Setbacks suck, especially when you’ve had a good period where everything goes right, and you think you’ve made up for lost time, only for a flare to put you back to square one.
I’m having one of those days. It’s like a cocktail of cabin fever, jealousy and dejection. I can feel guilty for using a good day to chill out with my mates on Playstation or watching a Netflix series.
The lack of being able to work is incredibly frustrating. When I was at school and I had a schedule of what I was doing, I felt satisfied by the end of the day, I felt like I’d earned the time to relax and chill out. Now I can’t get a job and I’ve caught myself up in a rut.
I’m finding it hard to structure my days, as well as measure my expectations of what I would be able to do compared to the average Joe on the street. And if I have a bad day I feel bad for not doing anything productive on a good day. It’s a vicious circle when you can’t find the motivation to do whatever you set out to do because of constant setbacks, arthritis or anything else.
That in turn can lead to the mask I wear slipping and slipping. With every little day that ends up out of reach I feel despondent or every opportunity that you ignore for an easy day leaves me disappointed. Living with arthritis can mean I am bed-bound a lot of the time. It can lead to an isolated feeling. Just a change of rooms feels like a lifesaver. It stops the boredom drowning me.
I also feel like that makes me want to cover up my screams inside because I feel like not being OK in front of others is to be seen as weak. That’s why I wear a mask. To other people it makes me look like I’m absolutely fine. I’m starting to learn that this method isn’t healthy for me or anyone else. I’m starting to see that I don’t have to keep wearing that mask. I don’t have to act in front of anyone. I just need to be open and honest and look to the positives.
Take my time and slowly stand up again.
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(Any opinions expressed in Charlie’s blog are not necessarily shared by Arthur’s Place. Nothing that you read in Charlie’s blog constitutes medical advice.)