I often say, “My disease is mean enough, I don’t need anyone else being mean to me.” I try my best to be a great advocate and a voice of reason when it comes to battling lupus. I listen to a lot of theories by those battling the disease and those who are not.
For many of us, Google has become our best friend and our worst enemy. There is so much good information to assimilate. There is so much information that this, too, can be a bad thing.
Lupus is a very unpredictable disease, and the symptoms can be all over the place. I’ve known doctors to take three to five years to pin down a lupus diagnosis. Looking over my numerous and ever-changing symptoms recently caused me to feel anxiety for the first time in a very long time. I have not had an attack in almost a year, and I woke up feeling like my entire life was closing in on me and questioning my purpose. Lupus comes not just with the physical nonsense but also with a host of fears and worries about the future.
So, imagine my surprise when I started seeing people with lupus question whether or not other patients were truly battling. This bothered me greatly because when I initially started feeling the symptoms of the disease, no answers were forthcoming as to what was happening to me. It was, however, quite clear that something was happening. To have people question this would have sent me over the edge, as I was already scared, worried, and confused about what was happening to my body. To have these questions in my own mind was bad enough. But it would have been cruel and unusual to have others interrogate my motives for expressing pain and fear, and question whether I am really suffering.
One thing I advocate, no matter the situation, is compassion. We do not have the inside scoop on the intimate details of anyone’s story except our own. To expect others to justify what they are feeling is not nice or fair, and it really is none of our business. Understanding is something that comes from walking in someone else’s shoes, and we have enough to deal with while wearing our own.
Compassion is the best we can offer to someone else who is hurting, and sometimes when you have your own battle, that, too, can be hard. I just ask that people please be kind. There is nothing gained by being mean. There is nothing gained by bullying people into feeling as though they must not only justify what they are feeling to their families and healthcare professionals but also to the world at large. It’s not fair, and if someone were to ask me to do it, I would not be nice in my response.
Please take care to remember that what goes around, does indeed eventually work itself back around. No one wants to feel attacked by the outside world when their bodies are already attacking their inside worlds. What do you gain by attacking another person? If they are pretending, it is not your job or right to question that. That is their business. If you could prove they were doing something just for attention, then again, compassion should be your first line of defense. Because anyone who would pretend to battle what we battle for attention could really, really use some love, care, and compassion. Take the high road, won’t you?
Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.