Monday, March 28, 2011

Look at the Possibilities

Please watch this video.  It's so very inspirational. 

When I first started with my RA symptoms, I focused on the negative a lot of the time.  I couldn't believe what was happening to me, I couldn't understand what was happening to me (that part hasn't changed much), and I had a very difficult time accepting what was happening to me.  This is totally normal, this is okay for us all.  We all go through the grieving process, grieving over what use to be.  Then I thought about perspective.  If I remain in "fall down" mode, what kind of perspective will I have?  Try a little experiment.  Literally get down on the ground and stay there a while.  Try to look around the room or look around the house.  How's the view?  How well are you able to see?  Try to enjoy a conversation with your family, children, and friends.  From the ground, try to accomplish even the small things we take for granted.  Not the best perspective to have, is it?  Very limited, and very limiting.  So, it occurred to me that bouncing back isn't just about pulling myself out of a rut, a depression, or a low point in my life.  Bouncing back is about having the courage to pick myself up off the floor so that I can have my perspective back.  Sometimes when we are down, you get trapped in a pattern of thinking that is difficult to get out of.  On the ground looking up, things can seem so large, and looming.  Picking myself up has helped gain a whole different perspective.

If you conducted the floor experiment, and then stood up, what are the things you missed while you were down on the ground?  Are there now windows you can look out of with birds chirping by?  The large and looming objects don't seem so scary to me after all.  I've noticed that it helps to focus on what I still have that is good.  My husband will joke with me when I am feeling low during a flare and ask, "Ok hon, but how's your pinky toe?"  I will usually tell him, "Yes, the pinky toe is feeling great!"  He'll say, "Well, there you go!"  Seems silly, but it's so true.  When I am feeling low, sometimes I have to say, "Ok, so my hands and wrists are stiff, swollen, and painful-as are my ankles, feet, and elbows-but I don't have a headache today!!"  It's the little things that seem to help me take my steps forward toward "CAN!"

Quick tips to pick you up:

1.  CAN...try to think of all you still CAN do, rather than focusing on all that you can't do, or have a harder time doing.  I can still sing.  Sometimes I CAN get on a treadmill and walk a slow pace, or enjoy a walk outside.  I CAN read stories to my children using the cookiest voices that they love!  I CAN tell funny jokes and act like a goofball in front of my 5th graders.  CAN!  I CAN put on a smile and control my attitude!

2.  Count your blessings.  What do you have in your life that is good?  I have a wonderful family.  My husband is my lifeline, and my children are extensions of that!  The are the joy that warms my heart everyday, and what pushes me to get up off that floor!!  I thank the Lord for them multiple times a day!

3.  Make small changes.  I decided to stop fighting the RA and make small changes to adapt to my RA, so that RA and I will live together more comfortably, in more harmony, if you will.  I am over the fact that I can't wear flat shoes or shoes with very high heels.  We've changed some faucets in the house that are easier to maneuver.

4.  Put on some upbeat music and sing, sing, sing!!  I often find this really helps me a lot!!

5.  Develop a closer and more personal relationship with Christ.  I don't know where I would be without the peace the Lord brings me everyday!  My fears, my worries, I give up to Him.  He reminds me that I am not alone. 

I would love to hear any other "pick me up" ideas!  Post some!!

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"  Philippians 4:13


  1. Sue, another pick-me-up (I don't like that term for this - I would choose lifeline!) that has helped me more times than I can count it to read the Psalms. The authors of these hymns really lay it bare before God in all honesty - and find that God is always more than enough.

  2. I have a problem with this too, at times. Though what hurts the most is when my husband gets upset to see me in pain. I think that hurts more than the RA pain (well, almost anyway).