Living with Lupus - Doing Lupus day by day, one healthy deed at a time.

When I decided to start living well with my chronic illness, it didn't just happen overnight. I didn't wake up one morning years ago, and decide that from that point forward, I was going to live in harmony with my disease. I didn't instantly shed the anger and resentment I had toward lupus. The anxiety about my future with a chronic disease didn't just magically disappear. And when it came to making choices about work, family, pregnancy, job, lifestyle, daily routine, and travel - just to name a few areas of life disrupted by lupus - the decisions I needed to make weren't easy or crystal clear from Day 1. I struggled. In fact, I still struggle to make good, healthy decisions all day every day!

But what I did do starting on Day 1 was to make at least one good decision that was beneficial for my health. One decision that improved my disease activity. One little choice to show that I wasn't giving up. That I wasn't just going to let lupus win. 

Some days, that meant making time for a nap when I really didn't want to. Or reaching out for help even when I was embarrassed about doing so. Other days, when my disease was managed, it meant taking all of my medication, exactly when and how I was supposed to. (Can you #saynotoselfmedication?) 

Of course, I didn't make all good decisions right away. But by deliberately and consistently making at least one healthy decision per day, I built momentum, and I established self-restraint. I proved to myself that I could do it - that I could actually choose wisely. It was empowering to know that despite the debilitating lupus symptoms over which I seemingly had no control, I could assert myself in the face of lupus one little decision at a time.

My strategy of making one healthy decision a day caught on. One good choice led to another, and before I knew it, I was making major, life-altering decisions that set me on the track to long-term health and wellness. Two children, a business of my own, and a strong, loving marriage later, I can see the results of my good decision making. In fact, those achievements prompt me to practice healthy decision making still today!  

But living well with lupus is gradual. It's not one sweeping motion that drives away all of the emotional suffering and physical pain of lupus. It's the little decisions, the small steps we make daily that get us from tomorrow. And for now, that's as far as we need to go.

In an effort to remind myself just how important this exercise is, I'm going to try sharing my own healthy daily decisions. I hope it empowers you to make to make at least one good choice that benefits your health, and maybe it will inspire you to do it again the following day. If anything, let it be a reminder that there truly is hope, despite your illness. (Plus, you'll have a task to accomplish each day. So you can't throw in the towel just yet!) 

Feel free to share your healthy decisions. I would love to be inspired by your efforts to live well, despite lupus! First healthy decision - up tomorrow on the blog! 


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