Self Love: Stop Listening to Others

My journey to gain control over my rheumatoid arthritis has been all over the place.  I started off on medications as I awaited an appointment with a naturopath six months after diagnosis.  In my heart and mind I felt confident I could make huge changes in my rheumatoid arthritis by just eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones. And I was right, I did see some improvements with diet.  Good nourishing foods are never wrong.  NEVER! EVER! Eliminating harmful foods is never wrong. NEVER EVER!

But after years of avoiding restaurants with family and sitting on the sidelines watching others enjoy a good meal in fear of eating something that might inflame my body more, I look back at pictures of myself during this time period and I instantly feel the pain I was experiencing at the time.  It was awful.  I had stopped all meds so that I could see what my body would do by being strong and staying true to an anti-inflammatory diet.  The pain I endured during these years will never leave my memory.

Once again I want to say that I 100% believe eating anti-inflammatory foods is important for each and every one of us.  But, as I browse Facebook and see posts such as this one, I cringe.

It’s not changing my mind that I need to always add healthier foods to my diet. I have learned that on my food journey. I mean, who can turn down pineapple, avocadoes, spinach, apples, or lemons?  I love them all and they all make me feel great.  BUT, what experts maybe don’t realize when they make statements like the ones above, is how it makes those of us who have tried over and over again to live a painless life without meds feel.  What their messages say to me now is

 “You FAILED.”
“You didn’t try hard enough.”
“Did you really follow the diet?

I wish my RA could be cured by something as “simple as a change in diet”.  I really do.  But after years of making “simple” and drastic changes to my diet, I am worn out mentally.  I never again want to pass on a beautiful meal or miss out on the fun of eating out with my family and friends.  While I desperately want to lose weight, I will never again micro-manage each and every piece of food I put in my body.  I am done.  I am done listening to “experts” tell me how simple it is to cure rheumatoid arthritis.  They don’t know MY body or MY RA.  I AM the expert.  And I am telling my body that it no longer needs to put itself under the stress of feeling like a failure for not being able to gain control of my RA with food. I am done. I love myself too much to keep listening to “experts” who believe you just haven’t tried eliminating the “right” food or taken the “right” supplement. Roll your eyes at me, but I deserve to fill my body with nourishing anti-inflammatory foods while also enjoying a less stressful life. 

7 thoughts on “Self Love: Stop Listening to Others

  1. If curing RA were “as easy as [fill in the blank]”, we'd already have a cure. Obviously, it's not. Your post clearly points out that we, as patients, have a responsibility to engage those things we can control — like our diet — to help ensure the best possible outcome. And you are so, so right that giving our body healthy food is never a bad idea (whether you have a chronic condition or not). Thank you for a thoughtful, and thought-provoking, post.

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  2. If it were as simple as taking vitamins or the “right” diet I wouldn't be in a wheelchair. That not-so-subtle hint that it's my fault is heinous. And shows a complete lack of understanding of autoimmune disease. And I could go on.
    Thank you for this post. You are beautiful and I'm so glad we became friends.

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  3. Taking steps to make ourselves feel better is great. People who shame other people about not doing things perfectly or not doing the “right” treatments/diets/etc….that's not great. Thanks for sharing ❤

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  4. I enjoyed reading this. Even though I do not personally suffer from RA. I do have Lyme Disease which contributes to my daily joint pain. I can really identify with what you write here. I love this! Thank you!

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  5. I agree, i think nutrition is key to everything, both physical and emotional issues. In addition i also think that there is a hybrid solution if you will, in the form of natural supplements, i use this http://bit.ly/Jointpainrelief for my joint pain which i suffer from every morning around my knuckles and wrists. Some work some don't but i for one do believe in supplements (some of them anyways…) because for me it does help, although it will NOT work alone, a proper diet is a must, again all from my personal experience…Good luck!

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