faces showing emotions and the sad face is crossed out

My Life is Not Sad

I’ve noticed through talking with a few friends, and meeting new people, that I get a lot of pity when I mention that I’m sick. If there’s one thing I don’t want…it’s pity.

It’s just my life

Here’s how I see it: It’s just my life. My life isn’t sad. Sure, I have to behave differently than other people my age. Yeah, I had to mature quicker, but that’s just life. It sucks, but it's life.

On a day to day basis, I don’t see what I do as sad at all. I deal with fatigue and pain a lot. Fatigue has been plaguing me lately, but I know that this flare will end. I’m in the middle of switching biologics which is stressful, but I know that it will get sorted out eventually.

It’s important to keep a positive outlook on your life, as positive as you can, at least. And sometimes it takes a while to get there.

My outlook

It took me some time to gain this outlook on my life. I don’t want others to feel sorry for me. Who does, really? It’s not a good feeling when you tell someone about your day and they reply with “oh my gosh, I’m so sorry.” Or when I write an article on fatigue or a flare and they go “that’s so sad!”

It’s not sad. It’s my life. And my life isn’t sad. Not to me, at least. It’s just how I live! I’m used to it, and everyone is different.

How I got here

As I said, it took some time to change my outlook to be more positive. After diagnosis, I was understandably depressed for a few months. No one wants to hear they’re going to be sick forever.

After my rheumatologist and I came up with a treatment plan (infusions of a biologic drug called Remicade), I started to feel a little better. I would read up on what AS is and ways to help with my day to day pain.

I found yoga online and began doing it as often as I could. That’s when my outlook on my diagnosis went from “sad” to “at peace”. I realized that we’re only given one life and that we have to make the most of it while we’re here.

My message to you

My message to anyone reading without a chronic illness, don’t pity me. Please don’t pity me! It puts me back into that headspace I was in right after diagnosis. The anger and the self-pity is not something that will move my life forward, it will only keep me stagnant.

My message to anyone with a chronic illness is this; try to find the small things that bring you joy. It’s very often the smaller things in life that we overlook. If you’re unable to get out of bed one day but can the next, take that feeling and keep it close to you!

Everyone’s accomplishments are different, and they all matter just the same.

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