Getting Married and Other Adult Events Despite Living with Lupus

Getting Married and Other Adult Events Despite Living with Lupus

Lessons from a Chronic Life Leslie Rott

I’m getting married! I’d like to say that’s the reason for my column’s absence, but the reality is that the last several months have been crazy.

In December, I closed on a house. In January, I moved. In February, I got engaged. Then, from March through May, I dealt with an unexpected health scare (read: cancer scare, the gynecological kind).

What these past few months have taught me is that despite chronic illness, life happens. Already having a sickness doesn’t mean I can’t get sicker. And my sickness doesn’t mean that I won’t get the chance to experience significant life events like everyone else, even though it has felt that way for the past decade.

Yes, I have been living with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for a decade now.

When I first got sick, I felt like my life was over. And for a long time, it felt like my friends’ lives were moving on without me. I didn’t blame them, but it seemed like they were doing what they were supposed to be doing and I was in a holding pattern. My life was one giant question mark. I felt like I would never get there, as if I would never catch up.

I think that’s one of the hardest parts of living with chronic illness. You have to mourn the life you thought you would live, and adapt to the life that you will have. And that’s part of being an adult. Life throws you curveballs, and you either have to move toward the ball, or the ball will hit you in the face.

And now, I am learning what it’s like to be a homeowner and a fiancée, all while trying to manage the ever-present shadow over my shoulder that is lupus and RA. But I feel like I have other identities now. I’m working toward goals that I once told myself I wouldn’t, or couldn’t — and that’s because I was sick. That is both exciting and overwhelming.

It feels like it took me forever to get here. I’m telling myself to enjoy the ride and to not rush through it, to really soak in everything that is happening in my life right now. The reality is that lupus and RA will always be here, like it or not. But these other experiences, like buying a house and getting married, will hopefully only come around once in a lifetime.

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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.

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