Posted in Chronic illnesses

The Good, the Bad and the Darn-Right Ugly

One of the things I know all too well about my life is that is unpredictable – whether it is my family, my job or my health. I never know what to expect but I have learned to swerve regardless of the circumstance. People look at me and see this confident and laid back individual. In fact, an attorney I used to work for a few years back used to call me “unflappable.” Unflappable means composed, calm and cool. It means that I can keep it together even in the most stressful situations. I wasn’t sure that I could be “unflappable” today when I awoke this morning.

I awoke this morning to the most unimaginable joint pain known to man. I could barely open my eyes but I knew that I had to get myself into work today regardless of how I was feeling, mainly because I only have four sick/personal/vacation days left through the end of the year and the other reason was that it was the beginning of the month and billing for May was due today. It was not easy but I managed to get out of my home with my sanity in tact and got to work with a calm composure – and that is not easy when it hurts to move. When I tell my husband that I am not sure that I can actually maintain a calm composure on these down-right ugly days, he tells me I am as resilient as they come. (I hope so.) Resilient is an understatement because I have never had anything handed to me. Everything I have gotten, I have gotten with hard work. My husband was the opposite so for him, my strength is to be admired. For others like me, it is how life is lived.

I love the good days, I hate the bad days, and I dread the down-right ugly days. That is what it is like living with these two diseases – RA and Fibromyalgia. These are the days where I am not sure I can be “unflappable.” How can I even start to think about being calm and composed when I can barely stand up straight and walk without pain? How can I even try when every joint in my body hurts? I have learned that the “how” doesn’t matter as much as the “why.” The “why” is the reason that I can up every morning and not let these diseases win. The “why” is the part that matters the most and how I do it isn’t even that important. That “why” has nothing to do with me and more to do with the people I love – the ones that rely on me to be strong even when it hurts just to stand up straight.

Many persons wonder how much more life can throw at them and if they can handle the next blow. It is not just those of us with chronic illness either. It is anyone who finds obstacles in front of them. It is the young father who works two jobs to support his young family or the single mother who has be both a breadwinner and a parent without any help. I know that there are down-right ugly days in all of our lives but how and why we choose to respond is what sets us above the rest.

I hate the days where the diseases seem to be winning. These are the days where I can barely lift a finger to do anything at home or when I have to cancel plans with friends because I am too sick to enjoy myself or the fact that I do not have enough personal time from work to call off on the days where it hurts to touch my keyboard. All I know is that one day I awoke to find that my life had changed and even though it had changed, I still had people relying on me to be the same person I was the day before.

I look at these down-right dreadful days as God reminding me that I am not alone and that is and was never about me – it is about those I love. Life prepared me for this through many tests in the past, and even though these are days were I just want to hide under those covers, God also gave me a reason to get out from under those covers everyday. Feeling sorry for myself isn’t as important as not feeling sorry for me because, truth be told, I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I have a life to live, children to parent, and a job to do regardless of whether I feel good, bad or down-right ugly.


6 thoughts on “The Good, the Bad and the Darn-Right Ugly

  1. Hi there :)My name is Maya and I'm 24 years old. I was officially diagnosed with Spondylitis at 16 (it has many similarities to RA, as it is a full-body arthritis). I just stumbled upon your blog and am so happy I did. I really like your writing and your outlook on the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. It seems we think alike .If you'd like to check out my blog sometime, that would be wonderful. It's called "Loving With Chronic Illness"…. http://www.lovingwithchronicillness.blogspot.comWishing you pain-free days~Maya

  2. You are amazing, for reals. I know people often say they're strong because they have to be… but really, truly, inspiring.

  3. Wow I really love the attitude. You're so right – you can't control what life throws at you but you can control how you deal with it. I'm going to be borrowing your outlook from time to time, if you don't mind! 🙂

  4. Lana, sorry to hear you are in so much pain. On a side note, I was hurting so much Monday, that I just laid around the biggest part of the day … and watched The Good, The bad and The Ugly. Hard to go wrong with a Clint Eastwood flick. I hate the bad and ugly, if they fall on my work days. I had one Sunday (my last work day) and Monday. I know it's hard somedays to just get out of bed, but we have people who still depend on us, and that alone is enough to get me going … often times at a snails pace, but going none the less.

  5. Thank you so much LiLu. I never thought of myself as “inspiring,” but I will take it. :)Maya, Please feel to come by anytime. Spondylitis at 16 – you definitely are a tough one. Thank you for visiting and following. Squirrel – Feel free to borrow the attitude anytime. Life prepared for RA and FMS in my life so I have learned to put on a brave face as often I can. Terry, I have never seen a Clint Eastwood movie (my late father was a fan of Clint, however, so I caught glimpses of his movies when I was kid) but I know that those bad and darn right ugly days do not belong on workdays but it is never our choice. A snails pace – for sure.

  6. I know I always tell you this but your attitude is amazing. I read your posts and you inspire me to be a more positive person and just accept all that life throws my way. I tend to focus on the negative way too much and I often fall into the "woe is me" trap.So thank you for being a huge source of encouragement, always!

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