This Too Shall Pass: Fighting My Way Back From A Flare

Last updated: June 2018

Pain is a part of my everyday life. That is the reality of living with multiple chronic illnesses which includes psoriatic arthritis. I define a flare as being in so much pain that I am unable to do anything no matter how hard I try to convince my mind and body to cooperate. Between flares, I push through pain that would send the average person running to the emergency room. I am fortunate that my severe flares have been fewer and farther in between in the past few years. But that doesn’t make getting through them any easier.

Losing myself

When an extreme flare hits, I often fall deep into a pit of depression. I forget that it had been weeks or months since my last flare. I also forget that they aren’t lasting as long as they used to either. None of that makes a difference after falling into the pit; all I can think about is how my life has come to a complete stop. A dark cloud forms in my head. But it is more than a dark cloud, it is an evil being that taunts and laughs at me. With a hiss, it tells me that it is in control. The longer the flare the lasts, the more I listen to my tormentor. I begin to believe that he is right, that I should just give up. Even though the past few years have shown me that I will get through this in a shorter time span, it is like the beast covers my eyes and all I see is darkness.

Fighting my way back

I fight back by first avoiding things that I can handle on a daily basis, but that have been known to push me deeper into my pit of depression during a flare. I allow myself to indulge in the things that provide me comfort. Sometimes the only thing I am able to do for the moment is to lie in bed and stream my favorite movies or series. It may not seem like much of a win to you, but considering the strength it takes to keep my eyes open and to concentrate on what I am watching it is a win to me.

The upswing

I love the moment I notice that I have passed the worst of my flare. Feeling my body come back to life is amazing, being able to stand, sit up, and walk across the house is absolutely fabulous. With each passing day, I find myself feeling stronger and stronger and eventually return to my “normal” pain level and resume my life. The most important thing I must remind myself of whenever a flare hits is that even though it may not feel like it in the moment, this too shall pass.

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