I’ve written before about what I’ve lost to Lupus. Now I want to share a little of what Lupus has offered me:
- Knowledge of my body
I know my body better than most people around me know theirs. I have the numbers from hundreds of lab results, yes, but that isn’t really the knowledge that matters to me. I pay attention to my body now in ways I never did before. I know the warning signs that I need to slow down. I know the routines that support my health. I know the foods and supplements that help me feel strong and energetic. I know when a particular event is likely to wear me down and how to prepare for that and recover from it. While I will never be able to totally control my illness, this knowledge of my body gives me the confidence and skills I need to live my life fully.
- Appreciation of rest
I used to put rest on the back burner. I don’t anymore. I know now that rest is part of what helps me to live into the fullness of my being, both physically and spiritually. I don’t run myself ragged anymore. I don’t pressure myself to always do more. I know how to prioritize, I know when I’ve done enough, and I know how to let my To Do list go and immerse myself in rest.
- Sensitivity to others’ needs
I know what it’s like to need a chair in a room that doesn’t have enough of them. I know what it’s like to need a break when there isn’t one in the schedule. I know what it’s like to have to ask 15 questions ahead of an event to make sure I’ll be able to get my needs met. Having to be sensitive to my own body’s needs has helped to be sensitive to the needs of other bodies, too. It’s made me aware of marginalized voices I didn’t know to listen for before. It’s made me an advocate. And it’s made me a better human.