Step 2: Know thyself (written in the Apollo temple at Delphi)

As the ancient Greeks knew, to know yourself is the key to all knowledge and wisdom.  In this quest to live and thrive with lupus, it also holds true.  Once you have accepted that you have this condition (step 1), and accepted yourself as you are, you can move to step 2.  Knowing yourself is a difficult art, for your eyes were made to only see out, not in.  That is why it is sometimes easier to know someone else than it is to know you.  To achieve this you have to start being reflexive about your symptoms and what actions preceded them.  The easiest way I have found to to this is make it a routine:

Every day at night before sleep, relax deeply and reconstruct your day.  What did you do? How did it make you feel? What emotions do you remember having? How did they make you feel? What did you eat? Did it have an effecton your wellbeing? Is there anything you did today that made any difference to how you feel?  Try to see the patterns of behaviour that make you better and those that make you worse.  Once you identify what makes a difference in your life for the positive and the negative, start having more of the good and less of the bad.

I find that stress, physiscal exhaustion, hormonal changes and sadness make me worse.  Laughing, doing actvities that I enjoy and conciously relaxing when stressed make me better. I can’t get rid of the stress factors in my life, I have a husband, kids and problems, just like everyone else. My motto is “do what you can and leave the rest be”.  When there is something important, fix it fast, if you can.  If there is nothing else you can do, try to forget about it!

The key here is to start knowing yourself, your triggers for lupus, what makes it better and adjusting your life, in whatever you can, to increase the good and decrease the bad.