Family and friends are important through our entire lives. The post Forever Friends discussed the value of having strong relationships. It make us feel good knowing that there are people in the world that care about how we feel and who try to understand the things that we might be going through in our life. Understanding is an important characteristic to have amongst good friends.
With a disease like JRA/RA life can be hard to understand. Sometimes we don’t look or feel sick at all. Then other days simple tasks feel like fighting a giant monster. It’s inconsistent at times and it feels like it fakes us out because some things that were easy one day are hard the next. It can be hard to explain to other people. That is why understanding friends are great to have. It is also very important to be understanding with your own self as well as being understanding to the fact that not everybody can relate to you and your disease. Try not to get upset that some people, even doctors, just won’t understand.
I don’t like to let on when I feel bad. That makes it difficult when I need a good, understanding friend but they don’t know about the pain, worries, or frustrations I am feeling. Try to explain to the people you trust how sometimes you just need them to be understanding or ask how you’ve been feeling. Finding understanding with the caring people around you is one of the best medicines for you! -pm