How quickly May went by! Lupus Awareness Month is nearly over. Not so, unfortunately, the disease itself. No, it’ll be with us for quite some time, and thus my fourth and fifth “Lupus Coping Skills”: Adaptability and Creativity.
These might seem obvious. Of course, when you have an unpredictable, chronic illness, you have to learn to adapt and be creative about life. But, in reality, many of us lupies, myself included, struggle with losses that lupus brings. As these add up (loss of appearance, friends, employment, health, lifestyle things like going out in the sun…etc.), we often face a crossroads. We could go blythly onward as we had before, out into the sun, for example, but given the consequences, say, a worsened lupus flare, we might be in worse shape than before – and face even more tough decisions.
The other way includes accepting the losses and limitations, but instead of remaining with gaping holes moving forward, we find other, healthful pursuits, foods, habits, and friends, to fill the voids. Thus, adaptability and creativity.
I might not be able to go outdoors during the day as I used to. But, I can do many things indoors – including exercise and spending time with friends. New gadgets can make it easier to adapt joint pain and limited mobility to still-important activities such as cooking. Moving the time when I do some activities (such as blogging) to when my energy is at a good level helps me to feel I’ve accomplished something during the day, while still acknowledging that other times of the day might not be as energy-filled.
Even if you are the least artistic person on the planet, you have the capability to be creative, to devise activities and a way of looking at the world that takes into account what you are capable of doing, given illness, and what your dreams and goals are. Adapting to lupus, and finding creative solutions to the problems posed by the losses it brings can truly help forge a path to dreams fulfilled and life goals met.
Blessings for the day!