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Coping With My Constant State of Worrying as a College Student With Lupus

Wake up. Take your meds. Rush around all day. Take your meds. Go to sleep.

Essentially, every day consists of this routine. In the midst of everything a college student has to do, one with lupus, such as myself, needs to remember to take the right medications at the right time and to take care of oneself. If I make a mistake in this routine, that little mistake could have a huge impact on my health and could ultimately begin a downward spiral back into the hospital.

I’m constantly thinking about how ordinary things could affect my life and stress levels. I want to continue joining clubs, but I’m afraid I’ll overbook myself, get too stressed out and then have to quit a bunch of them to avoid having a flare.

I worry about being able to hang out with all of my friends and how they’ll feel if I don’t get to see them every day. I worry about relationships and whether they’ll work out before anything more than a crush even has time to arise. I stress about keeping in contact with my family and making time to talk to them, and then when I ultimately don’t, I feel terrible about it.

I worry about assignments, chores, clutter and other people’s opinions, and then I worry about how much I worry. (If you haven’t already noticed or figured it out, I also have anxiety.) I worry I won’t have enough time in the day to get everything done I want to get done. Some days are worse than others, but occasionally I’ll reach the point where I fear the amount I worry about everything could cause a flare.

I have stomach issues due to food allergies and other factors, so it’s an everyday struggle to find and eat foods I’m not somehow allergic to and don’t ultimately bother my stomach. If I eat something that doesn’t agree with my stomach, well, I’m in for a few hours of discomfort. I continue to worry about what to eat and what will actually agree with my stomach, and if I don’t eat the right things, I deal with repercussions.

Overall, my biggest problem in college while dealing with lupus (and anxiety) is fear of failure. I want to do anything and everything I can to get involved, but I hold myself back because I’m afraid I’ll eventually have to end my part in any activities or things in which I’m involved. I want to avoid ending up in the hospital again, so I live in a constant state of worrying I’ll ultimately end up there if I don’t have control over my life.

I’m still working on sorting through these fears and worries, but I’m doing my best to just take everything one day at a time. After all, a person (especially one with lupus) should always live in the moment.

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