It’s OK to Not Be OK
Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease messes with one’s head. Besides the physical symptoms and flares, the uncertainty about how it would be living with lupus also awakened in me feelings of fear, anxiety, and depression. That was the main reason I started blogging about two years ago. Writing is a safe way to share my feelings, besides that, I wanted to share my symptoms with other lupies, so we could help each other.
Most people who live with a mysterious illness such as lupus will, at some point, get blamed for their condition. Symptoms are easily referred to as “a phase” or something they can get over. Some of us are accused of seeking attention. This phenomenon is so common that makes someone with an autoimmune condition feel guilt to be as she/he is.
Most people wouldn’t hesitate to properly treat heart disease or cancer, but many still carry the painful belief that their depression, anxiety, or trauma caused by the loss that comes with an autoimmune condition is somehow less valid.
During this global pandemic, everyone is on the same boat. After several months into quarantine, we see the conversation behind mental health finally start to open up. People are posting publicly on social media about their increased feelings of stress, anxiety, and loneliness. This “collectivism” of the trauma helps to de-stigmatize mental health issues.
As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all struggling with similar problems and fears, whether that means being anxious about the future, depressed about what we’re missing, worried about our economic outlook, or overwhelmed with various feelings of fear and panic. We need to continue encouraging people to seek help when they need it.