Feeling Behind Because Of AS
Since being diagnosed with AS back in 2018, I’ve felt a lot of different ways about it. I’ve felt grief, gratitude, depression, just about every feeling really. Lately, I’ve been feeling really behind because of this disease.
I’m in my 20s
First off, I should say that I’m 24 years old. I’m starting to feel what I’m sure a lot of people feel in their 20s, which is like I should have my sh*t together. I haven’t had a job since 2017, I still live at home with no hope of moving out anytime soon, and I pretty much rely on my parents for most things.
The weird thing about being in your 20s is that your peers are at all different stages of their lives. I see people I went to highschool with getting married and having kids, while others are still very much like me, living at home.
I guess I just feel stuck, and I feel like having AS limits me on a lot that I could have achieved by now had I not developed it.
Where I would like to be
Honestly, if I was able to have a steady income and a job with or without AS, I would love to have moved out by now. I would like to have started my adult life and be out in the “real world”.
I wish I could be more independent, but that’s just not an option for me right now. I’m not sure when it will be.
It’s really hard
Sometimes AS can take a big toll on you mentally. And sometimes that toll shows up in different ways. Lately, I’ve just been feeling really trapped and left behind. I think a lot of people don’t realize that AS affects you mentally just as much as physically.
Some days it’s really difficult to stay positive, I try my hardest, but when seeing people able to enjoy the life I envisioned for myself, it’s hard to be able to stay positive.
I’m at a different stage
I understand that I’m at a different stage of my life. I’ve been dealt with cards that have caused me to mature quicker than most people my age. My experiences are very different, too. Not everyone sees their doctor every month and rheumatologists and gastroenterologists in between.
I just can’t help but think when I’ll be able to get a job and save up enough money to move out. And I can't wait to start my adult life properly this time. I hope it’s soon, but realistically, I don’t think it will be.
When I’m feeling down
All of us feel down about AS sometimes. It’s inevitable. I try to take it easy on myself as much as possible or be around friends so I’m not all alone with my thoughts.
What kinds of things do you do to make yourself feel better when you’re feeling down from having AS? I’d love to learn some new techniques!
Other than back pain and fatigue, what is the most common symptom that AS patients experience?