Living with lupus has been a true learning experience for me. You have plenty of time to memorize the inside of your rheumatologist’s office. You are educated about medications and treatments. You learn more about the human body than you’d ever want to know.
Lately, I’ve been learning my hardest lesson.
As human beings we have expectations for our lives. I have expectations as I am sitting here, writing this blog: Tomorrow, I will drive to work. Christmas is coming soon. I will get to sleep soon tonight. My fiance and I will eat dinner together tomorrow.
Normal things. Regular expectations for your life. You rarely even think of these as expectations, they’re so ingrained in our minds.
However, life happens and our expectations are not fulfilled. My car may break down and I can’t get to work. The holidays don’t turn out as I planned and I don’t get to spend the time with my family. I am unable to fall asleep tonight. My fiance will have dinner with a friend instead of meeting me at home.
Some of these things might happen and I can easily let it go and adapt. Sometimes, not so much. I like to know what is coming. I like to plan. I like to know what to expect. Sometimes it is easy to get upset if my plans have to change, or my expectations are not met.
My new mantra?
Erin, Just Let It Go.
It isn’t too hard to change dinner plans or get your car repaired. What about if it isn’t something you have control over?
What if it is your health and well-being?
I had always been a generally healthy person. I never had any serious sickness or injury in my life. Until my lupus symptoms started occurring, I never even thought I would have a DISEASE. Lupus was definitely not an expectation. My expectation was to be a generally healthy person for a long, long time. Not to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease just before my 29th birthday.
It has been very hard to deal with. I alternate between anger, sadness, apathy and back again. I have felt like I have zero control over what happens with my body. I am sometimes scared of what the future might hold. I question whether I will ever feel really normal again.
Any expectations I had for my health were blown out of the water. So I am slowly learning to let them go. And I’ll tell ya what, it hasn’t been fun for my somewhat control freak personality.
With no known cure, lupus is definitely a radical unknown in my life. There are so many things I can’t control or change. But what can I change? Me, in my brains area.
What am I trying to do?
- I have to let go of that attachment I held to the expectation that my body would always be healthy.
- No, it isn’t fair. It isn’t what I expected. This is not how I saw my 30’s going. Yes, it sucks. But I don’t allow myself to wallow in it for too long.
- Even though there are many unknowns, I will try my best to be as healthy as I can.
- I have to let the rest of it go.
I have to live.
How do you deal with unmet expectations? Any tips or tricks for letting them go?