Yes, you are getting a watershed of journal entries.
I don't know why, sometimes, it just happens. :-)
That said, I have been pondering something for a while now.
Am I a better person as a result of having been afflicted with a chronic illness?
I think first you have to think about what that means. I need to define it in my terms, at least. In defining being 'good' and 'doing good' as a person, does scale matter? I don't believe so. I think that lighting just one candle in the darkness and bringing light to your immediate world is important, and sends out ripples farther than we see at first look.
My illness presents certain limits of scale. I cannot be that person that stands on her feet all day assembling and delivering meals to the housebound, or nursing the sick, or teaching the needy. I am not blessed to be so wealthy that I can give away money that will make an immediate and measurable impact on the world.
I do give to the needy what I can, when I can. I give the clothing that no longer fits or is no longer wanted to organizations that get it to the homeless. I do the same with toys and household items, rather than sell them at a garage sale. Giving them away to those in need, is my way of giving back.
I did the same before Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus was ever on the radar of my life.
However, there are things that have changed in the smaller scope of my world.
I am definitely more aware of people around me who are struggling. If I am out at the store, and I spot someone having a difficult time and I can help, I do. I will help with bags, or run to get a door. I know how hard it is for me when I am having a bad day, so I try to help others when I can.
I appreciate the little things in life so much more than I ever did before. Sitting at home and watching a movie with the kids can be just as exciting as being at a hockey game. I love the quiet moments and try to make them special, since often it is all I can manage to do.
And, when it is a good day, and I am able to play kickball, or basketball or go for a long walk, or whatever with my family, I savor the sweetness of those victories, much more than I would have before being diagnosed.
I think I have become a better wife, too. I am able to let the little things go easier than before. Men and women are just different and it is okay. I am happy for all the help he gives to me and understand that he has his own way to do things. It is great that he is doing things for me and the kids and the house.
My hubby has this way of still making me feel like the best wife and the sexiest woman alive. There are so many days that I don't feel worthy of either of those titles. If not for my mom, the house would be a wreck, and let's face it, t-shirts and pj pants aren't all that sexy, but somehow, he makes me feel good about me.
I don't know if our relationship would have grown in the ways it has if not for the RA.
I also have found the most amazing group of friends online that have Rheumatoid Arthritis and some also with Lupus. I have been in an email loop with about 16 of them for 3 years now. We share everything about our lives and our disease with each other. There is a level of support and understanding that you just can't get from those who do not have disease. It doesn't matter if they are your spouse or parent, child or best friend. Sometimes only those in the same boat can help you row through the rough seas of a chronic illness. I am blessed by them every day.
I also have friends that I have found online here in J-Land. Some have this disease, or another chronic illness, most do not, but I am blessed to have them in my life as well. We laugh together, support each other and cry together. Our friendships are real and full.
I don't think I would have started an online journal if I didn't have RA and Lupus. The desire to reach out and share my daily struggles and therefore, maybe help someone cope better with theirs, is what prompted me to start this journal.
So, there you have it. I have made my case, what do you think?
I believe I am a better person for having this disease. I believe that I am sending out many more ripples of that goodness, thanks to this diagnosis.
Does that mean I am happy about having it? Heck, no! It sucks!
But, I have it, so, therefore, I choose to make the very best of it. I choose to Carpe Diem, Seize the Day. There are worse diseases out there. Far worse fates.
I will take up this burden and not let it bring me down, but force it to build me up and make me better.
And, I thank God for each and every day that I have the opportunity to do that.