5 Ways To Be Supportive To Someone With RA
1. Listen. Listen. Listen. Encourage them to talk, and just be there to listen to whatever they have to say. Most likely they don't want advice, suggestions, or criticism. If they do, they'll ask! Many times those of us living with chronic illness and pain really just want someone to listen.
2. Be there. No matter what If you want to be a true friend, don't bow out when things get tough. Offer to help out in any way you can whenever they need you. If it is accompanying them to treatments, or doctors appointments, offering to come over and help around the house when they are in a flare, or just hanging out with them when they are having a bad week. It means more to them than you think!
3. Support them. It isn't easy living with a disease, especially one without a cure. You are forced to make serious decisions about life at a young age. You might not agree with the medication they take or the treatments they choose, but it is their choice to make, not yours. So be supportive and make sure they know you are behind them 100%. (Again, if they want your opinion, they will ask!)
4. Be proactive. Take the time to study and research their illness out for yourself. Learn about it, read as much as you can, get involved wherever you can. Run a race for them, wear the ribbon, help spread awareness to others!
5. Accept them. This isn't just a stage they are going through, this is their life! And it will be for a long long time. The sooner you can accept it, the better it is for both you and them. Not that you can't have hope for the future, but it is so important to be realistic. Don't talk as if things were different, adapt and accept them for who they are right now.
Written by Arielle. "I have had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 16 years old, and not to long after my sister also showed severe symptoms of RA and fibromyalgia but is still chasing a diagnosis of her own. RA is a huge part of my everyday life, and I am very passionate about spreading awareness! These posts are to encourage those living with RA or other chronic diseases, and to inform those who come in contact with us, of what our life is really like."