May is Lupus Awareness Month! All indications are that this is prime time to get on the “Spreading awareness” bandwagon. But I’ve been doing that ever since I started writing this blog, sharing my personal experiences in a bid to make people understand and become more empathetic to our plight. Be that as it may, there are those who still have no idea what Lupus is. Or their understanding is not what it should be. For that, I suggest you read all about Lupus at What is lupus?
This, to me, is a month to CELEBRATE Lupus patients. These people who are warriors, survivors, conquerors. I’m not blowing my own trumpet here, I just know exactly what it is, what it means, physically, emotionally, psychologically and socially, to live with this deadly disease. As we well know, Lupus is like a fingerprint, unique to every individual who suffers from it. And by any standards, we can say that there are those who suffer more than others (If at all we can equate a person’s suffering to something in particular) No matter! Because at the end of the day, whether it’s systemic or discoid or drug-induced, LUPUS IS LUPUS! And whether it has attacked all your organs or some of your organs, the pain and the suffering knows no bounds. Speaking about Lupus now is no longer shameful, it may still be hard to explain and grasp, but we are setting the shame aside. Patients are now stronger and enlightened as to their plight, what it means for them, their families, their friends, and are ready and willing to talk about it. This in itself makes my heart swell…. I mean, to stand proudly and strongly and declare “I am a Lupus warrior”….that’s an accomplishment in itself. That’s a major, major stride if you ask me.
So today, and every single day this month, I would like to say, to these bold, strong, courageous, beautiful women (and men), You are doing it! You are beating odds, conquering fears, demonstrating strength and unbelievable courage, by just living; a single day and step at a time. The rough days, tougher nights, horrid weather, untold pain, social stigma! I for one, am especially proud of each and every single one of you! Though Lupus has forced us to grow up, to be wise, to be tough, it has also taught us to be sympathetic, empathetic and more compassionate. We are able to appreciate all that we do, while we can still do it. To savor every second of every day, even when those days are hard.
Hard as it may be to live with Lupus, and all the overlapping conditions thereto, I must say, I am honored to be alive, to be living, surviving and conquering all odds. My life has changed, dreams rebuilt, but I have lived and I have learned through it all. Being chronically ill has taught me balance, shown me the tangent uncertainty of life, taught me what to depend on and what is fleeting. It has taught me about faith, about hope. To believe in a higher power to guide me through, to know that life is worth living despite all its uncertainties. I wake up each day knowing that my life is valuable and that my enthusiasm for life is ever so present.
I mourn for all that I have lost and I still grieve for my youth. But now, I know, I have also gained much. It sure doesn’t seem like it, but this whole new dimension has shown and taught me new ways of living and understanding. To be young is a gift, riddled with excitement, adventure, the miracle of life’s possibilities. It makes you feel indestructible, even though everyone tells you that you shouldn’t, and I am here to tell you that you should for as long as you can.
LUPUS is a journey I never planned or asked for, BUT, I choose to love life, hate the disease and FIGHT!
Fight on warriors, I celebrate you all this month! Godspeed, Always!