The Five Stages
When I got diagnosed with lupus, my world quite literally came crashing down around me. Every hope, dream, fantasy, seemed completely out of my grasp. I “lost” part of me when lupus came. It’s a part of me that will probably never return. I can’t really describe what I “lost”; there is no real description for it. But I do know this; I have “found” that lupus is as much a physical battle as it is a mental one.
1. Denial- This phase did not last long for me. I knew there was something wrong but for a while I didn’t want to say anything. I have just recently been able to say the word “lupus” without hesitating and getting super nervous. It is such a powerful word and hard to swallow. But I do realize I have it.
2. Anger- Probably one of the hardest phases to get through. I felt pent up and just mad at the world. Asking “why me?” and saying “it’s not fair!” Even today I ask “why me?” but without the anger associated with it. I say it more in the terms of “I’m not going to be a super hero anymore” rather than I’m mad.
3. Bargaining- “Please make this go away! Please! I will give you anything to be normal again.” Bargaining is so different when I’m bargaining with my life. There is no coupon to save me from lupus.
4. Depression- I hit this stage intermittently. Never have I been depressed to the point of shutting off my life after being diagnosed with lupus. That’s not to say I haven’t had a few good cries though.
5. Acceptance- I fully accept the terms and conditions of lupus. This is not an acceptance of love; this is an acceptance of necessity. I can’t get rid of it but I can say, “I can do this and I am going to fight.”
What I have listed above are the five stages of grief. All five stages bring on their own challenges. Some stages in my experience are a bit more challenging than others. It truly varies from person to person. Just because I have gotten to stage five doesn’t mean all is good. Easily I can fall back to stage one. Having lupus is like playing a game of chutes and ladders mentally. You sometimes land on a place with solid ground or you can go tumbling down the emotional chute.