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Why Lupus Makes Me Feel Excited and Grateful for My Birthday

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It’s November, my favorite month of the year. I think it’s truly the most beautiful time of the year. A reminder that life is always changing and ongoing. Not only is my favorite holiday in November, but it’s also my birthday month. This year I will be 27 years old.

I can’t explain why, but ever since I can remember I would always cry on my birthday. For some reason or another it would always end up occurring. I’ve always been perplexed on why I had this odd habit and why I wasn’t happy. I am a person very much in touch with their emotions. I read them well, and I knew I wasn’t happy, but never was able to figure out why.

But something has changed! I can say that lately I am looking forward to my birthday more than I ever have in my life. I feel grateful. Though I was never able to really pinpoint my unhappiness with my birthday, I feel that I have figured out why I am happy about it now. Lupus is the reason. I usually find it easier to identify my lupus with negative words and feelings. I struggle to find the more “positive” and uplifting comments about such a cruel disease. This disease has thrown my life up into the air and hasn’t come back down. But I am still living.

The year I was diagnosed, and it came my birthday, I was the saddest I ever felt in my life. That year I beat myself up mentally more than anyone could imagine. I didn’t feel that my life was worth celebrating, I felt as if my life had been over. Now years into the future, I feel this weird feeling of thankfulness… even a bit excited? I am more surprised at this feeling than anyone.

The thing is this: I am reaching 27 years old when I was worried at 24 it was over. People keep joking around and are telling me I am getting old. But it makes me feel happy that I’m actually aging and it’s not just my disease aging me.

I am more jubilant about being here another year. I made it! I feel as if I’ve won something. I am winning life. I know it seems weird, I know it seems like it doesn’t make any sense. But this is truly how I feel. Living with this disease makes you worried if you will reach a time where it wins, and you don’t. Even though it scares me, I’ve learned that I must keep going.

Lupus can change at any moment. It has the ability to dictate my life whenever it feels like it. That’s why reaching my birthday feels like these milestones are so much more important. It makes me feel like I have lupus, but lupus doesn’t always have me!

I now see my birthday as something great. A day to be happy, to be joyful, be thankful and smile. Because even if I am in pain, even if things are bad, I still made it. I don’t have anything nice to say about lupus. But I do thank it for waking me up to reality. To realizing that I was wasting my time crying on every birthday for no real reason. Searching and being confused for so long. Truth be told, there is a life worth living even when you feel like there isn’t. And just because things are different, it doesn’t mean it’s not a life worth pursuing. I wasted my time, my birthdays and a lot of my life choosing to be unhappy when I should have been. I will now never do that again. And I will fight each and every day to make it another birthday so that I can celebrate me and a life worth living.

Photo by Sergei Solo on Unsplash

Originally published: November 10, 2018
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