Finding Hope After Bullying, Pain, and Living with Osteoarthritis


Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects the joints and causes pain, swelling and stiffness. Tonya was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her mid-20s after years of experiencing chronic pain. She learned that having osteoarthritis means living differently than many people do, but she also learned how to adapt—and even thrive—in spite of her diagnosis. In this interview, she describes the impact her condition has had on her life so far and what she does to stay positive despite it all:

A childhood of bullying made high school a painful place.

Bullying is a common experience for many people, especially in their childhood. Bullying can lead to depression and anxiety, which makes it more difficult to cope with the pain of bullying.

Bullying is defined as repeated aggressive behavior against another individual or group of individuals perceived as weaker by someone with more social power. Examples of bullying include making fun of people’s appearances or their clothes, calling them names like “fatty” or “ugly,” spreading rumors about them in order to make other kids think they’re bad-tempered or mean when they aren’t actually like that at all!

Children who are bullied may begin experiencing symptoms such as low self-esteem; lack of interest in activities; feelings of isolation from family and friends; being upset often over silly things (such as what someone else said). If you notice any signs that your child might be experiencing these problems after being bullied at school/work then please contact us immediately so we can help find solutions!

The pain of episodic flare-ups became part of daily life.

Though the pain of episodic flare-ups became part of daily life, it did not define me. I used the pain as a reminder to take care of myself and to make sure that I had enough rest. When my joints were inflamed, they functioned poorly or not at all—they were no longer capable of doing the things they used to be able to do.

This was a difficult realization for me because I had always been an active person who loved running and hiking through nature. But instead of giving up on being active altogether, I decided that if I couldn’t run anymore, then walking would have to do!

I began taking evening walks around my neighborhood when my body felt OK enough for this activity. Though these walks weren’t exactly like the ones where I would push my body through eight miles without stopping (which is what I used to call “exercise),” they helped ease some of my frustration over not being able to run anymore

Seeing the larger picture helped Tonya.

Tonya was able to see the bigger picture and not get overwhelmed by the day-to-day challenges. She saw that she had a lot more going for her than she thought. Tonya’s attitude helped her find ways to stay positive and connect with her friends and family.

Taking steps to get help was also difficult.

While getting help is important, it can also be difficult. If you’re not sure where to start, talk with your doctor or other trusted health professional. They can help guide you toward the right type of mental health professional for your needs.

If you don’t know what kind of professional would work best for you, don’t worry—you aren’t alone! Many people find themselves facing this same problem when they first seek out counseling services. It may take some time and research before you find the person who is perfect for your needs and situation, but it will be worth it in the end!

Finding a good counselor or therapist doesn’t have to be difficult either! When looking for someone who specializes in bullying-related issues (or other types), make sure they are licensed by their state or province as well as nationally accredited by a reputable organization such as The American Psychological Association (APA). Some states require certain kinds of training or experience before allowing individuals practice within that field so make sure whoever counsels​ ​you has met those requirements​ ​before accepting them into our network​ ​of therapists/counselors​ ​and counselors/​therapists​ ​who specialize​ ​in helping victims cope with bullying related problems such as depression and anxiety.”

Tonya’s relationships changed after her diagnosis.

Tonya’s relationships changed after her diagnosis. The strain on them is one of the hardest parts of living with osteoarthritis for Tonya, who has two sons and a husband.

One way to help maintain your relationship is by talking about the disease. “It’s important to talk about it, so that when you are in pain or struggling with something, they can understand what you are going through,” she said. “Explain how it affects you physically and emotionally.”

It took time for a diagnosis that fit her pain and symptoms.

It took years for a diagnosis that fit her pain and symptoms. She saw many doctors before she finally found one who understood her pain and helped her find the right medication.

Growing up with chronic pain put an early strain on relationships for Tonya.

Tonya’s story is one that many people in the world can relate to. She was a late bloomer, and her chronic pain made it difficult for her to make friends. Bullying in school was another factor that caused Tonya to have trouble forming relationships with other kids. This led to a large gap between when she started high school and when she became involved in extracurricular activities like theater or sports teams.

Tonya didn’t have many friends until college when her personality started coming out more, which helped her gain confidence around others. She met several of these new friends through traveling with them after graduation, and they were all different from most people’s usual college roommates or best friends from high school because they were more open-minded than most other people Tonya had ever met before hand; this allowed her not only form meaningful relationships with these individuals but also become less shy about expressing herself on social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook where she could share photos without fear of judgment from others who might judge what kind of person she might be based on something other than their own experience interacting with someone who suffers chronic pain!

Coming to terms with the progression of osteoarthritis was difficult.

It is hard to accept that the pain will never go away and that living with osteoarthritis is a constant struggle. It’s not something that can be cured, so it’s important to find peace in your own mind as you continue on with your daily life. The more you understand about osteoarthritis, the better equipped you’ll be to manage it on your own terms.

“I’ve learned how to reframe my thinking so I can see the big picture and how to stay positive,” says Tonya.

“I learned how to reframe my thinking so I can see the big picture and how to stay positive,” says Tonya. “I am never going to forget what happened, but by learning how to think differently about situations and myself, I have been able to move forward in a positive way.” Now she works for a nonprofit organization that helps people with chronic pain learn how to manage their symptoms through exercise and healthy eating habits.

People who deal with osteoarthritis have strategies for coping with pain and stress in their lives.

Below are some of the most commonly used coping strategies:

  • Mediation and exercise have been shown to reduce pain, stress and depression. They can also improve your ability to think clearly, focus on tasks and problem-solve in ways that help you cope with pain better.
  • Talking to a therapist or counselor is another way people cope with stressors in their lives. If you want to talk about your experience of osteoarthritis, bullying or pain with someone who won’t judge you or tell you what to do but will listen carefully, consider seeing a therapist.
  • Finding hope after osteoarthritis requires work; however, if done correctly it can improve your mental health so much that it will affect the way you approach problems in other areas of your life—including the physical pain caused by osteoarthritis!


If you’re dealing with osteoarthritis, it can be helpful to know that you’re not alone. There are many people who have been through what you’re going through and found ways to cope with their pain and stress. If you have questions about your diagnosis or treatment options, talk with your doctor about them! Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when treating this condition—what works for one person may not work for another, so finding what works best for each individual will take time and research.

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