I Am Who I Want to Be Because of Lupus

I Am Who I Want to Be Because of Lupus

I remember myself as more cohesive before diagnosis. It was easy to connect the dots when it came to my personality. While unbearable stubbornness has been a fundamental part of me since I was born, there weren’t nearly as many polar opposite sides of me as there are now.

As a teenager, I had trouble envisioning who I wanted to be as a person. After being diagnosed with lupus, I realized that a lot of my uncertainty stemmed from worrying about what others might think of me.

My diagnosis created inner turmoil. At the ripe old age of 20, I faced recurring existential crises. Every certainty you’ve held breaks down when you look mortality in the face. The further I move from my diagnosis, the more confident I am of who I want to be. And the harder I lean into being that person.

Lupus taught me the importance of embracing the polar opposites of my personality.

I never understood that strength and vulnerability could be complementary. Strength defines my journey with lupus, but vulnerability enhances it. Inner strength means that I fight and succeed in living on my terms. Vulnerability makes it possible to speak about my journey and share it with others.

Strength keeps me going. Being vulnerable means that others benefit from my struggle.

Lupus has taught me that it is possible to have facets of who I am that don’t align. I have a very “black-or-white” attitude and often refuse to tolerate people’s nonsense. But that’s not because I’m not caring. On the contrary, I believe that even the smallest, genuine gestures from the heart are important.

There are hard and soft sides to my personality, and to show one but not the other is not being inauthentic. It is recognizing that life is not simple. Humans are complex and dynamic beings who live through different trauma and hardships.

Who I am is an amalgamation of who I want to be and who life has taught me to be. I can identify multiple parts of myself that should not coexist harmoniously — but they do. Each contradictory part is a piece that makes me who I am.

Because of lupus, I shed the parts of myself with which I didn’t fully identify. And I gained the confidence to find and cement the parts I did.

I look at the person and smile, knowing she is the person I always aspired to be.

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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.

Kristiana “Kristi” Page is a surfer, barista and university student studying an Arts/Science Degree in Philosophy/Mathematical Modelling. Living on the picturesque Bellarine Peninsula on the South-East coast of Australia, she’s deeply passionate about salt water in all forms, amazing coffee – even though she’s not allowed to drink it – and above all else traveling the world: one country at a time! Diagnosed with Stage IV: Lupus Nephritis at 20, she’s determined to not be defined by her auto-immune condition. Using writing as a medium for self-expression she hopes to share her life and journey to both raise awareness and support others in similar situations! A big believer in the concept of dialectics, she loves to share her usually unorthodox – and sometimes controversial – views with the world; and in turn have others share theirs with her. Quirky by choice, inquisitive by nature and above all else: smiling, always!
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Kristiana “Kristi” Page is a surfer, barista and university student studying an Arts/Science Degree in Philosophy/Mathematical Modelling. Living on the picturesque Bellarine Peninsula on the South-East coast of Australia, she’s deeply passionate about salt water in all forms, amazing coffee – even though she’s not allowed to drink it – and above all else traveling the world: one country at a time! Diagnosed with Stage IV: Lupus Nephritis at 20, she’s determined to not be defined by her auto-immune condition. Using writing as a medium for self-expression she hopes to share her life and journey to both raise awareness and support others in similar situations! A big believer in the concept of dialectics, she loves to share her usually unorthodox – and sometimes controversial – views with the world; and in turn have others share theirs with her. Quirky by choice, inquisitive by nature and above all else: smiling, always!

2 comments

  1. Ebtihal says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I have similar feeling that lupus create my personality in a very strong way. When I remember life before diagnosis, I can relate how lupus has a very good imapct on me and how this journey turn me to be have a strong personality.

  2. Roko Paić says:

    I couldnt agree more with you on this. I have changed so much about myself because of lupus. It truly shaped me to be what I am in this day. As much as I hate it I am also thankfull to have it in me.

    Ps.I have been reading and following your column since I was diagnosed last summer and you helped me a lot!

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