Lupus Is Not an Award, but I’ll Accept It

Lupus Is Not an Award, but I’ll Accept It

Three years ago, I embarked on a journey of knowledge and hard work that has taken me around the world. It changed my life, and I’d like to thank the academy and accept this award … wait, wait, wait!

Lupus is not an award. It’s not the result of hard work or some honed craft, and I don’t want to get dressed up to accept it. Some days, I don’t even want to get dressed! However, there comes a time when reality comes right up and slaps you across the face, while sneering, “Deal with it.”

I’ve shared the stages of grief before, but even though I knew what they are, I still had some misconceptions while experiencing them. For one, I thought they followed a timeline. You have denial for three months, feelings of anger for perhaps four months, and so on. It has been over three years since my diagnosis, and for the first time, I realize that I have spent nearly every moment in denial.

I accepted that the word “lupus” was associated with me. I accepted that it would always be a part of my life, but I was going into remission. I was going to be “normal.” When events triggered a long spell of illness, I would rebel against it. I have been openly sharing my battle for three years here at Lupus News Today (this is my anniversary month), yet the entire time, I have not truly accepted that I have lupus!

I look at lupus as if it were a body-shamer. I hear it saying, “Your legs were once photographed by a professional photographer. Now, they look like sticks.” I have to accept that.

I look at lupus as the cruel prankster who puts tacks on chairs. My “tack” is a chronic cough that sounds as if I have a three-pack-a-day smoking habit, though I’ve never smoked a day in my life. I have to accept that.

I look at lupus as someone who loves to insult others and make them feel bad: “You can’t work. You’re useless. You have no purpose. Why does anyone need you around?” This is how depression works. I have to accept this.

Lupus is not something anyone would walk willingly or openly into. I have fought for three years and been in denial for three years.

Now that we’ve dealt with why I have refused to accept the fact that I have lupus, let’s talk about why I am now open to acceptance. Denial is hurting me mentally, and that means I am giving in to lupus in ways I never anticipated. Denial also keeps me from doing things I should. When I think symptoms are minor and will improve, I don’t go see the doctor, although I know I should. Often, it’s due to fear of another hospitalization, which would deepen my depressive thoughts.

I’ve sought the help of a professional therapist to cope with changes in my life. I know deep down inside that the things I feel about my illness are really insecurities I have about myself. The world around me doesn’t know about the change in my legs. People who know me know that my cough is not from smoking, and I owe no explanation to strangers.

Even if my sole purpose in life is to write this column, I am helping myself and others, so I have a purpose. The negativity I feel is about my ego, and we all deal with that. My ego and I have to fight it out. While I will not be accepting my lupus happily, like an Academy Award, I will be accepting it because, like it or not, it’s not going anywhere.

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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.

Kellie “Hurricane” McRae has been dubbed a force of nature. She’s the mother of 2 adults who know she is a force to be reckoned with. Diagnosed with Lupus in February 2016 after multiple hospital stays that had her saying her goodbyes to her family & writing her will she became a very vocal advocate. She has openly shared via Periscope what she calls coping while scoping and has helped many who got a fresh diagnosis as well as those who have been battling for a while. Kellie has taken on the idea that food is medicine and shares frequently the chemical ingredients found in some foods and she also shares recipe’s for great food. Food is medicine is part of her philosophy. After Lupus forced her to walk away from a 17 year career in Real Estate, she began an online business helping others go from “Coping to Cash flow” because not everyone gets approved for disability and still need to pay bills despite the unpredicatable issues that Lupus causes.
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Kellie “Hurricane” McRae has been dubbed a force of nature. She’s the mother of 2 adults who know she is a force to be reckoned with. Diagnosed with Lupus in February 2016 after multiple hospital stays that had her saying her goodbyes to her family & writing her will she became a very vocal advocate. She has openly shared via Periscope what she calls coping while scoping and has helped many who got a fresh diagnosis as well as those who have been battling for a while. Kellie has taken on the idea that food is medicine and shares frequently the chemical ingredients found in some foods and she also shares recipe’s for great food. Food is medicine is part of her philosophy. After Lupus forced her to walk away from a 17 year career in Real Estate, she began an online business helping others go from “Coping to Cash flow” because not everyone gets approved for disability and still need to pay bills despite the unpredicatable issues that Lupus causes.

6 comments

    • Kellie McRae says:

      Hi Ellen, I am glad this helps you. Its not easy the things our bodies go through in this fight. Its taken me 3 years to at least want to really work with the idea of acceptance. Go at your pace, I know there will be certain aspects of the illness that I will still spend time in denial with. I say that because new symptoms pop up, new reasons for hospital stays so as I mentioned in the article, the grief process doesn’t really stop but at some point, it all eventually goes the course. Stay encouraged and if you haven’t considered a counselor, I recommend it. I didn’t do that from the onset but now have one and MAN it helps me get through a lot.

    • Kellie McRae says:

      Heeyyyy my friend! Thank you for that. I have spent so much of my life in fight mode that acceptance is tough but its part of the growth process. Now I’m having to learn what that means and how to do it properly. New territory but you know me, I’m ready to take it on and figure it out. Thanks for the support and encouragement!

  1. K. Belken says:

    Thank you for this. I was diagnosed in October 2018. I too am still in denial. I feel lost. It does help to see it from another perspective. I will go ahead & call that counselor.

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