A week ago, my father-in-law passed away. It came as a complete surprise. He was working at his church and died instantly. He was found by his wife who went looking for him when he didn't meet up with her for lunch. I have known my father-in-law for 27 years. I am going to be honest, sometimes he was frustrating. He was a non-stop talker and tended to hold onto negative memories. Fortunately for me, the two of us never created any bad memories together. From day one we seemed to click. I knew over the years that he loved me a lot because he told me, something that wasn't always easy for him to do. I also loved him. I always saw the things I love most about my husband in him. He was a hard worker that always provided for his family. He was adventurous and before moving out of state, we spent lots of time eating out, taking a few trips together, and just hanging out. He will be greatly missed. As I write this post, I realize I am mourning for my father-in-law more than I imagined and probably my own father all over again, but I am also mourning because I have finally concluded that it is time to move on and away from the rheumatoid arthritis community.
Back in 2008 when I started my blog, it was a way of organizing all of my thoughts. Rheumatoid arthritis was a big part of my life, so it naturally became the focus of my blog. I felt encouraged when I received comments and found virtual friends who were experiencing many of the same issues as me. I felt like I was part of a community. Late 2010 however, I started a new medication plan and almost instantly my rheumatoid arthritis turned around for the better. My goal was to continue blogging so that others would see that there is hope in one’s symptoms getting better, something I really needed to read in my early years. What I found though was it is difficult to be part of this community if you aren't in daily pain. At times I have felt like an outsider looking in. It's been a bit lonely. Sadly, I have also experienced that this community is not immune to hurting each other both publicly and privately. There is a lot of manipulation that goes on between bloggers to maintain their top dog status. Personally, I don’t have it in me to be a part of it and it is time to let go. I am no longer meant to be here. Regaining my health has shown me that life and my energy is too precious to be wasted on people you thought were your friends who would rather cause harm to you than help others.
My life is good. I have a husband that I am crazy about, two teens that are growing up and will be moving on sooner than I want, extended family that continues to amaze me, a job that has wacky hours but brings so much satisfaction, good health, and friends that I can count on when I am having a rough day. I am a lucky girl. Allowing myself to be a part of the struggles others have with themselves and people in this community takes energy that I would rather give to the people in my life that want the best for me. I do plan to continue writing here, but with a new focus. Some of it may indirectly relate to rheumatoid arthritis, and some of it may not. Writing feels good to me and while I need to separate myself from the hurtful people in this community, I refuse to run from a blog that has been so much a part of my life. Thank you to each one of you that supported me during my rough days. You will always hold a special place in my heart and my daily wish is that each one of you finds the path that leads your health to also turn around for the better. If you do decide to continue following me and reading what I have to say, please leave a comment. They are always appreciated.