The theme of my life can be summed up in one word:
From undiagnosed childhood illness and homelessness to being struck by a pickup truck as a pedestrian in my 20s, spending almost a year in recovery and officially being diagnosed with Lupus at that time, I have learned through each situation that I am an overcomer.
able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions; able to recoil into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.
Like many of you, chronic illness and trauma has thrown me into the lion’s pit more times than I want to remember. Five small strokes. 35+ hospitalizations. PTSD. Brain Injury. Heart complications. A pulmonary embolism. Chemo. Vasculitis. A brain aneurysm. And even partially losing my eyesight for a season. It’s been one hell of a ride...
In each incredibly low valley — where one loses all sense of direction and cannot see anything but the darkness that surrounds them — I slowly crawled my way (with tears, sighs, pep talks, praises, and perhaps a few cuss words thrown in for good measure) to the top of each mountain before me. And as I stood there, resting in the peace and security of having survived, I could see a landscape stretched before me made of peaks and valleys.
Chronic illness never takes a day off; it is something I have learned will intertwine with every aspect of my life but it does not get to control my life. It may bend, stretch, and compress me, but I will never break.
Though I recognize there will continue to be more deep valleys ahead of me, valleys of unknown, that may bring fear or trauma or illness, I am reminded to speak life over myself, proclaiming, “Take your best shot; lupus and chronic illness trauma will not dim the light God created within me.”
Since I began LupusChick as a small blog back in 2008, I have been able to watch its success over the years as it grew roots, matured, bore fruit, and fed those in need of emotional, physical, and spiritual nourishment and information.
During this time, I was also blessed with an incredible career as a health journalist, speaker, and author. I am thrilled to soon share with you my memoir, which will debut in May of 2021 through Broadleaf Books. It is the chronic illness battle cry that I was so desperately in need of 20 years ago when I was diagnosed.