On my last visit with my Rhuematologist, he asked me how I manage to stay so positive while dealing with Ankylosing Spondylitis. I confided in him that it’s not always easy. He asked, how do you cope with the emotional grief of dealing with the loss of ability to do things. I confessed in order to keep from going into a deep depression or getting stuck in a pity party from hell, that I have to stay honest and real with myself by putting things in perspective.
I stay focused on the moment of my life and not on the past, or the future to be honest. I concentrate mostly on the positive things about my life. I’m always looking for new ways to do things. You would be amazed how creative you can be in finding ways to clean a bathtub when you have no other choice.
It’s heartbreaking at times, because you find yourself mourning for who you were, who you are and who you want to be. My key to survival is when I need to cry, I cry. When I need to vent, I vent. When I need to scream, I scream. When I need to be angry, I am. I own my emotions and respect how I am feeling. It allows me to purge the negativity and find that inner peace I need in order to live a happier life.
The most important thing for me is I have learned to forgive myself for being human.
My “epiphany” came one day while my granddaughter was learning to ride a bike.
She explained to me she was a big girl now and didn’t need a tricycle anymore.
I smiled, grateful that I was still on earth to watch her grow and change. Later on that day, I realized even if I was a healthy person I would still struggle to ride that small bike, and that we will continuously change and grow during our lifetime.
So I decided to stop focusing on what Ankylosing Spondylitis or Mother Nature had taken away from me.
I told my doctor, we grow from tricycles to motorcycles, from crawling to running…. life is forever changing for us. So when I lose the ability of something in my life I now search to find something to fill that void.
I have lost the ability to oil paint, so now I write and share the paintings from inside my heart.
This garden of gratitude was created because I miss plants and flower beds in the yard.
So I save the beautiful pictures that my friends share with me and I later plant them in my new garden.
That way I still get to see the beauty of nature, and it fills the void inside my heart that needs to create something beautiful.
Today I am grateful for the Serenity Prayer, that has helped me to endure and over come many heartaches and hardships in my life, making it possible for me to have that inner peace that allows me to have a life that I am happy to be living.