Not Fiction

I’ve been blogging now for a couple years. Non-fiction is odd for me, but I’ve gotten used to it. It’s been a long long time since I’ve had anything published, and sometimes I find myself thinking, hey, why not write a non-fiction piece and submit it somewhere? But every time I try, my ideas sound silly. I feel silly writing them.

When I try to write an article, I find myself trying to educate people and it feels fake. Pretentious. Look what I’ve learned. Look how smart I am. Listen to me, this is what you should do. I don’t like when people talk that way to me, and I certainly don’t want to be like that myself.

Yet how can I write blogs but not non-fiction articles? Aren’t they basically the same? Blogging is writing down my ideas in a more-or-less coherent form. Shouldn’t writing an article be the same? Writing articles feels like I’m showing off what I know while blogging is simply putting down what I feel. I don’t want to sound like I’m Smart and Accomplished and that I know All the Right Answers. It’s not me. I do better writing about being lost or confused, which are my natural states.

Twenty-two years is a long time to have lupus. That’s a lot of lupus groups, books, videos, magazines, and doctors’ visits, along with drugs and hospitalizations. I’ve picked up some tips on how to take care of myself in order to minimize lupus, but I cannot make it go away. Even when I do what I’m supposed to, I still get sick. I cannot write an article that says do this and don’t do that and you’ll be fine, because you won’t. It’s far too egotistical to advise people what to do when I don’t follow my own advice half the time, anyway. I feel more realistic when I say this has helped some but it’s not the answer.

I don’t have the answers. I have some ideas, and maybe some of them work. Maybe they work once but never again. I don’t know. I’m baffled by techniques that helps sometimes but not others. I’m confounded by a disease that blindsides me half the time, even when I’m doing my best to stay healthy and calm.

The only advice I could truly put in an article about lupus would be this:
Be cautious but keep your mind open. Different drugs and different treatments work for different people. Find out what works for you, and that is pure trial-and-error.  Most of all, don’t waste your time on things that only make you worse. Be gentle and generous with yourself.
Five sentences. That’s not a publishable article.

So I guess I’ll just keep blogging. Maybe someday I will know enough to write a real, live article. Or maybe someone will find a cure, and then we won’t need anymore articles and I can stay here, lost and confused, wandering around in search of answers to all my other problems.  Because that’s one thing I know for sure: there is no end to problems.  And there is not one solution to any of them.

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