Lupus, I have a hate for you that runs through my veins. It’s a part of every fiber of my being and will be until the day I die. In one fell swoop, you turned my entire life upside-down and took everything I once thought I knew about myself and altered it beyond repair. You ruined life as I knew it and for that, I have only two words: thank you.
Don’t misunderstand me; I loathe the fact that you exist inside my body. There’s not a person in history who deserves your existence thrust upon them, no matter how despicable or immoral their life choices. I couldn’t bring myself to wish you even on my worst of enemies. And yet I somehow find myself grateful. Not for your presence in my life but for the lessons that have come in your wake.
Prior to my diagnosis, there had never been a time in my life that I truly knew grief, anguish, or heartbreak. In the months that followed your arrival, all three would be my constant guides through a breakdown more harrowing and arduous than ever thought possible: the loss of my oldest companion, my old self.
When she died, every version of my life I had ever imagined went with her. Not only did I grieve for her, but also for every possibility and every future that she once held. Her death was my greatest struggle and loss to date. But every day, I am stronger because of it, as it was also my rebirth.
Completely losing who I was to you meant hitting a fork in the road. There were only two options: lie down for the rest of my life or pick myself up off the floor, ball my fists up in front of my face, and brace to fight. At that point, there was no way of knowing just how many hits I would take, but there’s yet to be a moment that I’ve regretted my decision to stand up to you.
You are a relentless bully, living for nothing more than the chance to try battering me into submission. But no matter how hard or how many times you hit me, I will never, ever bow to you. With everything that you’ve thrown at me, I should’ve been down and out a long time ago, but you have become my motivation and my spirit remains high — it can’t be broken.
Part of me wants to thank you for teaching me an invaluable lesson of strength and resilience, as it’s this lesson alone that makes me unshakeably confident about our war. In my life with you, I stand to lose many battles, but it ultimately won’t matter. I have the strength to weather whatever storms you intend to throw at me, and the resilience to bounce back, pick up the pieces, and rebuild myself afterward — and it’s because of you.
Though I’ve mentioned my thanks, don’t for a second take this as a declaration of gratitude. Your very presence in my life lit a fire within me, and it burns in defiance every day. Please understand that in no uncertain terms, I hate you with everything that I am, and everything I do is in spite of 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.