Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Young Empathy

I've touched base upon this topic before, but I would like to again, just because I find it fascinating.

Since I was very young, I've gotten along better with people who were older than me. It wasn't until I was about fifteen that I began to get along with my peers. Regardless, I've had the ability to talk with adults and preferred the company of a more mature person than people of my age (though not always). But the one touchy topic I hate to bring up with adults, especially older adults, is my psoriatic arthritis. Believe it or not, I prefer telling other young people about it rather than older adults.

Of course, this isn't always the case, but a good portion of the times. Adults often compare me to themselves, who are beginning to wake up with an achy back or their hands aren't what they use to be. More often than I care to admit, they'll begin to compete with me to see who has it worse; I like to let them win so they feel special. Sometimes they just say I'm too young, or they assume it's not so bad because of my age. I even get brushed off because I sound like a little kid trying to sound grown up. Their reactions to my medicines are another story completely. In rare cases,  I've had adults pick on me because of the way I'd move. I've gotten a whole slew of reactions from adults, and though many are very nice, there are times I wish I didn't say anything at all. Especially because the arthritis tends to become my identity to them.

Telling people my own age has usually reared better results. Not as much when I was younger than about fifteen, but even then it usually was a better reaction than the gym teacher who told me I have a stupid run. I've gotten people who questioned or didn't believe me, but not a lot to make a difference. Most people just ask me if I'm doing okay, or even just say "wow, I didn't know that" and will ask me how bad is it or to explain. Sometimes, people even have siblings or friends with arthritis and will tell me that. Recently, people seem to really care when I tell them I'm chronically ill, especially because the times people find out are often when I'm limping or need a rest. But it's often something they don't bring up much yet don't forget- they know who I am, not my disease.

I don't know why I get the results that I do- most would think it would be the younger people who are less empathetic. But I'd like to also mention there are a lot of adults who care a lot and lots of young people who really don't care at all. I'm just mentioning am odd pattern.


Thursday, 18 September 2014

I'm Happy

There hasn't been any commotion here on the blog, or on any of my social media. Normally it's when I'm not doing well that I don't write because it's harder to concentrate and I save my spoons for what absolutely must be done. But as of the past weeks, it's actually because I'm doing very well. In fact, the past few weeks have been some of the best I've ever had.

With the start of a new school year came lots of changes, but I certainly embraced them rather than tried to keep things as they were: Change is very good, and sometimes you have to be the change you want. There have been lots of nice things that have come my way lately, which I've been very fortunate for. I'm walking and moving more than in the past, and I know I am stronger now: I've even gone out dancing a few times. Instead of feeling like a loner in a group, I feel part of a large community of friends, and there has never been a time in my life when I've felt more accepted. Even passions I've always had have grown significantly more, and so has my confidence.

To sum it up, I am happy.

But I still have arthritis and it still hurts. My joints throb in the morning and ache when I'm tired. I still can't wear nice shoes, even ballet flats, on days I'm doing a lot of walking because my feet will swell to unbelievable proportions. I still take Enbrel twice a week (much to the entertainment of my friends). I snap, crackle and pop. I'm not close to remission. But that's okay: I'm happy with where I am now. Being in remission won't fix my problems or make me happy. I did that.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Alone

Humans are not usually a solitary species. We form pacts and herds: Sometimes our pacts are brought together by blood, and others a common interest. Some pacts intimidate and others are together because they feel intimidated. It's perfectly normal to want to be in a group and belong. However, there is nothing wrong with being alone.

It takes a strong person to stand on their own, though they may not feel strong at the time. In fact, they may not feel confident at all and long for their own group. But there is bravery in a person who walks into a new area, filled with new people for the first time. They know the opertunity that is involved with leaving their group, but that first step is walking alone.  There are many an opportunity we would miss if we hadn't been alone.

Our groups intimidate, while one who is not afraid of the idea of eating alone is not. They may find they get chances they would never have if they were in a group. People would be too afraid to speak to them, or figure they would not want to branch out when they are constantly accompanied. Being alone invites new conversations to begin. When we are alone, we may go where others normally would not. And if you hadn't been alone,  you wouldn't have  discovered the treasures that are awaiting us.

But many don't feel this way. They feel inadequate if they cannot prove to the public that they have friends, which is human nature. It's scary to walk around alone, in a world where groups can seem closed off from you. However, I ask you to take a walk by yourself. Do something alone. You may meet a new friend or discover a place your friends may never go. And even if you don't, you showed the world your confidence in standing alone.

Alone is not a bad thing if you are not lonely. Anyway, one can feel perfectly lonely in a large group.