Support Groups, I never thought that I would ever in my life need one. I'm not the sort to confide in people or share my misfortune in a way that would attract sympathy or pity. In short what on earth am I doing relenting on my past tense?
I guess coming to terms with a chronic illness sets you apart from the norm, like I never thought I would marry,have a baby, grow old, least not get to 40! But here I am having done all 4 and past the 40 mark as well. I guess we all have our milestones and looking back, I can't say that my life has been all bad!
Sure scleroderma has its place, as much as I hate to admit it. And Raynaud's drives me to the point of exasperation at times. Sometimes I hate what I've become but I never regret anything -- why should I? Because, on the whole, I've been there and done that.
My life is never boring. Much of that is because I won't allow myself to wallow in self pity. I try and carry on just as any normal 40 something would do, I just alter my style a little.
To realise I'm not alone took just one step. I nervously rang a number in my quarterly newsletter from The Raynaud's and Scleroderma Association here in the UK. That was 5 years ago! I spoke to a lady who ran a local support group and also attended the same hospital as I did. We spoke for a short while and realised at that point that we had much more in common than Raynaud's and Scleroderma put together.
I cautiously attended the next meeting, this was my first contact (and I have to say I was nervous) with a group of people who were all in the same boat as me. But y'know what? We all got on like a house on fire and it's been that way ever since. We have fundraising evenings, meet every month and, dare I say, have such fun! And there's hardly a mention of illness, it's just like a girls' night out.
I'm off to my meeting tonight. I wonder what will be on the agenda? No matter, we'll all be in stitches by 9pm, we sure do make a rumpus. I'm the quiet one y'know? And If you believe that then you'll believe the moon is made of cheese!