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8 Things I'd Tell Myself Before My Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis

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Tomorrow marks my two-year anniversary of living with rheumatoid arthritis. If I could go back two years ago, this is what I would’ve told myself to prepare for what was coming. I’m sharing it here because you or someone you know may need to hear these words, too.

1. Value your health. Invest in it. Make time for it. There is much damage that can be done to the mind and body that can’t be fully undone later. Caring for yourself is the best way you can protect your future.

2. Don’t put off to tomorrow what you could do today because tomorrow you may never be able to do it again.

3. There will always be excuses and there will always be ways to overcome those excuses. Time is much better spent looking for solutions than barriers.

4. Life might mess you up from time to time. While you may not have a choice in that, you get to choose what comes next.

5. There will always be someone who is better off than you and someone who is worse off. Unhelpful comparisons can be harmful. Instead, be inspired by others and be humbled that someone out there might aspire to be you.

6. In your darkest moments, someone will be willing to sit with you in the dark. If you let them in, you might find they’ve brought a torch with them. Let enough people in and I believe your world will always have light.

7. You’re so much stronger than you know. What you think you can handle now won’t even come close to what you’re really capable of.

8. There is always hope. There are going to be times when things seem impossible. Keep fighting, keep trying and if needed, just keep surviving. There will come a day when you look at what you thought was impossible and realize you’re already doing it.

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Originally published: August 31, 2015
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