Sunday, July 28, 2013
Dealing with Negitive Comments
Once again I am up way later than everyone else in the house. It's about 1:40am., and my legs are still spasming. I'd try to go to sleep, but I know I'd just get annoyed when I am almost asleep and my leg does a funky dance without my permission. So, I am lying here bored. I feel as if I have seen every pin possible on Pinterest, and I don't really want to start a movie this late on Netflix. This is the story of my life. There has been something on my mind lately that I feel that I need to share. It is something that I have learned since my RA switch decided to flip on. I don't want to sound preachy since this is something I sometimes still struggle with, but try to keep in check. So, with that being said, here's my little tid bit of knowledge. I would like to address the topic of... Dunt Dunt... Daaaa... Judgemental People. Yes yes, we all are guilty of harshly judging others for this reason or that. I don't know why we do it. I am guessing it is part of our human nature. In a lot of ways it is how we form an opinion about things. So, for that reason making judgements about something is not always bad. I will admit, I feel that I used to be very judgemental of others and how they may dress, or their life choices. It was a sign of immaturity on my part, and if there has been anything good that has come from me having RA; I feel that I have changed a little in that respect. However, I am not saying I am perfect. I still sometimes catch myself doing it. The thing is though that I am feeling what it feels like to be on the other side of those harsh judgements. I don't talk about it a lot, but I do notice the stares and whispers when I am out with my family in my wheelchair. Since I have been bedridden, and unable to walk and on steroids, I have gained weight. I look puffy, and not myself at all. People look at you and are immediately curious. I can almost hear their inner dialogue. You'd think it was just my insecurity right? Honestly though some people don't even try to hide the fact that they are staring and whispering about you. Some even point. In the past I have also experienced overhearing people talk about me. I have seen and heard things even people whom I consider friends have said that are negative about my appearance. So, with all of that happening, my first instinct was to get defensive. In the beginning of my experience with RA I would get very angry and hurt when people would call me lazy. "She still looks normal, and She doesn't look or act sick. So, why is it that she sits on the couch all day? Why can't she keep her house clean? For Heaven's sake brush that poor muffin's hair.", are all things I over heard people say about me. At the time it was very difficult for me to not take comments like that to heart. I would cry about it a lot mainly because they were all things I felt were true. I felt lazy. I felt useless. The longer I had RA I began to realize that having a disease like this can mess with your head a bit. I would forget that with RA comes pain, and for me extreme fatigue. I could sleep all day and night and still wake up exhausted. I felt weak and moody. When I was in those dark times it was tough. Then one day I had an "Ah ha"moment. I woke up and I felt good. I mean I still had pain, but I felt rested and strong. I got out of bed, went grocery shopping with Muffin, then came home and cleaned the house. Afterwards, I made dinner, bathed Muffin, and got her ready for bed. By the end of the day I lied in bed thinking back on the day with a smile. Then in hit me. I really have no control over this RA. All of those days I felt icky were not as a result of anything I did or was choosing to do. It's not my fault. I'm not lazy. I am just sick. That is when I started to accept my situation, and I also stopped listening to all the comments people would say. Another thing that I realized was that I was also being a judgemental person. The things people were saying were mean, and I'd immediately think they were mean or bad people. I'd start to dislike them or shoot a dirty look their way, or just avoid them all together. I realized I needed to change my behavior. Being angry was a decision on my part. It wasn't anything that was helping me either. Over time I decided to cut people some slack. The comments are sometimes mean, but honestly you can't judge someone for saying things about something they can't understand. If they really knew what it was like to have RA, they wouldn't judge so harshly. Instead of giving dirty looks to people staring or whispering, I just look at them and smile. Being cheerful and happy looking has actually opened up conversations with these people, and they then can feel comfortable asking questions about my condition. The more they are educated about my RA, the more comfortable they feel around me, and that makes me happy. I figure, if I can be an example for people, and talk about my illness, then maybe next time they see someone in a wheelchair who might be on the heavier side... They might not be so quick to judge them. It's a win win situation. So in the end, I'd just like to say, cut yourself and others some slack. Choose to be happy no matter what you situation may be. Open up the lines of communication, and let people in. You will never regret it.