Lupus Lies to Protect Your Peace
Last updated: March 2023
How many times have you lied about how you feel as you battle lupus? For me, I can't even count the number of times I've stretched the truth. I haven't only stretched the truth; I've completely straight-out boldface ignored it. I tend to do this to protect others from the pain I feel. What I wasn't realizing was my lies were hurting me most. Holding in all the pain for myself and acting as if I was fine was killing me softly. I needed the support, and lying about it wasn't going to get it to me.
The "I’m fine" syndrome
Too many times, we fall victim to the "I'm fine syndrome." When others ask us how we are doing, we use fine to minimize any judgment from them. Sometimes we use it not to stoke fear into our friends and family. The "I'm fine syndrome" is a coping mechanism that attempts to hide lupus from others. Ultimately, it becomes a habit that puts each lupus warrior in jeopardy of not healing every day.
What "I’m fine" could mean
There are many reasons why a lupus warrior would lie about how they are feeling. No matter what the reason, know that FINE doesn't always mean everything is okay. Fine could mean that they are in a flare. That flare could consist of fatigue, pain, fever, lupus fogs, mouth ulcers, and skin rashes, just to name a few symptoms. At any moment, they could be ready to burst out in tears and lose it. Yet, they hold it together and put up a great front for all to see.
Why lupus warriors become great liars
Just like lupus itself, lupus warriors are great imitators. Feeling one way but projecting something other than their pain is a skill. A skill that is used to survive and thrive through lupus issues. Many lupus warriors become great liars because of many different reasons:
Many people with lupus lie about their feelings because they don't want to be judged. They don't want people to see them as a hypochondriac or a complainer.
Fear of being seen less than or weak. Getting told something like, "at least it's not cancer," as if lupus was not a serious disease. Fears of their friends and family abandoning them because they are too ill.
The fact that people who don't understand lupus want to give advice on how to live with it is scary. Many lupus warriors do not want advice. Especially if that advice is uninformed and unhelpful. Sometimes they just need an ear to hear what's going on.
Tired of talking about lupus
Lupus warriors deal with lupus issues daily. Therefore, sometimes the last thing they want to do is explain and talk about it.
Having lupus is difficult. Consequently, it's life-altering to have your life twisted and turned upside down with pain. Oftentimes, lupus warriors feel guilty for not being able to be who they used before their lupus diagnosis. That guilt can create a plethora of feelings that make it difficult to tell others how they are feeling.
In conclusion, when lupus warriors talk about their struggles, they can be met with some resistance. Additionally, that resistance, although well-meant, can be the barrier between truth and lie. Ultimately, a lupus warrior will lie and say they are fine to protect their peace in their lupus battle. However, it is important to show how you feel as a lupus warrior. The only way you can heal in some way is to be honest with yourself and with others. This will give you the proper support needed through those tough times. You don't always have to act as if you are fine when you are not.
How are you most likely to respond when someone offers you unsolicited advice about your lupus?