RA and My Social Life

I’m finally 21!! Woohoo!! I have been for a week and a half, and I’ve been trying to take advantage of my new-found freedom (in more ways than one, but I’ll get to that). I was supposed to go out again tonight, but a flare quickly put an end to that idea. I had these plans to go out drinking with friends in New York City for over a week, friends I haven’t really seen in a year. Imagine how horrible I felt having to text them 2 hours before we were supposed to meet up to tell them I couldn’t make it? I still feel awful about it. I hate being flaky; I hate when other people cancel on me. But when you have a disease like RA, you realize that you do have to be flaky sometimes, even though you don’t want to be. There I was, trying to explain that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them. The picture that immediately came to mind was one of two kids yelling for grandma to keep up with them, but grandma is rubbing her knees and yelling back at them to go ahead and play themselves, her arthritis is acting up. It’s depressing to think that at 21, I have more in common with grandma than with people my own age. The pain in my hands is unbearable right now, but I think writing this is worth the pain if it means getting some emotionally therapy. I’ve been sitting here thinking about what some of the positives that resulted from my flare. This is what I’ve come up with:

1) I’ve saved myself a hell of a lot of money by not going out drinking in the city.

2) I had a reason to write a blog post.

3) I had more time today to read an Ellen Hopkins novel.

4) I got to stay in the air conditioning instead of braving the brutal weather.

5) I won’t be hungover tomorrow.

Of course, I really would have preferred not being alone, because friends would be able to keep my mind off the fact that my boyfriend and I broke up. I don’t want to go into details because I respect his privacy, but it was an almost-mutual breakup and we still love each other and are still speaking to one another. With time we want to start seeing each other again as friends, since we know each other better than we know ourselves. I’m still hoping that one day we will be able to get back together. For now, I’m not getting my hopes up.

I know I still have my mom and my friends, but I feel like I’ve lost the main part of my support system. I loved the comfort that he brought me, especially on days like today when my self esteem is non-existent. Breakups suck. People keep telling me how much fun I’ll have being single and getting the chance to do things I couldn’t do in a relationship. Or they’ll talk about how much fun it will be to date random people again. That usually just prompts more fear…will that person accept me with RA? Will they get mad when I have to blow off dates? Will anyone be able to bring me the comfort that Avi brought me? Love me unconditionally like he did? I could keep going about my fears, but I decided to go with one of those positive lists again about why being single will be okay:

1) I get to wear makeup again.

2) I will be forced to wear something other than sweatpants, boosting my self esteem.

3) I can eat my weight in garlic knots and not have to listen to a man complaining about my garlic breath.

4) I can watch all the romantic comedies I desire without having to share Netflix.

5) I won’t have anyone rolling their eyes at me when I indulge in a new pair of shoes.

6) I can reconnect with the people who disappeared from my life when I was in a relationship.

I guess bottom line, I need to try to enjoy myself and stop worrying about what life with RA is going to bring me. I’m really 21, no matter how old I feel sometimes. I need to start being slightly more immature and have a good time. I know my true friends will still love me no matter how flaky I am, and Mr. Right won’t use my RA as an excuse to not date me or love me. Until then, I guess I will enjoy my lists. But I’m a procrastinator, so I’ll start doing that tomorrow. Tonight, I’m just going to pity myself a little bit longer, drink the iced coffee I’ve been craving all night, and indulge in some written smut.

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