I used to think that the only thing there was to learn from living with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is that it is painful. Yet, through the years, PsA and my other chronic illnesses have actually taught me quite a bit.
1. I am stronger than I realized.
Seriously, it takes a lot of emotional strength and courage to live with a physically painful disease.
2. I am my best advocate.
Nobody cares for or is as invested in my well-being as I am. I can’t be afraid to speak up when I know something is wrong or a change needs to be made.
3. Naps are fantastic.
Nobody should ever feel guilty for needing or even wanting to take a nap. They recharge our bodies and are often why I am able to be productive throughout the rest of my day.
4. An illness doesn’t have to be visible to be debilitating.
Pain is pain whether someone can see it or not. Someone’s foot doesn’t have to be deformed to be unable to walk.
5. Mobility aids aren’t just for the disabled or elderly.
Chronic illnesses like PsA don’t care how old you are nor do they affect people in the same manner every day. Use of a mobility aid when needed doesn’t sentence us to having to use them all of the time and are wonderful for getting us around when we can’t do so ourselves.
6. How to communicate better.
Fear of what others would think used to prevent me from expressing my needs. I am no longer afraid to say “Hey, I need help!” or “I can’t today, maybe another time”.
7. Accepting and asking for assistance isn’t a sign of weakness.
Acknowledging and asking for assistance when I need help is actually a sign of strength. It says that I am brave enough to let go of my pride in order to prevent further injuring myself.
8. Life is too short to wait for a cure.
Do I wish and pray for a cure? Would I rather do the things I have planned without pain? You bet I do, but I had to stop waiting and start living the life I have.
9. It is possible to be in pain and happy.
Yes, my body hurts, but wallowing in self-pity or dwelling on what I can’t do only makes things worse. I can physically hurt and still find joy in my life.
10. I AM NOT ALONE!
There are so many people who are also living with a painful chronic illness. I feel blessed to have met so many positive pain warriors.