[caption id="attachment_425" align="aligncenter" width="2592"] This was me at my worst. At 5.10 I was under 100 lbs. and could barely move or walk. I felt like a tin man.[/caption] I have been living with Rheumatoid Arthritis for years but I finally got diagnosed 5 years ago. I have tried almost everything natural to heal and cure myself, from Ayurvedic and Macrobiotic to healing mexican clay and chinese herbs. After being unsuccessful in the first year and unable to barely walk I had no choice but to try pharmaceutical drugs. I had to go through everything I did in order to accept and be willing to try prescribed medicine. Through all my trials with eastern and western medicine I have learned what works for me and am currently off all meds, which is very rare with my case. Here I share 6 rules that will make your life a lot easier, once you accept them. 1. You can't compare yourself to others. You are like a rare piece of china that needs special care. 2. People living with auto immune diseases are actually some of the healthiest in the world...because we have to be. 3. Be your own doctor. Don't settle for one opinion, especially when it consists of pharmaceutical drugs. Seek other options and YOU decide what works for you. This could take a while and it will most likely change so learning to be adaptable will benefit you. 4. Everyone has a bad day but try to refrain from pity parties. If you are feeling down about your disease, acknowledge it and move on. Try to look outside of yourself and volunteer to help others that have it even worse than you. 5. Educate your close friends and family about your illness so that they can be supportive when you are having a challenging day. 6. Choose to look at your disease or illness as a blessing instead of a curse. Sometimes illness has the ability to pull us out of our everyday reality, forcing us to find our true life's purpose. Khalil Gibran wrote, "Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding."