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Like my favorite childhood game, Chutes and Ladders, I find myself on a spiraling chute. Unlike the game, I do not have any clear idea of how many spaces I am falling behind.

And I am falling behind. Far.


Ever since I stopped rock-climbing, I feel like I am on a never-ending slide. It’s too slippery for me to grab the sides and stop myself from falling.

The upsetting part is that I did not stop rock-climbing because the RA made me physically unable. I stopped because of insensitive people’s perceptions of the RA.

In a previous post I talked about what a co-worker told me. That I burdened everyone with my RA and nobody wanted to hang out or rock-climb with me.

I feel alienated at work, I have no desire to hang out with anyone and I am just sad.


Rock-climbing was the last thing that made me trully happy. It freed and strengthened my mind, it made me feel good about myself, and it made me feel in control. It was one of those things that was a part of me.


I am used to giving things up, I have been ever since I was diagnosed: possibly my career, full-time jobs, biking, bouldering and now I have to pick and choose what I do during the day because I can no longer do it all.


This feels different than before. Maybe it’s because it was the last thing that made me happy, and now it’s gone. Maybe it’s the reason why I had to give it up. Maybe I am finally coming to terms with what having this disease really means.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.