Gratitude Even With Lupus
Gratitude Even With Lupus
Most of us who suffer from lupus have two separate existences. There’s your pre-lupus existence, and there’s your post-lupus existence.
Most likely, there were plenty of reasons for you to be grateful during your pre-lupus existence. Being diagnosed with a chronic illness, however, alters things quite a bit. Your whole perspective changes, and it becomes somewhat challenging to maintain a positive outlook.
In an instant, your life becomes a constant barrage of doctor’s appointments, lab tests and trips to the pharmacy. Not to mention the sick days. Some mornings you can wake up and feel like you’ve been run over by a truck. And the tiny bit of energy you manage to muster is devoted to taking your meds and lying around.
Your post-lupus existence is no picnic to say the least. Finding reasons to be grateful within all of your lupus challenges may prove to be quite difficult. But it’s not impossible. In fact, if you take some time and reflect on your life, you might find you have tons to still be grateful for. Here’s a list of just a few things I’d like to express gratitude for.
This seems like an obvious one, right? But I’ve found that it’s almost frighteningly easy to take the breath in our lungs for granted. Yes it’s true we are suffering from an incurable illness, but this illness doesn’t have to define you. Life, in a definitional sense, is your existence. We all share an essence as human beings and that essence is what distinguishes us from objects that are not living. As long as your pulse keeps that beautiful rhythm and your heart pounds with vigor against your chest, consider yourself very fortunate. Express gratitude for your life by doing something to make your existence count!
2. Family and Friends
Having a chronic illness poses a unique set of challenges. Many of us find it’s almost impossible to cope with these challenges alone. As lupies, sometimes we get so wrapped up in our illness we tend to take for granted the support being given by others. It probably never really occurred to you, but truthfully, no one is obligated to stick by you during rough times. Those of us who have people in our lives that express concern and compassion are very fortunate. If you have a friend or family member who goes to doctor appointments with you, makes you meals, helps out financially, or offers encouraging words that provide you solace, you should take a few minutes to acknowledge that. You’d be surprised how a brief phone call, email or text can make someone’s day.
We’re hearing about promising new treatments for lupus more and more. One or two of these treatments are said to have potential to be cures. Can you imagine? That would be like opening the best present ever on Christmas day. It’s definitely something to look forward to. But while we wait, let’s be grateful for the treatments and therapies we have now. You may feel it makes you different from others when you have to wake up and take multiple pills each day. But just remember the treatments your doctor prescribes are helping you to live a functional life. In addition, I must especially express gratitude for other alternative therapies such as massage, meditation, reiki, acupuncture, etc. Upon exploring these in the past, I’ve found each one provides unique healing benefits that I would not be able to cope without.
As lupies, we naturally become lupus advocates in our everyday lives. But there are many people out there who have not been diagnosed with lupus and they stand beside us in the battle every day. Some of these may be the same family and friends we acknowledged earlier in the list. Those of us who have this illness have no choice but to face it every day. But when we have others standing in the struggle to support us, it makes fighting the fight so much easier.
5. Compassion towards others
There are a million reasons to hate this disease and everything that comes with it. But the silver lining in our lupus clouds is that we’ve gained a much keener sense of compassion for other people. Before my diagnosis, I never really thought much about the world outside of myself. Going through all the ups and downs of lupus (lots of downs) has changed me quite a bit. As chronic illness survivors, we know what it means to suffer emotionally, physically and mentally. When we feel compassion towards others, it makes us feel alive and connected. When we offer genuine kindness, it makes us feel more whole as a person.
Hopefully reading this list will get your cognitive wheels turning and you’ll be able to come up with even more reasons to have gratitude. It’s easy to get discouraged with a chronic illness. And there are times when it’s almost impossible to avoid negative feelings. But remember the energy inside you becomes your reality as it is what you project. Having and expressing gratitude increases the positive energy inside and around you thus creating a healthy balance in your life.