Monday, 9 April 2012

Who Am I Without Lupus?

Just a quick diversion from the Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge, because Patients For a Moment have asked an interesting question for April. They ask: "Who are you without your disease or condition? What makes you more than just your disease? How have you adapted these aspects of your life so they're not completely overcome by your illnesses?"

Interestingly, it's not a question as to who I was pre-lupus. I know who that person was. She was an athlete, a workaholic, superwoman.  

Instead, it's the much more difficult question: who am I now, if I'm not defining myself by my condition.  So much of my life revolves around lupus that this really is a difficult question for me to answer.

I still love my arts and crafts that I always loved. When I have the energy, I still prefer to make greeting cards instead of buying them.

Paper-quilled cards I made for Christmas.
I still love my cooking and baking, and prefer my own cooking to eating out. (This is good, now that I can't eat lactose, or gluten, and meat now makes me feel sick as well - but that's all lupus, I guess.) 

I love to write. (Four blogs - one of them my short stories, you might have guessed I love to write.) One thing that has become easier with lupus has been finding time for writing - when I have no energy for anything else, I still find peace and comfort in my writing.

My kids may be grown up now, but I am still mum. I may not be supermum, but my kids know I am there for them. The difference is that now, I sometimes need them to be there for me as well. I'm very proud of the people they have grown into - and they are very caring and supportive.

Christian faith, the church, and ministry are still central to my life. Ministry is only part-time now, but what I am able to do in Christ's service is still very precious to me, and I hope to the church. The congregation I am a part of now ministers to me far more than I ever minister to them. It is made up of the most wonderful, supportive, encouraging, faith-full people.

My friends are also a vital part of my life. I don't spend as much time with them as I would want, but the time we do spend together is precious.

Many years of ministry, a number of them in hospital chaplaincy, has left me with an acute awareness of just how precious and fragile human life is. It has taught me to value the good in every day, to make the most of special times, because we do not know the day or the hour that this life will be over. This life is far too short to dwell on our hurts and pains.

So, I guess that is me. I'd be fascinated if people who actually know me would comment on this post - to see whether they see me as I see myself!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the article, I really enjoyed it. Enjoy everyday and don't sweat the small stuff!


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