What I’ve learned from living with a chronic disease

I’ve lived with Lupus, an autoimmune disease since I was 9. While living with Lupus is horrible, it has also taught me some very important lessons and an appreciation for life that I don’t know if I would have learned or found any other way.

1) It is not the end of the world

I’ve hit rock bottom already. I’ve had days where I would wake up and every single part of my body was in agonizing pain. My joints and muscles would be so inflamed and painful that I couldn’t move. The pain was also usually accompanied by a fever, headache, nausea and chest pain. There was nothing to alleviate the pain or other ailments, nor did I have any idea of when or if I would get better. So far I have never felt anything else that’s come close to the pain that I felt during these times or the fear or despair that accompanied it. It gives you a great perspective and because of this I know that getting a bad mark, getting dumped, getting fired or other things that are pretty shitty are not the end of the world. Any mistakes that you make in life cannot possibly screw up your life as badly as the unexpected random things that you can’t control.

2) Obstacles are surmountable

All I really need to do is look back at my life and what I went through to see how far I’ve come. I survived the pain described above for years and still managed to compete and train in sports and be crazily in shape. Whenever I look back at those times and then I look ahead at what I am trying to do, my future goals look totally realistic and doable. Never when I was sick did I imagine that I would be able to feel and function as well as I do now.

3) Carpe Diem always

I know that I could get sick at any time again, so money allowing I try and do what I want all the time. I’ve always been quite intense and known what I’ve wanted, being sick for so many years made me realize that I shouldn’t try and live my life according to what society dictates or what others want. I can’t really think of anything that I have on my bucket list to accomplish, because everything that I want to do I try and make happen as soon as possible. While I am super busy, as anyone that knows me can attest to, I love what I do.

4) Newfound appreciation

When you’ve lived so much of your life sick and in pain, it teaches you to appreciate and be grateful for everyday that you wake up feeling normal. I seriously still feel exhilarated at the feeling of normalness, which may be why I don’t really like feeling drunk and don’t have much desire to try recreational drugs.

Whenever people ask me how I am, I always say good. In truth if I can answer the phone, text, type or talk to someone in person I am miles better than my worst point, so that for me is good.

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