Dealing With A Chronic Illness During Thanksgiving
If we have a chronic illness or not, I am a true believer that waking up every morning is a gift. We all experience good, bad, and terrible things. They allow us to live, rejoice, and be thankful for every breath and every smile we take.
It sometimes seems impossible to thank life for what it dishes out to us, especially when we're faced with health-related problems, including psoriatic arthritis. Those of us with this condition have a very challenging and exhausting battle, physically and mentally. Most people will never understand what we deal with every day.
The stress of the holidays
Social activities and family gatherings for the holidays that may seem ordinary and joyful can bring stress and anxiety to those suffering. Having to answer the same questions from your relatives like, "How is your life going?" or "Have they found a cure for your condition yet?"
We make every effort to look like we're having the best time. This can be really exhausting - not to mention everyone staring and feeling sorry for you. What you are feeling does not make you a toxic person, it is understandable and normal. We are not alone and we are more than our condition. There are things that we can be grateful for, and that is the real essence of Thanksgiving.
Thankful for my life
They say stars cannot shine without darkness. The hard things in our lives serve the purpose to remind us not to take things for granted. Take a deep breath and remember all the things you have as a person that you didn’t pay attention to before having your condition.
All the little everyday rituals, all of your talents, passions, milestones, memories that make you happy and make who you are. You can still do these things, only in a slightly different way. You can thank psoriatic arthritis for enhancing the beauty of every other part of your life, something that many people fail to see.
Thankful for my body
If our diseases teach us anything, it is to see past the surface. Not all people are born to be the same and therefore not all bodies can look the same. Yes, there isn’t anything new about how your appearance affects your self-image.
You may feel like you dislike your body, but in reality, you dislike what is happening to it. And truth be told, many people feel embarrassed about who they are anyway.
Thankful for my loved ones
I don’t have to cook a thing this year; now that’s gratitude. My loved ones have poured out their love for me. I’m thankful for my 85-year-old father, my children, and grandchildren, family, and friends.
Thanksgiving isn’t the only time to give thanks. e need to do this every day that we open our eyes. I learned years ago that what I didn’t have shouldn’t stop me from appreciating what I have now.
Remember, this illness teaches us that some of these things are just an aspect of what is going on with us. It is just a little part of the big picture. It teaches us not to judge people and not to jump to conclusions. Thanksgiving is about us celebrating our harvest and the blessings we have.
If you become aware of everything you have in your life and if you practice grace and be appreciative - you can be thankful for your life and be happy. The power is in us alone and through gratitude, we are reminded that we have more than we think we have.
What we focus on is our choice. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?