Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About myRAteam

Finding a New Normal: Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Posted on June 01, 2017

Receiving a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can inspire both relief and dread. It can be a relief to have a name for the misery that's become part of life. On the other hand, a diagnosis of RA can be upsetting because it labels us with a problem for which there is no clear cure. Diagnosis is like suddenly falling off a cliff. Abruptly, the life we had before diagnosis vanishes. It’s the beginning of a new life path managing RA.

Stages of Grief
If diagnosis is like falling off a cliff, then grappling with this new reality is like going through the stages of grief. The concept of the five stages of grief was introduced by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in 1969. The stages represent difficult feelings experienced during hardships and traumatic events, such as the death of a loved one, a breakup, or confronting an addiction. Grief is experienced by people who find themselves living with chronic conditions, too.


The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The stages rarely happen in order, and many people revisit some or all of the stages over and over after diagnosis and during flares.

Anger sets in when we acknowledge what we’ve lost – suddenly there are new realities because of RA: missing after-work cocktails or family dinners, worrying about medication schedules, running to endless doctor’s appointments, and losing friends because they don’t understand why we have to cancel plans suddenly. Some days begin with bargaining and trying to live perfectly in hopes that it goes away. The frustration and disappointment in the chronic nature of RA can lead to depression and sadness.



Relief (The New Normal)
An official diagnosis can be the catalyst we need to move us past denial. Relief slowly begins to creep in when this new normal is shared with others. Social support, from friends and family and from fellow members on myRAteam, helps you slowly climb the staircase of grief into a more predictable plateau – the “new normal.” Forging social support from others with RA can bring perspective and validation. Walking through life with RA isn’t easy or what we asked for, but it makes all the difference to walk this new path with others who understand. Have you found your new normal?

A myRAteam Member said:

Rose, it’s wonderful that you’re with someone who wants to help you. I am so very lucky too, as I have a fiancé who bends over backwards to help me and… read more

posted 6 days ago

hug

Recent articles

You're invited to a myRAteam online Zoom event on Saturday, February 6. Take this opportunity to...

myRAteam Online Social

You're invited to a myRAteam online Zoom event on Saturday, February 6. Take this opportunity to...
Article written by Jessica Wolpert Medically reviewed by Iris Navarro-Millán, M.D.Living with...

Weight Management and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Article written by Jessica Wolpert Medically reviewed by Iris Navarro-Millán, M.D.Living with...
Article written by Emily Wagner, M.S. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are...

How Do RA Treatments Slow the Progression of Joint Damage?

Article written by Emily Wagner, M.S. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are...
Article written by Emily Wagner, M.S.Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors are a newer class of drugs...

How Do JAK Inhibitors Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Article written by Emily Wagner, M.S.Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors are a newer class of drugs...
Article written by Emily Wagner, M.S.Biologics are a category of medications that treat...

How Do Biologics Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Article written by Emily Wagner, M.S.Biologics are a category of medications that treat...
Article written by Brian T. Horowitz Physicians will use multiple blood tests, in addition to...

Blood Tests for Diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis

Article written by Brian T. Horowitz Physicians will use multiple blood tests, in addition to...
Article written by Lexi Dwyer An X-ray can be an important baseline for diagnosing rheumatoid...

Imaging Scans for Diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis

Article written by Lexi Dwyer An X-ray can be an important baseline for diagnosing rheumatoid...
Article written by Jessica WolpertIt’s beneficial to get a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)...

The Importance of an Early Diagnosis

Article written by Jessica WolpertIt’s beneficial to get a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)...
Article written by Kelly Crumrin On Friday, December 11, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration...

Rheumatoid Arthritis and the COVID-19 Vaccine: What We Know

Article written by Kelly Crumrin On Friday, December 11, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration...
During the COVID-19 pandemic, myRAteam will provide summaries and links to articles of importance...

COVID-19 and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Essential Updates

During the COVID-19 pandemic, myRAteam will provide summaries and links to articles of importance...
myRAteam My rheumatoid arthritis Team

Two Ways to Get Started with myRAteam

Become a Member

Connect with others who are living with rheumatoid arthritis. Get members only access to emotional support, advice, treatment insights, and more.

sign up

Become a Subscriber

Get the latest articles about rheumatoid arthritis sent to your inbox.

Not now, thanks

Privacy policy
myRAteam My rheumatoid arthritis Team

Thank you for signing up.

close