Thirty-One Faces of Hope: Adair white-Johnson
The lupus community includes people living with lupus, friends, family and supporters across Georgia. For Lupus Awareness Month, we would like to highlight some of our lupus heroes and champions.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve thought of myself as a “Superwoman.”
I’ve always been courageous, resilient, confident, intelligent, and knew that I owned the power of change, so why wouldn’t I think that I was also a conqueror?
Well, it took a Lupus flare-up to make me question my competence.
It took Lupus to make me feel stuck in fear, confusion, and doubt.
And, I hated it
I was about 30 years old and had been living with my diagnosis for almost 10 years.
For the most part, it was a good life. I was happy and thriving
But then, week after week, I got sicker and sicker.
Finally, I was hospitalized.
And when released, I was prescribed “Rest, no work” for 30 days.
The 30 turned into 60.
60 into 90.
90 into 120.
And before I knew it, I was on disability and out of work for 9 months.
I was no longer in control and felt that Lupus had stolen my life from me.
It has taken away the dream life I had created for me.
It challenged the core of who I was because I felt as though I was losing a battle that I didn’t sign up for.
It questioned my tenacity and my grit.
And I didn’t like it at all.
Coming out on the other side, I knew that I had experienced a metamorphosis in my life.
But just wasn’t quite sure what to do with it.
It was this time when I decided to stay two steps ahead of Lupus in my life.
I learned more about my relationship with it.
Not just what statistics said about it, but about what it meant for me in my life.
And I made changes.
I began to live in tandem with my diagnosis.
We became friends because I began to respect its presence in my life, and I knew that we would be forever intertwined.
And since doing that in about 1995, I’ve been able to live in peace with Lupus.
Please understand that I still don’t like it, but I accept it.
This is my path.
And these are the steps that God has ordered for me.
I know that a journey in life was created – a path.
And. It’s my responsibility to follow those steps.
Each day is a new day, and even on the worst days, I know that I may bent, but I’m not broken and damaged but not destroyed.
With Lupus, sometimes my dreams may be detoured, but they’re not never derailed.
I just have to pivot to make them come true.
I’m a foot soldier emerging from the trenches, ready to battle with anything or anyone who poses a threat to my happiness and inner peace.
The biggest lesson that I’ve learned from my long-term disability rest is that it’s about mind over matter.
As much as I mind, will be as much as it matters. And, if I don’t mind, then it won’t matter.
Basically, it’s about my mindset and how I view my life living with Lupus.
I choose to honor the steps that God has ordered just for me and realize that what’s for me is for me.
This includes the good, the bad, the ugly, and yes, the Lupus.
But I have a good life, and I’m so blessed and grateful for it.
It’s enriched and fulfilled in so many aspects and in so many different ways.
There are days when I’m stared afraid, confused, and doubtful, but I also still remember that I own the power of change at the end of the day.
And I choose to live a happy and positive life while living with Lupus.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.