Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Thank You to an Optimistic Stranger

Upon the conclusion that my support system in Boulder could be improved, I've started trying to brainstorm how I might be able meet some new people. My sister suggested joining a book club, but I think that extra reading probably isn't a good option simultaneously with law school, because I'm not even getting my assigned reading done. I really don't need help procrastinating. So I'm still having trouble coming up with ways to make new friends when I feel so icky.

Then I started looking into RA support groups, thinking it might be good to meet some people who would be more understanding about what I've been going through. I found a support group on facebook, which doesn't exactly serve my needs to meet people in Boulder. But I thought that at least I might be able to find someone to talk to a little bit.

There was a post on the group's wall from a member who had just gotten some bad news related to her RA, so I sent her a message telling her that I understood how she felt and I hoped things would look up for her soon. Considering that I was a complete and total stranger emailing her totally out of the blue, I was delighted when she wrote me back the same night!

She thanked me for my note and told me that she had also been diagnosed at age 25 - which was 12 years ago. While she admitted to feeling a little bit hopeless sometimes when new flares developed, she went on to say that she just didn't let the RA rule her life. Instead, she said she runs her own life and thinks of RA as a tag-a-long. While RA wasn't the life she would have chosen, she said she has had a blessed life for the past 12 years.

Her email was scary and uplifting at the same time. Scary because she is still dealing with new trials and tribulations from her RA diagnosis 12 years later. And I have to admit that it is a little bit overwhelming to think about being in a position similar to where I am right now for the rest of my life. But, on the other hand, her message was also really uplifting. Even after dealing with RA for 12 years she was still able to be really optimistic and supportive to a complete stranger who emailed her totally out of the blue. And that is inspirational to me.

That's something I am going to try to remember next time I feel like giving up. If she can love her life after 12 years with RA, I can find a way to love my life today.

Thank you for your help.

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