Staying Sane Through the Insanity

Staying Sane Through the Insanity

I sit here on day 11 of my first hospital stay of 2020. I’ve learned that pharmaceutical companies test how wide your esophagus will open to accommodate pills that would make a horse gag. I am doing all I can to remain sane, but few things make you lose track better than a drug-induced haze.

When you average four hospital stays per year, certain things will indicate when the doctor is about to admit you. Now, admit is a funny word. I admit that even though I am moving into year four of my battle with lupus, I have spent a lot of time in denial. I admit to thinking I am somehow in control and can push harder, can try to do more. I admit that I rarely ask for help because “I’m the tough chick, and I’ve got this.”

As a result of my longest hospital stay yet, I will finally admit that lupus is a true and worthy opponent.

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Friends brought me coloring books and a jewelry kit to keep me sane. (Photo by Kellie McRae)

I live primarily in Mexico, but right now, I am in the U.S. For the first time in years, I traveled without a computer. With 11 days of medical things to process and seven different departments working my case, I am feeling quite overwhelmed.

I deactivated my Facebook just before I left Mexico, and I rarely watch TV, so I have nothing to do. I wanted to unwind, but not like this. I’m learning to make jewelry, and have asked friends to send me beads. I can hardly see them, but I’m determined. I also borrowed a laptop to reach out to the world.

After the doctor admitted me, I requested they reach out to my therapist so that I could clear my head. I deactivated my Facebook partly to avoid the anger, sadness, and despair there. We can’t change what we see on social media, but constantly seeing it can change us. I don’t want to become a hopeless, sad person. Emotions on social media were causing me stress in areas I do not control.

I know that computers can be a lifeline for so many people. We spend a lot of time alone — in our beds and sometimes in our heads. I decided to reactivate my Facebook account, but only until this ordeal is over. Then I will assess my sanity levels.

Insanity factors

We’ve all heard the phrase “mind over matter.” At this point, my thought is “mind over everything.” Creeping around in my head can be dangerous, so I have done my best to minimize the creepers lurking there.

To clear my mind, I am exploring the role that “insanity factors” play in my life. Please ask yourself the following questions and pay attention not only to your answers but also to your physical reactions:

  • You read something on social media that caused you anxiety, anger, or stress. How does your body feel? How long did it take you to get back to “you”? Is social media something you can immediately and directly impact?
  • Someone expressed an opinion that directly opposed yours, and you offered reasons why they should change their mind. How often has someone done the same with you? How often is your mind still made up, and how do you feel during the exchange? How do you feel once you have exhausted your reasons?
  • Someone you love keeps finding themselves in the same sad situation. They call you to vent, ask for help, or because they supposedly need suggestions. You have done this countless times before. How do you think you would feel if you finally set a boundary? Do you feel stressed about their situation because you can’t resolve their problem? Do you struggle with feeling guilty when you say no? How long does it take for this extra stress to bother you?

I am ridding myself of the above insanity factors and know I will be better off for it. I will focus on people who add to my smile factor and the things I can impact. I hope you will check your sanity levels and do all you can to keep your mind in a good space.

Our bodies are rebelling. Let’s fight them with smarts.


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 is a lupus warrior who spends her time teaching many about the incurable disease she battles with a smile on her face. She travels the world, writes articles, has an active YouTube channel and creates coloring and activity books for both adults and children. She is known as Queen Bubbly Bee because no matter what is going on with her body, she always manages to find the silver lining.
Kellie is a lupus warrior who spends her time teaching many about the incurable disease she battles with a smile on her face. She travels the world, writes articles, has an active YouTube channel and creates coloring and activity books for both adults and children. She is known as Queen Bubbly Bee because no matter what is going on with her body, she always manages to find the silver lining.

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  1. Brenda Donofrio says:

    I stay away from social networks. I have a circle of friends that I keep in touch with. I guess you could say that I am a bit old school on certain things. We had a ice storm this weekend and lost power for over 28 hours. I thought my daughter would have a meltdown as she practically lives on her cell phone, as many teens do. But that night proved to be one of the best we had. We talked about different things. She learned how to survive a power outage during winter. A valuable life lesson. But it is the bonding time that will be treasured the most. That is what people need in today’s world. I am glad to see you are keeping your spirits up and trying new things. Hang in there. 💐

    • Kellie McRae says:

      I laughed at the thought that she would have a meltdown, they really have no clue how to function without those internet connections, sadly, I tease and say I’m a Gen X’er with millennial tendencies and the first few days in the hospital, I couldn’t get an internet connection. I came a bit close to my own meltdown but not because of the social networks, I just felt I had no way to message my family. I am like you in some regards where social media to me really isn’t social. It allows people to say things they more than likely would never say in person. It started off fun and now its a source of stress that I am learning more and more to spend less time taking in. I am so glad she got to see the value of having a true personal connection, I bet she will remember and cherish that night forever. While I don’t wish a 28 hour power outage on anyone, I do hope for more evenings like that with your daughter (you can flip the master switch and tell her the power is off) hee hee that can be our little secret.

  2. Christine M says:

    My dear sweet friend;
    You are a constant inspiration. It seems shallow to say it but it is all I can say:
    I am sending you positive ,loving thoughts and wishing you better days.
    Your “insanity factors” was really a wake up for me. I wne thru the listed situations felling good like ” I got this”. Then began to reflect on the way I allow my wonderful husband to influence my mood, depression , and ability to bounce back and carry on or try new things,
    Thanks for all you do for others and PLEASE take care of you.
    Hugs and love,

    • Kellie McRae says:

      Thanks so much for the encouragement Chris, I am glad my factors made you think. These are things that we don’t realize have the ability to steal the joy and energy from our days. We have been taught as wives and mothers to push back what we need in favor of others but with this battle, sometimes we need to put ourselves first. I will do my best to take care of me, please take care of you as well.

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