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It can definitely be difficult staying positive when you feel like you’re losing control of your body. The chronic pain during a long flare-up can be very frustrating and exhausting, physically and emotionally. But it’s so important, especially during a flare-up to stay positive in order to beat it and avoid joint damage.

I am still coming down from a pretty bad flare-up after my sunburn. It lasted nearly two weeks, one of the longest flare-ups I’ve had in two years, and was very frustrating and painful. It’s easy to get into the habit of thinking “Why me?” and “Why does my body hate me?” It can be emotionally stressful feeling out of control. And even my doctor is running out of treatment plans, which can be discouraging.

But in order to cope with the pain and frustration, I know how important it is to stay positive and lower my emotional stress so I don’t prolong the flare. The longer the flare, the more likely joint damage can happen.

Just like this article says, Staying Positive with RA, a few of the things I do to help with the frustration include acupuncture, staying active with exercise, and talking through it. Even in my pain, I try to keep up low-impact exercise like swimming and stretching to keep my joints moving. The activity and movement help with the stiffness. But it’s important not to overdue it during a flare. Acupuncture also helps energize my body and keep the inflammation down. It’s a relaxing way to keep the emotional stress down as well.

But one of the best things to do during the feelings of frustration about the pain is to talk to loved ones about how you are feeling. Holding it in is not going to help, because it can cause more stress and depression about your situation. There is no reason to feel ashamed for having Rheumatoid Arthritis because it’s who you are and what you are living with. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog, and my new Facebook page, to share my story. And since I decided to share my chronic illness with those I care about, it has been amazing how much support and strength I feel from them. I can get through anything now.