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How I Overcame Feelings of Jealousy After My Lupus Diagnosis

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Before being diagnosed with lupus, I was praised a lot at work. I was always quick on my toes, able to work long hours, and was always looked up to for my ability to handle stress easily. I received many awards and much praise, and expectations were high.

About a year into my career I fell ill and was diagnosed rather quickly. It was very sudden and so abrupt that the transition of my new life took a huge toll on me mentally.

That’s when the jealousy kicked in.

I began seeing the treatment change — the passive attitude about me. I was always looked at for tasks, always first in line for special assignments. I began being looked at as the one with “issues.” I was no longer the overachiever. I fought and even injured myself further to keep up with the old me, but I just couldn’t do it.

When I sat back and let it go eventually, I started seeing others get that attention I had once had. I became envious — jealous entirely. The problem with jealousy is that it brings out a negative version of yourself that you never knew you had. I caught myself disliking some of the nicest people because they got this treatment I once had. I tried to let it go, but I carried it home with me every night. I became extremely competitive and sensitive over “looks” and “attitudes.”

Rather than becoming accepting of my life as someone with a chronic illness and praising people for their accomplishments, I became bitter, not approachable, and people started withdrawing from me. I became more and more negative, and began gravitating towards the gossip and talking about people.

Essentially, noticing the problem is half the battle, and it was a huge eye opener for me. Here are a few things I had to recognize to move past my jealousy:

My life has changed.

Yes, my life has changed. It was almost overnight, very abrupt, and it’s not going to be the way it was no matter how much I wanted to deny it.

I am still the same person.

I am still the same person with the same values and passions. If other people look at me differently and don’t see what I was still capable of due to me being sick, then it is their loss.

I should not take my anger out on innocent people.

I, in all reality, turned my anger from being compromised from my illness into pettiness and jealousy. I turned bitter and took it out on people that are just trying to live their own lives.

The battle is in my own head.

No one else heard the negative thoughts, felt pain, or saw my anger. I carried this around with me for years and only let it out when I wanted to hurt someone for just being them and being acknowledged. They didn’t deserve it.

The pettiness was getting out of control.

It was taking over me as a whole. I couldn’t seem to shake the thought I wasn’t the best anymore. I couldn’t move past being the “sick one.” I was so mad at the world that everyone became my victim.

To this day, I am still working on removing the negativity from my life. I try every day to look at people for their quality and their values. I try to look past the drama and acknowledge people are seen differently in many situations.

My illness is not other people’s fault and my jealousy needs to be made into positive feelings of being blessed for having these people in my life. Feeling blessed I can wake up every morning and work. Feeling blessed many of these people are here to help me and for us to work as a team.

Jealousy, for even the smallest things, can consume you and dictate your path in life. Once you move past that you can live a full and happy life — even if it’s with a chronic illness. Not only do you see and understand your purpose, you will eventually understand your true path of happiness.

Getty Images photo via Archv

Originally published: November 25, 2017
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