Dr. Arthritis Asks: Is There a Positive Side to Living with Arthritis?

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Time and again, we ask people to be honest and open up about the pitfalls and challenges of dealing with arthritis. To that end, it becomes so easy to focus too much on the downsides of living with this condition.

When you’re dealing with a disease that creates a massive physical, emotional, and mental burden, it can get the best of you. So we thought we’d switch things up a bit and explore the positive side of living with arthritis.

When it comes to arthritis, there are more bad days than good. We get that. But we’ve always been advocates of staying positive, hopeful, and optimistic. In fact, in our interactions with the brave souls who are part of this community, we’ve managed to collect some anecdotes that show us there is an unexpected silver lining to our diagnosis—

You learn to be more open and outspoken

How often to do we live our lives trying our hardest to please others and not rock the boat? We don’t speak up because we’re self-conscious about what people may think.

Dealing with a condition where you have no choice but to say something or it takes physical, emotional, and mental toll on you teaches you to be more outspoken. You learn to ask for help when you need it without feeling guilty or sorry for yourself. You develop courage to speak up for your needs as well others who are dealing with the same thing as you are.

You learn to love yourself and your limitations

Learning to love yourself, flaws and all, is hard enough when you’re a healthy, fully functional human being without a chronic disability or autoimmune condition. Imagine how much more difficult it is when you’re diagnosed with a degenerative condition that’s prompting you to change your lifestyle significantly.

When you have arthritis, you have no choice but to acknowledge what your body can and cannot do. You learn to seek out now hobbies and new passions and find fulfilment in this modified way of life.

You focus more on health

Arthritis requires dietary and lifestyle changes to keep it under control. Typically, it requires sufferers to cut back on processed meats, alcohol, and junk food. It also encourages you to keep moving and exercising (whenever possible) to keep your bones and joints more limber and strong.

To that end, a lot of arthritis sufferers find that their new diet and lifestyle has helped them manage their weight better. They also find themselves with a lot more energy simply because they’re eating better and trying to incorporate exercise in their daily routine.

What about you? If you could share something positive out of all the challenges that you’ve gone through since diagnosis, what would it be? We’d love to hear your stories so we can continue to inspire the members of this community.

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