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Please Don't Ever Believe Your Illness Is Somehow Your Fault

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I have lupus. I’ve had lupus as a diagnosis for 33 years. I’ve know the whole time there is no cure and no reason why I have this illness. Even during periods of remission, my tests all show that I still have lupus. So it’s not going anywhere, even when it’s quiet.

This is why is can become frustrating when you are ill and are constantly being asked if you’ve tried this supposed cure or that one. Let’s be clear: There is no cure. There are treatments. Some work, some do not. However, the only qualified people to make suggestions of treatment are your actual medical doctors who are working with you and monitoring your progress and labs. Anecdotes and internet celebrities who are not actually qualified to give advice do not fall into the category of qualified advice.

It’s hard because well-meaning people are being well-meaning. They do not give advice to hurt you, they simply do not know that giving unsolicited advice can actually be harmful. It can sometimes seem as if they are implying that you’re sick because you didn’t do something right or you haven’t tried enough “natural” remedies. They may even try to talk you out of seeing a qualified doctor or taking medications in lieu of some natural, untested “cure.”

I’m not denying that proper nutrition, rest, and exercise are beneficial, because they certainly are. But you can be doing all the “right” things and still get sick. And when that happens, please don’t ever blame yourself or let anyone else do so. No one is bulletproof and no one can control when we do get ill. But there isn’t any reason to blame yourself or allow others to blame you for something you have no control of. I’m learning how to speak up for myself and I encourage others to do so as well. Our health and our future depends on it.

Originally published: October 25, 2016
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