have a choice. Laundry, dishes, cleaning, and paying bills. These are simply things in life that must be done. Pushing my body past its comfort zone saves me the anxiety of worrying about things. Yes, I’m tired. I have extreme fatigue and pain. But when it comes down to it, some things in life simply must get done. So yes, I push myself, even when it isn’t necessarily the best choice to do so because sometimes I must.

I don’t blame people for not always understanding the choices that I make when it comes to how I live with psoriatic arthritis. More often than not, they probably don’t always make the best sense. It drives my husband completely bonkers that he doesn’t understand why I push myself the way that do. But in the end, I will keep pushing and pushing because that is the only way I know how to live my best life with psoriatic arthritis.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com 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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  • jennyb
    2 months ago

    My rheumatologist once told to quit being so stoic!

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