Lupus Self-Talk - Dreaming of lupus and my best self!

Last night, I had a dream about being in a lupus flare, something I haven't done in years!

It wasn't fun to revisit those days (even in a dream!), where I struggled to walk, talk. or think due to pain and fatigue.  But a curious thing took place in my dream, after I'd gone through a day with flaring lupus. A clone of myself appeared, this one looking in on the other, giving my other self pep talks and pointers as to how different choices throughout the day might have alleviated,  rather than exacerbated, my symptoms.  Here's how my dream went down:

I was on my way back to college, but staying in a hotel with Johnny (then my boyfriend), his family,  and about a dozen other people.  There were mattresses stuffed in every inch of the hotel room, making for unsatisfactory sleeping arrangements, to say the least.  We'd been at the beach, and I was sunburned and tired. I hadn't napped, or eaten, and we were waiting for our friends to bring McDonald's back to the house for dinner.  

While I waited,  I tried to figure out my class schedule, which was stressing me out. Exhausted and frustrated, I decided to take a walk around the hotel parking lot. The stairs down to the lot were steep, and while my joints didn't hurt on the way down, as I walked around the lot,  they began to swell and ache. 

As I walked, the pain increased,  and an overall fatigue and heaviness came over me that made it practically impossible to put one foot in front of the other.

As I walked back up the stairs,  I had to pull my legs up one by one with my aching hands. My whole body felt as heavy as concrete, and I struggled to make the last step, grabbing the end of the railing for support. 

Exhausted and depleted,  I leaned against the concrete stairwell, and that's when my 2nd self appeared. She spoke with such comfort and understanding, but didn't fuss over me (which I appreciated.) She wasn't judgmental,  and rather than blaming me for being so weak and incapable, she asked questions,  probing, poignant questions: 

Was a walk what I needed just then, or would a nap have been a better choice? 

Had I thought of booking my own hotel room so sleep wasn't such a chore? 

Had the day at the beach been worth it, or would I have done it differently next time?

Did my school schedule have to be figured out right then,  or could it wait until I was more rested? 

And one of her last questions - was McDonald's the best choice right now, or did I think my body needed something fresh and wholesome?  (I laughed at that one!) 

As she posed her questions, she wasn't accusing me. She was merely asking for reflection.  She didn't even look at me very much as we spoke. She looked at her phone for most of the conversation, almost as if to make it less serious or demanding for me. And I loved the way she spoke to me - understanding, discerning,  a little empathetic,  but not overly emotional. She wasn't trying to pressure me, or force me to her point of view. She was merely providing a different way of looking at the situation, and I could do with it what I wanted. 

And then, I woke up.

Not sure what else to say, because I think it's all right there for interpretation.

One take-away, for sure:

How we talk to ourselves, what we say, and when we say it, especially during challenging times with lupus  - it all matters. We can be our own best advocates - but we have to make sure our self-talk is constructive, not damaging. Positive, not negative.  Encouraging,  not defeatist. 

Think you need to freshen up your own self-talk today? Be kind. Be merciful. Be honest. Be supportive.

Because you deserve it.


Aya W said…
This is so true. Asking these simple questions can help clear priorities, and first priority is always to stay healthy and well. Thanks for sharing Sara :)
Sara Gorman said…
You're welcome! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! Take care - Sara

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