I’ve managed one blog post a month for pretty much the last year, but with NaNoWriMo starting tomorrow, I shall go ahead and write November’s blog now. Since I discovered the ‘schedule posts’ option, I can write now, post later. It makes me feel really professional. I prefer waiting till I have something to write, but I feel even more professional if I write when it’s time and not when I feel like it.
There’s nothing burning a hole in my mind waiting to be written, so what’s been up lately? I’ve joined a couple of autoimmune groups on the internet, and it’s fantastic to be able to talk to other people who understand me. If I say, “I’m tired,” to a normal bunch of people, they say: “Go take a nap.” They don’t get that lupus-tired is a completely different animal. Only those with lupus truly understand what “tired” means. Only those with lupus truly understand lupus.
And that’s nifty. It makes a hard disease a little easier to bear when you don’t feel totally alone and completely misunderstood.
But there’s one thing I can’t get into with these groups: the hatred. It’s all too common to hear someone say, “I hate lupus”, or “Fuck lupus”, or “Lupus go die in a fire” (okay, I made that last one up. But the sentiment counts. Gamers have lupus, too, you know). I don’t hate lupus. I don’t love it, either, but I can’t bring myself to hate it. I hate being sick, but I don’t hate lupus.
There are lots of reasons not to hate lupus. For one, it is not a concrete thing. There is nothing to point a finger at and sneer while growling the word, “You!” A day or two ago, I read an article about yet another miracle cure, some sort of vaccine that is supposed to block lupus in the blood. And I was like, what? How can you block lupus in your blood when it doesn’t exist? Maybe some day they’ll find one particular little germy thing that causes our immune systems to go haywire, and then they can point to it and say “bad dog!”, but until then, there is nothing to draw a bull’s eye on. How can you hate it when you don’t know where to aim your hate? There’s a bad guy out there somewhere, maybe, so should I just shoot arrows into the air and hope to hit it? No. Waste of time. Not to mention arrows.
Even if it does turn out to be one little germ, or a mutated cell, or a goof in my DNA, how can I hate it? The little germy thing didn’t create itself. It’s not like GamerGate, which was deliberately brought into being by a bunch of buttmunches who like to blame women for all their own failings. Lupus is just here. You can’t blame it for existing.
Another reason not to indulge in hate is that hate is a powerful emotion, one that causes lots of stress. Lupus thrives on stress, so I try to avoid it as much as possible. Hating anything makes me sicker. It gets my immune system in a tizzy, making it attack even more of me. That’s not a good thing at all.
But the main reason for me not to hate lupus is that lupus has become part of my body. Lupus IS my own body, attacking my own body. Like it or not, it’s here, and there’s no way to separate the two. I don’t want to hate my own body. I’ve done that, and it’s no fun. Hating anything causes stress, but hating myself… geez, I might as well just put an arrow in my mouth and release… uh, no. I guess archers have a hard time committing suicide. Guess I’d have to jump off a bridge or blow myself up or swallow a whole bottle of flea spray.
Nah. I’ve come too far to give up now. For twenty years I’ve lived with a widdershins immune system, and for twenty years I’ve survived. Maybe I’ve made my peace with lupus. I can’t get rid of it, but I’ve learned a few tricks to keep it quiet. If I have to share my body with lupus, I want it to take as small a space as possible, and remaining as calm as I can helps. It doesn’t make lupus go away, but it helps.
I know the price I pay for anger or hatred or any strong emotion: I get sick. If I decide to indulge in something like hate, I want to believe that it will pay off in the end. If hatred would get rid of lupus, I’d hate it every second on my life. But all it does is make lupus worse. So, okay, puppy, I’ll stop fighting you. I’ll give you a calm atmosphere, good food, and exercise, and you can go take nice, long naps.