I was surfing around the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) website and found a great article, titled, “Lupus and You.” As I read through it, one paragraph stood out. A light bulb in my head went off and I finally got it. Here is the paragraph:
“But it is important to understand the significant difference between viewing yourself as a person with a chronic illness and viewing yourself as a chronically ill person. People who view themselves as chronically ill are allowing the disease and its limitations to take away a large part of their identity. People who view themselves as having a chronic illness are accepting the reality of lupus as one part of their identity.”
I have been ill most of my life with one condition or another. After having lupus for so many years, I’d resigned myself to the fact that I was “chronically ill.” The article gave me a different perspective. I am not defined by lupus or any of my chronic illnesses; they are just a small part of who I am.
The last few years, I have dedicated myself to lupus awareness and advocacy. By doing so, I felt like I was contributing to society again. Lupus began to be a huge part of my life which made it easy to get stuck in the rut of being a chronically ill person. I can still help others, without it consuming my whole life. I am a person with chronic illnesses, not a chronically ill person.
I feel like I just won a battle against lupus and can move forward with a brighter outlook in life.
Mission Accomplished: Winning a mental battle against lupus and finding a more positive outlook for my life