Why I Refuse to Believe My Lupus Is a ‘Lesson’

There are many things I believe wholeheartedly. I believe if you send out good energy that at the right time it will come full circle and be repaid to you. I believe that in every moment I hold my life in my own hands, and although I’m not in total control of every aspect, I am responsible for my perspective and attitude.

But the one thing I refuse to believe is that lupus was given to me as a lesson.

Lupus is and will be my lifelong challenge. It is my cross to bear and it will be a true constant throughout the rest of my existence. And, though I’m not resigned to this reality, I’ve made peace with my demons and I accept it.

In many ways, lupus has forced me to grow. It has changed who I am and how I view life, and leaves me incredibly proud of the person I have become. However, I won’t ever allow myself to believe that lupus was given to me as a lesson.

Having to be taught a lesson implies that I’ve done something wrong to begin with, but living with lupus is not the aftermath of my poor decision-making and it’s not a consequence. Being diagnosed with a chronic illness was out of my hands and in no way has it ever been my fault.

I hold great respect for the beliefs of others, but personally struggle to believe in a higher power with control over the entirety of our existences. I don’t want to believe that someone knowingly deals out illness and injury to young children and good-hearted people. More than that, I don’t want to believe someone would consciously choose lupus for me.

The motivation to stand up to lupus and find strength in every aspect of my life every day does not stem from a need to understand how or why these cards ended up in my hand. It comes from deep inside me, fueled by a hurt and anger that came from having a life stolen.

By believing that being given lupus was simply a twist of fate, it means that I’m solely responsible for my actions and attitude toward my situation. And while that leaves me with no choice but to own the decisions that weren’t perfect, it also means that every moment of strength, courage and perseverance is also mine – and mine alone.

Each day I stand up and refuse to let lupus win – that is my accomplishment. As much support as I have surrounding me, this is and will always be my solo battle. Ultimately the decision to continue to fight another day or give up and wave that white flag will always lie with me.

Lupus, you may be my test of will and strength, a constant reassessment of resilience and a battle of the most grueling kind. But you are not my lesson; you’re merely the hand I’ve been dealt.

I’m not learning. I’m fighting, I’m growing and I’m evolving, one day at a time.

This post originally appeared in Kristiana Page’s column “The Girl Who Cried Wolf” on Lupus News Today.

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