I even surprised myself today. I was leaving a store and ran into someone I haven't seen in a while. After a few minutes of chit chat she asked me how I was doing and I answered, "Better." I didn't think much about my answer until I got n the car. I realized it was probably one of the first times I said better and actually meant it. Wow, what an eye opening answer. At that specific moment I really and truly felt better. Now that I've been home a bit my answer probably would be more of an okay than a better but that's the way it goes. Okay is the usual answer when I'm asked how I am. Up and down is a way of life for me now. It's seems when I'm better I am able to live easier on my terms not the worlds. It still is very thought provoking for me when I say I am better and people think I am able to do all the things they want me to do. I can't, and I still have to let people down easy when they assume my better is some sort of availability to them. Sure I would love to meet everyone that wants to meet me for lunch or dinner but it just isn't possible anymore. Sometimes I wonder if my saying yes to everyone my whole life got me here. I know it didn't cause my disease but I'm sure it didn't help the process much. I have finally learned that I have to put myself first and everyone else second, with the exception of my immediate family because they will always come first.
When pain becomes a way of life it's the days that are better that you are able to see things clearer and grab for the stars. If I have a better day I want to do as many things as I possibly can on that day. The problem is when that happens it causes me to have more pain and fatigue and bad days to follow. It's such a vicious cycle like a wave going in and out at sea except your wave is a jumbled up mess. Illness comes in waves that you have no control over. Too bad treatments and living right can't fix it all. You have to learn how to do that in your head by not letting it eat you alive. The metal fight is harder than the physical. The perfect example from my perspective would be comparing it to a dental procedure I had done yesterday, another never ending problem for me. I had to laugh because I thought the pain was going to be bad because of how the produce went but to my surprise minimal pain. The more I thought about it I wondered if because my pain tolerance is so high I didn't really notice the pain like most people would have. I think my RA has made me much stronger mentally and physically. When I watch shows where men are freaking about about needles my first thought is, what a wimp. I think my disease has kind of hardened my heart even though I hate to admit that. When I hear people complain about some simple issue like a cold I secretly roll my eyes I have to pull back and remind myself for them it is hard. I've always been a very compassionate person but over time my disease has robbed some of that from me. It's sad really. I wonder if that comes from being so tired of fighting everyday that I just don't have the energy to expend anymore on too many others. Whatever it is it still makes my heart sad that I'm getting too tired to give that part of myself out to people anymore. Like I always say I do the best I can with what I have and if people don't understand anymore I can't do anything about it. I know my circle. The ones who's truly understand and care and because of them I am more blessed than I ever have been. Press on my friends! You got this! We got this! Don't let anyone or anything hold you back. Hopefully we all have better days where we can honestly have the answer better when we are asked how we are doing.