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    RA and Jealousy
    An_250056 posted:

    It is very hard to deal with the emotional affects of RA. On top of the medication, the side affects AND the chronic pain comes the anger and sadness over actually having the disease. I've had RA for 4 years now (I'm only 29 now) and I can tell you that everyday has been a struggle for different reasons all relating to the disease.
    I cope with it by just throwing myself into my work and my hobbies. I still went to graduate school and got all A's still traveled to Europe and other places. I am a teacher and still work very hard- people are shocked that I have it. I love to read, write, excercise, watch old movies, bake, shop, fashion etc.
    My biggest struggle is with the jealousy, I have a lot of great friends and a great family but I can't help feeling jealous of them because they can do so so many things that I cannot. If I see an older person walking up the steps I get angry and roll my eyes- I don't want to be like this but I do think it is normal. I don't think it's fair and I cry at least once a day due to pain or fatigue or nausea- something related to the RA.
    I am just taking it one day at a time and doing the best I can do. I know that things can always be worse.
    I want to know if other people feel this way? I would love to hear how others with RA deal with the chronic pain and jealousy for their loved ones who have no health concerns at all.
    Since all my friends are very young and can do everything they have a hard time relating and I get upset because I get very jealous of them- it's not their fault. That's life.
    LadyNerilka responded:
    I feel very much the same as you do. I am 25 now, my first symptom was when I was 19. All of my friends are able to do so much that I can't. I feel like when I'm out with them, that I'm holding them back when I have to take breaks or slow down. Many of my friends have kids or are pregnant and that makes me extremely jealous (I'm waiting because I am on methx which makes the chances of a birth defect greater).
    One thing that I both love and hate about this decease is that it is invisible. I like that people don't just see me as the decease but I get sick of explaining why I hurt or can't do certain things. And I get dirty looks when people think I am being lazy. My family even will 'forget' that I have it, so when I ask for help with something that is so easy to them, they say Well why don't you do it. And yet again I'm put in a place of having to explain it.
    One thing that has helped me tremendously with both the pain and jealousy is taking at least 1 break a day to just lay in bed or sit somewhere comfortable and quiet for 15-30min. During that time I just zone out and think about anything but the real world. It helps me feel rejuvenated and more calm, which keeps the jealousy at bay.
    During this last year I finally reached the point where I just decided to be done with the jealousy. Jealous thoughts still do cross my mind but I just make the conscious decision to push it aside. That was very hard at first but it is getting easier.
    Julia912 replied to LadyNerilka's response:
    Wow thank you so much for sharing your story!! I feel a lot better knowing that I am not the only one who feels this way! I agree since RA shows no physical signs, everyone forgets and I always feel like I look lazy because I don't have the energy or strength to stand or open things/ lift etc.
    I too have to make a conscious effort not to be jealous and go down that path.
    Lenagirl52 responded:
    It is helpful to see other people having the same struggles with ra as I am. I am 24 and was diagnosed a little less than a year ago with ra and lupus overlap. I have such a hard time dealing with the jealousy. I try my hardest to look at everything I am thankful for but I constantly feel like life is unfair when my friends can do anything and never feel tired or in pain. Like both of you the hardest part is people not understanding. While my family is helpful I always feel lazy when I don't want to do something or when I need help. My boyfriend is constantly suggesting I go out and do more on the weekends but honestly I need the time to recoup sometimes. This too makes me feel like I am being lazy. It is tough to deal with the emotions, try my best not to complain, and try to not get frustrated when others don't understand.
    Julia912 replied to Lenagirl52's response:
    Yes the concept of simply thinking about everything you have going for you is a simple one but difficult to do. In theory it,s nice but as far as being concrete it's bad. I sometimes don't even want to see my friends because I am so jealous of them, they can run around and open doors and on makeup, tights and fancy clothes without pain- meanwhile it takes me forever to get ready for work each am bc I can't go out of bed bc of the pain and getting ready is very difficult. I very rarely go out anymore maybe 1 night a week if that. I'm always so dead after work on the weekends I just want to relax and catch up. It never used to be like this, my life that is, I hope it changes. <3
    princessd replied to Julia912's response:
    I am in awe..The courage you have of fighting this disease at such a young age. If I may suggest, Yoga, Tai Chi and or Meditation. It does help calm the sole. Good luck and think positive.
    Julia912 replied to princessd's response:
    Thank you!
    Jadelz responded:

    I have just joined this website and can COMPLETELY relate to your story! i am 32 diagnosed at 23 and it has been a bloody struggle to keep positive and moving forward. I think we all have a love hate relationship with our meds, hate the side effects love the sense of normality and pain relief they can bring. However it is sooooo normal to feel jealous, i look at courier drivers who spring in and out of their vans every 5 mins delivering mail, with disgust thinking you have no idea how lucky you are to be able to get up and out of a car that quickly and effortlessly LOL I have two young girls and when i go to their pre school i have to put on a brave face and run around (hobble really) after them to show i can do it, just because i look at the fit mums and feel jealousy and envy that they can do it with ease. However i am now trying to stop the self pity party from overtaking me. I have a good life, lucky enough to watch my daughters grow up and want to enjoy the good moments but also give myself a break when times are hard and let myself have the rest and care i deserve, without feeling the guilt that i need to do it all and show everyone I'm a fighter all the time. Man i rambled on sorry haha Hope you are feeling well today?
    Take care

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