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How Lupus Taught Me to Say ‘Yes!’

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We live in a society where too often the assumption is that the future is guaranteed. But it’s not. I’ve spent too much of my life holding out for that “rainy day.” However, being diagnosed with lupus has taught me that it’s crucial to make it count while I have the chance. There’s no better time than right now to say “Yes.”

In my room there’s jewelry that was given to me at birth, and to this day I’ve yet to wear it. Why? It’s special, and I couldn’t justify wearing it just any old day; it needed to be for an extraordinary occasion. In 21 years there wasn’t one day that I considered worthy, so it has remained in it’s original box, covered with dust.

Although the cause and potential cure of lupus remain a mystery, one thing that’s certain: It doesn’t get better; it will get only worse. It is with this knowledge that I was forced to change my perspective on life.

This journey with lupus is kind of how I’d imagine getting stuck in a mine cart, flying down the rails in the dark of a mountain mine. There’s no way of telling what lies ahead and there’s the ever-present possibility of crashing. But nothing good can come from the lurking darkness and you’ll most definitely come out worse for wear.

I am grateful for every day that I wake up without a head full of brain fog, or crippling aches in my joints. I know it’s inevitable and not a question of “if,” but “when.”

There are so many things I’ve always wanted to try, but didn’t. I don’t know what stopped me. Maybe it was the anxiety that comes with trying something new, or maybe I was just putting it off until it felt like the time was right. But in so many instances I never broke out of my shell.

I’ve started living by the idea that any great day that comes my way potentially could be my very last. Time will not be my friend, therefore I no longer say “maybe,” Instead, I say “YES”.

There are very few things that I’m grateful to lupus for, but in this case I have overwhelming gratitude. It may have crushed my spirit and flipped the world upside down, but as clichéd as it may be, it also pushed me to make every moment count.

Without lupus my life would be easy. I’d live without much complication, but I also would’ve never learned to answer every opportunity with a resounding “Yes!”

In these past few months I’ve said “yes” to anything and everything that I thought had the potential make me happy. Not every “yes” made me happy, but at least I took the leap to know for sure.

I’m saying “yes” to happiness, no matter how anxiety-inducing the root cause might be. “Yes” to challenges, even though there’s an ever-present chance of failure. And “yes” to living for right now, while I’m sure it’s mine.

In a single moment I changed my whole life, with a tiny, three-lettered word. It was not it’s size that made the difference, but exactly how I say it and how often. It doesn’t matter whether I’m shouting it from the rooftops or whispering it quietly to myself, it’s still a “yes,” still an affirmation to life to the fullest.

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

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Thinkstock Image By: Sjale

Originally published: February 23, 2017
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