When bad things happen to people we tend to question the reason.
Is it because they deserved it? Or could it be bad karma?
I’ve come across several individuals who believe just that about me. That I must be sick because I’m a bad person, was a terrible teen, or I didn’t take care of myself.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I grew up in a Christian home with very strong morals. The fact that I was a pastor’s kid left with me with no room for error.
I was far from perfect but I did my best to make my parents proud. I made mistakes just like everyone else in the world, but I was never into drugs and I wasn’t a malicious person.
The reason I’m sick is because it was something I was born with that was dormant until weeks before my 23rd birthday. Nothing I did in life could ever change that.
When I was first diagnosed, I was mad at God because I felt as though I was being punished.
You’d have to fully understand my life to see why it angered me.
I was molested by a family member from age 4 to age 13, I was in an abusive relationship as a young adult, I was kicked out of my home at 17, and I had no real family for about 4 years.
Granted, I put myself in a few of those circumstances.
However, I felt as though this was simply a snowball of bad luck. That my life was becoming a disaster and there was nothing I could do to change it.
At one point I was so unhappy with my life I wished my diseases and pain would hurry up and take my life. I would even pray for it to happen. I had reached a state of desperation that no one could dig me out of.
Until one day I looked at who I was becoming. Bitter, unhappy, isolated, and angry.
I didn’t want my daughters to have that kind of mother. I didn’t want them to be raised by someone else and go through the pain of losing me. I wanted to be there to watch them graduate, get married, and maybe even have kids of their own someday.
So I decided I would see things through a positive microscope. I would enjoy all of the little things and focus on everything that brought me joy. I would no longer allow pain to control my life and suck me into a state of depression. I decided I would fight back and I wouldn’t go down easily.
Not a day goes by when I’m not in pain, or struggling to get everyday tasks done. But I refuse to let that take my happiness away.
I am going to look at my glass as being half full instead of half empty, find joy amid the chaos, and laugh even when all I want to do is fall apart and cry.
Arlene Alonzo Grau lives in Lakewood, California. She suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, migraine, vasculitis, and Sjogren’s disease.
The information in this column is not intended to be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Only your doctor can do that! It is for informational purposes only and represent the author’s personal experiences and opinions alone. It does not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report or Microcast Media.