Sunday, February 22, 2009

Celebrating Illness

I like to see the sunny sides of things. I feel like we can either focus on the negative, which can potentially drain us of all energy or we can find the positives. I believe every situation that happens in our life has positives, we just have to search harder for them sometimes. Focusing on the positives that have happened in my life because of rheumatoid arthritis makes this illness so much easier to handle.
As I celebrate many things this year: FIVE YEARS WITH RA, 4 YEARS OF EATING A GLUTEN FREE DIET and 1 YEAR OF BEING MEDICATION FREE, I thought it would be fun to celebrate together. If you would like to participate, I am asking all my readers who are living with a chronic illness, chemical sensitivities, food allergies or other to share five good things that have come from your illness. I know, it might take some work, but think of the awesome feelings we will be spreading to each other. As each one of us reflects on our own positives we can bask in our will own individual strength and then as we read the positives of our blogger friends, we can share in their strength. Think of all the positive feelings that can be spread. Feel free to share five things here in the comment section or five things on your own blog. Email me at if you would like for me to mention that you posted on your blog.

Although I have found many positives on this five year journey, these are my five favorites:
1. I have learned how strong I really am as a person. That strength encourages me in other areas of my life now.
2. I have learned to really listen to my body and trust it.
3. Friends! Friends! Friends! I have met so many wonderful people on this journey, each experiencing their own difficulties. I have learned from each person I have come in contact with and gain strength from them.
4. As a family, we have become healthier eaters which in turn has also made us more environmental friendly people.
5. I have learned to "let go", share my feelings and to ask for help. These may all seem like easy things for many people, but for me, I have really had to work at it.


  1. thanks for your comment on my blog...i'll be reading yours as soon as the baby lets me! interesting about the blood type poll...i have O-, seems "popular" for RA!

  2. I am going to do this too and I will e-mail you. It is good to look at the bright side of things. Something good usually comes out of a bad situation!

  3. My five - great idea!
    1. Running. The RA is what made me sign up for a marathon, just to prove I could. RA got me in shape, it made me realize I couldn't wait.
    2. Perspective. Still working on this, but at least intellectually I know a set-back (flare) is temporary and if I am patient, wait it out and don't panic, things will work themselves out. This is applicable to so many things in my life.
    3. There are a lot of negative people out there. Avoid them. There are a lot of positive people out there. Hang on to them!
    4. Teaching. I ended up getting off my butt and going to get my master's and teaching certificate when one of my doctor's mentioned that public school teachers had really good benefits, and that I needed that. It was what I needed to hear to commit to that, and I love it.
    5. I have the ability to inspire people. And now that I have a daughter, that may be the best realization of all.

  4. Cathy:
    What a blessing coming here today since my blog is not positive today!
    Five Things:
    1- Raising my 3 grandchildren.
    2- Having a wonderful and loving husband.
    3- Friends
    4- My quilting for those in need
    5- Living in Washington
    Life is good!

  5. Clare,
    I love your five! How motivating. When I read your blog, I feel the same way. You have accomplished a lot. What do you teach? I am a teacher also.

  6. Jean,
    I love how you always post wonderful words about your husband. I think too often we hear the negatives about our spouses and it is refreshing to hear about the things one appreciates about the person they are spending their life with.

  7. Heather,
    I can't wait to hear your five!

  8. thanks for being so positive. i am really running out of things to be happy about...but reading this reminds me
    1. i've become closer to my mom
    2. i've learned how many good friends i really do have
    3. i have learned to let go of little things and things that i can't control
    4. i have become proud of who i am and the way that this disease has shaped me
    5. i have a better understanding and tolerance of others b/c i now know that others go through things that i can't understand.

  9. Robin,
    Thanks for sharing your five! I have also grown closer to my mom through this.

    I hope you feel better soon.