Grieving the Old Me, Pt 3

This subject might be taboo, but I think it’s important to talk about it.

As many of you know, I treat my rheumatoid arthritis holistically-no pain medication, no anti-inflammatory medication, nothing! When I was on medication, I had to cut out alcohol consumption because the medication I was on was severely damaging to my liver. Three months after I got off the medication, I started to introduce alcohol into my body. I figured that being off the medication, it would be OK to have a drink once in a while.

I started drinking gluten free beer and wine-they never tasted so good, especially after a long day at work. There was a point during this year that my physical pain got to become unbearable and I decided to drink off the pain. I was at home, enjoying a movie and a few glasses of wine. I went to bed and woke up with no pain.

I began to do that more and more as I faced personal challenges in my life along with the RA pain. My emotional and physical pain were becoming too much for me to bear that it was easier to pour myself a glass than to feel pain. I noticed that this might turn into a problem for me when I started taking a trip to the market and coming out with only a case of beer/bottle of wine.

There’s no judgement if this is something you do or someone you know that does this. Rheumatoid arthritis is a really painful disease that leads people to do extreme things to get rid of the pain. A lot of times, we face our disease alone and we feel we need to improvise to take of ourselves. We shouldn’t suffer in silence.

If this is something you face with, know you’re not alone. A famous actress, Kathleen Turner, battles with rheumatoid arthritis as well. She has stated “… I discovered that, lo and behold, alcohol is a painkiller. For some reason I thought, ‘This is what I'll do,’ until I realized that it was interfering with my work, so that had to stop…” (1)

There is nothing wrong with having an alcoholic beverage. I just noticed that things could get out of hand for me if I didn’t know how to manage my pain without alcohol. So, I’m challenging myself to go without alcohol for the year of 2016. If I noticed I can’t fulfill this challenge and “reach for the bottle” when I am in pain, then I need to start looking at different pain management options and possibly talk to someone about my situation. I'll keep you posted on my journey and hopefully I can complete this challenge without a drop of alcohol. 

What are your thoughts on this topic? 

Aimee Matsumoto