For the first time in a very long time I feel like myself again. Obviously the drugs and hospitalisation had something to do with that and I am now pumped up on steroids for a short term fix while the rituximab kicks in. However, I truly believe the thing that gets me through the bad times, and the really bad times, are my relationships with friends and family. It really is true what they say that in times of bad luck and hardship you find out who your real friends are. I was lucky to find when I was diagnosed that all my friends are an amazing and supportive bunch. Some friends I have known all my life and others for a few short years but each and every one of them has had a part to play in my recovery.
Thats why you can never get too down about living with RA and even if you do, dont shut out the people that care for you. At first its difficult to explain to friends youve been partying and getting up to mischief with for years that health is your main priority. I found it incredibly lonely when trying to pretend I could do as much and struggled through endless social events with a smile on my face when crying with pain inside. That is not the thing to do, as much as I wanted everyone to think I was ok and nothing had changed, it had. Eventually it makes things worse, or it did in my case. Pushing myself to do things that left me in pain and used all my energy left me exhausted and didnt do my disease any favours.
Learning to accept your fate is a hard thing for anyone, lets face it none of us know what is going to happen in our lives. Unfortunately there is no guarantee we will all be healthy and happy forever but thats what life is about right? Its how you deal with things and adapt your life to your situation that counts and will ultimately let you lead a much happier life. When I finally spoke to my friends about what was really going on, it took me a while, I tried to explain that I was still the same person just that I needed a break now and then. Everyone was very understanding and I know that I am very lucky but the sense of resentment often rears its ugly head when I have to miss out on things because of my "condition". This doesnt happen so much anymore as I start to get my RA under control and my friends tend to do things that I can be included in so I dont feel so left out! Bless them.
Nothing can make you feel any better than a good laugh with your friends. Its like medicine in itself for me and has got me through my darkest times when all I wanted to do was give up. Battling against RA is not a fight you want to be in alone but when you let people in you see how much they can help, all in different ways. For instance, the friend that brings you a massive bar of chocolate in hospital when you are sick of eating "healthily", or the friend that takes you to the cinema instead of a bar when you cant drink and especially the friend that calls right when you need one most.