Staying Positive While Living With Lupus
People often ask me how I stay positive when I have so many health issues to worry about. The truth is, I don’t worry about my health issues. I don’t have a lot of control over most of these issues, so I leave the worrying to my physicians. I do the best I can to follow their instructions, and I try to remember the following:
First – it’s okay to be unhappy sometimes. No one, not even healthy people are happy all the time. It’s not that we, as lupus patients, want to be unhappy, but we seem to focus on the things that make us feel that way.
In twenty-five years of living with lupus and educating lupus patients I’ve found the main reasons behind our unhappiness are connected to the following:
1) First we tend to be unhappy because we are still mourning or have yet to mourn for the things we’ve lost. Yes, we do have to mourn when we are diagnosed with lupus. It is a given that our lives will change. We must mourn our former selves. We are not the same, nor will we ever be. We must learn to live differently, treat ourselves better, find new interests, and change many things about our lives. For most of us, by the time lupus rears its head and forces changes into our world, we have already established patterns in our lives. In other words, we are adults. We fight the changes, and refuse to mourn. That doesn’t work for most of us unless we want to be chronically unhappy. We want things they way ‘they used to be.’
2) The second reason most lupus patients are unhappy is due to our loss of control. Many patients are type “A” personalities, and as such, we thrive on being in control. Forget it. You aren’t in control any longer. Lupus runs the show. We may not like it, but we can’t change it.
Lupus patients are all the same with regards to these two things. Take heart. There are things we can do that will help us find happiness.
Accept that your life has changed. The sooner you do this the sooner you can enjoy your new life. Change isn’t always bad. Do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Paint. Read. Write. Take a class you’ve always wanted to take. Skydive if you want. This is a new you so be the person you’ve always wanted to be.
Focus on the things you can control. Focus on eating well and on getting the right amount and type of exercise. Plan your days so you can avoid exhaustion. Put first things first – people before things.
You may not believe it but you are the one in control of your emotions. Sometimes being happy is as simple as deciding you want to be happy.
From the life of Wanda M. Argersinger
© 2015 All Rights Reserved
Wanda M. Argersinger was diagnosed with lupus in 1992. She became the Executive Director of The Lupus Support Network, Inc., in 2003 when lupus forced her to leave her career as a network engineer. She has been writing since the age of 6, currently writing two blogs about lupus, and one blog dedicated to life and the humorous things that happen to all of us.
Wanda M. Argersinger, Executive Director
The Lupus Support Network
PO Box 17841
Pensacola FL 32522-7841
850.478.8107 or 800.458.8211