Circling the Wagons


Lately I have fallen off the wagon.

Actually, I have fallen off several wagons. Which, come to think of it, may be part of the problem – with RA, there are just so damned many wagons. So many little things that need to be done every day to stay healthy, stay mobile, stay active, stay positive. It’s hard to keep track of all these things, and easy to forget them. When I’m flaring and the brain fog descends, it can become almost impossible.

There’s also an element of rebellion here. I resent the fact that my life has become so structured. I was a random kind of person before I had RA. Not that this was a good thing, but in my mind, it went with my identity as a musician. Keeping strange work hours that changed from day to day, grabbing food on the run, being a night owl, being able to sustain long obsessive bursts of creative activity… I miss these things, even if they weren’t necessarily the things that make a healthy life.

In old Western movies, people would circle the wagons to protect themselves from outside attackers. Well, the RA and its related problems have taken advantage of my lapses and have been attacking again. It’s time for me to circle my wagons – but first I should take a look at what they are.

So the next few blog entries will probably be my wagon train – a description of all the different things I do (or don’t do) to stay well. Instead of focusing on how I’ve fallen off of them in the past, I’d like to picture them circling, protecting me. Instead of seeing an endless string of one wagon after another, I’d like to see them as a unit, all parts of the same whole.

What are some of your wagons, and how do you keep yourself from falling off?

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1 Comment

  1. Helen says:

    The most difficult wagon to stay on, for me, is exercise. I have been doing better lately, but I really have to force myself some days.

    I’ve recently gotten a new wagon – singing. I’ve always sung in choirs, but now I’m taking lessons, and I really do see this as something I do to stay well (that’s one aspect of it, at least). Having something I am passionate about and can work hard at and focus on is important to me. I’ve been on the wagon for 3 months now, and I think I’m going to stay there.

    I’m looking forward to reading more about how you keep yourself healthy.

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