I am not really a comic book person, but I'm beginning to wonder if my alter ego might actually be related to The Incredible Hulk (a.k.a. a giant, raging, humanoid monster).
Today one of my classmates was complaining about how stressful it is to be training for a marathon. I wanted to grab him and shake him silly. Yesterday a friend was reasonably upset with her roommate over some dirty dishes in their sink. I wanted to smack her up the side of her head. Another friend posted about feeling a little sick in their Facebook status. I wanted to respond with many profanities. I've actually taken out this type of frustration on poor APL in the past.
Here's what's provoking my raging thoughts: I am actually really jealous of my friends' problems. I would be totally happy to feel sick as a dog today if there was even a remote possibility of feeling 100% better tomorrow - or even next week or next month. I would deal with horrible dirty dishes in my sink every day for the rest of my life if only it didn't hurt to wash them. Even though I have always hated running, I would make myself enjoy the stress of training for a marathon if my joints just felt well enough to do it.
I realize that these are totally irrational and unfair comparisons - between the things I deal with every day because of my RA and my healthy friends' real life problems. And I completely recognize that my friends are entitled to their own problems. I even want to hear about their frustrations and try to help, because that's what friends do.
But some days I'm dealing with a lot of joint pain, or fatigue, or I haven't been sleeping well, or the pain in a single joint is hijacking my brain, or sometimes all of the above. On those days, I can't stop myself from having my little self-centered silent rage tantrums every time my friends complain about problems I would trade mine for in a heartbeat. I still try my best to offer my support or at least just listen quietly. But I get all angry on the inside. Maybe I haven't quite dealt with the "for the rest of my life" part of the diagnosis as well as I thought I had. I feel like a four-year-old shouting IT'S JUST NOT FAIR!!
But guess what, kid: life is not fair. And you better figure out some way to deal with your feelings like a reasonable human being, because I doubt The Incredible Sulk has very many friends.