The last two years have been HARD for me

Hey friends...

Can I be vulnerable with you guys for a moment? This is a LONG post, so settle in with me. The last two years have been HARD for me. It's tough to talk about, but I think some of you may relate, so why not share.. maybe it will explain some things, like why you haven't seen me live. Perhaps it will make you feel like you're not alone ... maybe it will help me feel not so alone .. you're my tribe.

These last few years, I have been diagnosed with RA, and mine comes with a slew of neurological symptoms, including depression. It came on intense.. complete body pain, eye issues, fatigue, depression, migraines, brain fog, whole body tremors, balance issues ... and on and on. The tremors were so bad recently I was at dinner with friends and could barely use my knife and fork. I didn't say anything and tried to hide it and the anxiety it caused.

So they must have thought I was acting weird. But I was trying to eat and remain calm. It has been debilitating, and in the search to find the right meds, I've had allergic reactions (one lasted a month!) I had sick side effects for a year on methotrexate. I was ill every Friday to Sunday... so many rounds of steroids, so many...

All of this caused flares as we switched meds ... the fix to flares was so many rounds of steroids, so, many... every time I felt better a few months later, I felt worse ... 🎢 rollercoaster ride for sure.

All the meds and the depression caused weight gain and inflammation and made me look and feel off. This led to two years of isolation, self-doubt, self-consciousness, and a loss of self-confidence that I have had forever.
Worst of all .. all of this made me lose people. People who didn't understand... People who thought I didn't care ... They felt that I didn't want them in my life... That I was being inconsiderate... That I was doing fun things, just not with them. They didn't understand that every day, I was trying to exist. Some days, it was all I could do to make it to the next one. I was terrified, depressed, scared, and in pain...

I lost the people who mattered to me the most. People I love beyond belief. People who don't clearly understand their value in my life. I lost people who were the best parts of me. I may never get them back because of something I couldn't control.

The good news is that I have a few AMAZING friends who understand and have held me together. I have a new medication, and it's finally working 💪 I have energy, I don't hurt as much, the tremors are less, the headaches are lower, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

So what's my point to all this?? Please know that if you're one of these people ... I am so sorry. If you felt ignored or abandoned by me, I am so sorry. If I was weird to you, I am so sorry.
If you haven't seen me in a while locally or live ..this is why ... I've desperately wanted to show up but couldn't. I could barely show up for myself.

If you have a friend or a loved one with an autoimmune disease, please understand that this is what they're probably facing. Please keep them close and support them.. they need you in a way you may not understand.
If YOU have an autoimmune disease...I see you, and you're not alone. It's not your fault, and it wasn't mine. You didn't choose this. You're strong ... You're resilient, and You matter ♥️ I'll tell myself those things, too.

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