I'm actually pretty good at doing things with my opposite hand now, I've had 5 years of practice! I can even give my signature or write out a grocery list with my left hand. If I'm in a flare, my right hand/wrist is usually the worse of all my joints, maybe because it was the first joint to show signs of RA. I remember the first time I couldn't hold onto a pencil anymore. I always used to do word search or sudoku puzzles when I was having a bad day, then one day I couldn't physically pick up my pencil. I didn't have the strength or flexibility. I sat on my moms bed and cried my eyes out. Because I couldn't do a word puzzle. It was such a small thing, but it was all I had left. I had already given up everything else I used to do in my spare time. It really hit me right then how unfair my life was going to be. I couldn't even hold a pencil. How was I going to be able to accomplish anything in my future?
I have come a long ways since that day I cried on my moms bed. My body has had it's ups and downs, good times, and bad times. I have been able to do things I never thought I could. I've been able to make memories, precious memories, of things I will most likely never be able to do again. I've learned to be thankful and grateful for each small blessing in my life. I might not be able to hold my cup of tea, but I have a husband who makes me laugh. I might not be able to do that crossword puzzle, but I can still enjoy the sunset outside my window. Living with RA is unfair many times, but I've learned that my life could always be worse. I'm thankful that I only have one autoimmune disease so far, I'm thankful I can still walk, even if it is painful sometimes. I'm thankful God gave me a baby girl, even if I cry picking her up at night.
People always ask me, "how do you stay strong?" And I think I finally found the answer. It's because I find strength by counting my blessings. Oh, believe me, I allow myself pity parties and a good cry once in awhile. But eventually I pick myself up, take a look around, and start finding all the blessings I've taken for granted. It helps me push through the pain and I know that the sun is going to shine someday. It always does. No matter what, you have to focus on the positive. You can't ignore the harsh reality either, but you have to stay positive! Don't give up, ever. You have a choice to fight and be a surviver, or give in and become the victim. Some days, I'm definitely the victim. And you know what, that is ok. But I want to do so much more than survive, I want to live. God gave me this beautiful life, and even though I might not understand my circumstances, I'm so thankful for every breath I take. When I have days like this, what usually helps me most (besides a good massage, ice cream, and a long cry!) is to write (or just think if I can't hold the pen, haha!) down everything I CAN be thankful for right now. So here is my list for the day.
Today I'm Thankful For
-Maria's beautiful smile!
-the cool, fresh air outside today.
-my online RA support group.
-a husband who I look forward to seeing every day!
-getting the Love Dare in the mail today.
-having a sister that understands.
-a compassionate mom. :)
-the hot cup of tea I enjoyed this morning.
-getting a cute Mother's Day card from my sister.
-a bright future!
And of course, I'm thankful for my readers, you guys are the sweetest and really encourage me every day. I'm glad I decided to make this blog all those years ago. It turned out to be a great decision, believe it or not, blogging is one of the only relaxing past times that I have anymore! I enjoy it so much and am grateful for all of the friends I've made! I just want to say thank you for the support and love you've shown me.