Lately I have been taking notes in my head about the things that trigger my RA. Two of the biggest things are food and emotions. Now I know a lot of you already know that everything we eat and put into our bodies makes a huge impact on our pain. But not a lot of people realize that the way you think, also effects our pain levels and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I'm going to go back in time with this blog post. Into my life before the RA.
When I was around the age of 14, I started to become a very depressed child. And I honestly do not remember what triggered it. I must have buried it in my subconscious. But once I hit high school I became a very negative thinking, angry, upset and bitter little girl. Now a lot of people will say "thats just you being a teenager". Yes, I was a teenager, but this carried on into my adulthood. By the age of 19 I had become so bitter and angry I had drowned myself in my own unhappiness. I hated life and most of all I really didnt like myself. [now remember this was all before RA] I had come to accepting the fact that I would forever be miserable and nothing will ever go right in my life. All I had focused on for years was the negative and I never saw the good in life. I had taken my physical abilities for granted, my family and my friends. When finally in 2010 all of the negativity, stress and bad thoughts blew up in my face in the form of RA. Then I became EXTREMELY angry. I could hardly look at myself in the mirror let alone be happy.
For 2 long years I had done nothing but focus on a major negative force in my life. All I could say to myself was "seriously, its one thing after another. its never going to get better". I had grown to hate my body, not because of how it looked, but because of what it was doing to me. It was attacking me and I couldnt understand what I had done wrong. But all of that terrible thinking had lead my body to a point to where it really had had enough with me. It was finally able to fully get my attention when my back starting going haywire. And for the first time in my life, I sat down with myself and decided that I had to change. All of the depression, anxiety, stress, and negative attitude had taken a major toll on my mental and physical health. How had I let myself become so bitter? Why was I doing this to my body? Because I had become comfortable in the pain, suffering and negativity. And I finally got the notion that I had to change, or it was going to keep getting worse.
The hardest thing about my new journey has by far been changing the way I think about myself and my life. I had become so comfortable in my negative nancy land that becoming more positive was down right scary to me. But once I started to make small changes something inside me had come to the surface that I had not felt for over a decade. Positive thoughts? Happiness? Joy? What on earth are these feelings? And i'm feeling them everyday? The storm had finally passed in my head. And then I finally told myself that I needed to take more steps into getting my life back. And you know what, it all worked.
Four major things that have changed my life:
1) Positive Thinking
4)Changing my Diet
All 4 are essential to me. If I eliminate one, they all fall apart.
Now do not get me wrong, I still suffer with those sneaky negative thoughts. And I have been noticing that when I do become angry my body becomes angry. If I start to focus on negative things my body sends out a wave of pain. Kind of like its saying "HEY, STOP IT! OR I'M JUST GOING TO KEEP HURTING!". It also yells at me when I eat something I shouldn't. So now I'm starting to learn what effects my RA and what doesn't. And so far the two biggest things that trigger a flare for me are the wrong foods/drinks and negative thinking.
So if you suffer from RA keep an eye on how your body reacts to certain foods you eat and how your joints feel when you get upset or stressed. Because they all effect my RA. I know I cannot be the only one with RA or any kind of chronic illness that notices these things.
I would also like to add that although RA has caused a lot of trouble in my life and things have become rather difficult, if it wasn't for RA I honestly do not think I would have changed myself for the better. Something really bad had to happen to me in order for me to become the person I was meant to be.
I have decided to take the road less traveled in my life. For years I was continuing on a road of misery. But I have finally discovered that there is another road. And that, has made all of the difference.