Get Better not Bitter
When given a diagnosis of autoimmune disease, at that point you have a choice to make.
- Accept the diagnosis and look to work out how you can live your best, healthiest, most fulfilling life?
- Enter into a life of anger, aggression, frustration over why you?!
Now, if you have read by earlier blogs, I chose to enter down right denial for the first few years. It worked best for me at the time, or so I thought. I had no need to enter anger, frustration and even attempt to play the victim as there was nothing wrong with me....
Admittedly, as my denial years were coming to an end, I did occasionally fall into the Bitter club. This never lasted long, usually I felt it at the start of a flare up. Due to my strength of character the bitter club was never really going to be a contender for me. I allowed those thoughts to come and go, and kept moving forwards no matter how slowly or painfully.
Nearly 8 years on life is NOT a fairy tale of Kale smoothies, yoga in the sunset and toned abs!
Life with an autoimmune condition remains challenging, relentless and unforgiving. Anyone that appears to have 'cured' autoimmunity with this or that should be approached with caution. Yes you can and I have dramatically reduced my pain to a level where I no longer take daily medication.
However I still LIVE with AS (Ankylosing Spondylitis) every single day. I have fatigue flare ups that hit me like a bus right when I could do without them! But most importantly I live with the knowledge that I have a disease we don't really know a great deal about, we definitely do not know why I have it or how to 'cure' it.
I believe that those elements of not knowing are what can attract people into the Bitter club.
It takes great strength of character to chose to improve your life with a disease we have no idea why we got in the first place.
Now, be warned! There's a place the Bitter club gang hang out...its called a 'support' group on social media.
Unfortunately these groups attract in large numbers, desperate, emotional, depressed, anxious, frustrated, angry autoimmunity sufferers. These individuals prefer to symptom list, pass blame, complain and dwell of the negatives rather than show support. This is not a place to spend your time if you are wanting to take control of your own health and shape your future. No 2 people with 1 disease should be compared, there are too many variables to contend with.
Instead choose to spend your time surrounded by positive, like minded, driven people who will help and support you on your journey.
I give myself permission to have 'off days' where I allow those Bitter club thoughts to enter and then most importantly leave. We are only human, choosing to do the best with the deal we got. Its okay to have preferred a different deal from time to time.
Keep going, we didn't have to choose the challenge to accept it!
Faye M xx