There's a wonderful article on The Mighty (a one-stop shop for user contributed articles on illness, both physical and mental). In this article a young woman comes to ask a question that we all come to at some point in our lives - that question being "how did this happen?" There have been so many times in my life I've skidded to a halt, tripping over my own heels, and looked back at the flaming destruction behind me and asked that. But how did this happen?

That question took a baffling turn for me about a year ago when I was diagnosed with Lupus. How did this happen? Why did this happen? Did I do something to get this? Is this my fault? What could I have done differently? Why me? What does this mean? So many questions, all folding on themselves and creating ever new folds, new questions, and newer confusions.

I have some of those answers now. I know lupus happens when your immune system is too strong, like the hypersensitive fire alarm that goes off when you flip on the burner on your stove. It happened because I was born with it. No, I didn't do anything to get it. Outside of having been born, no, it's not my fault. The only thing I could have done differently was to have had health insurance, which is an easier said thing than done here in America. And overall, my finding out I have lupus pretty much means that I have lupus.

It's simple, really. A year's worth of living with the active disease has settled quite a bit. I remember, Cinemababe, you saying that given time, it would simply become something that was a part of me. That the screaming pitch of anger and sorrow would eventually reduce itself into a calm, an acceptance, and a renewed sense of identity which included lupus, but was not entirely made of lupus.

You were right.

These days, the answers ring as satisfying more often than not. There are questions about this disease that may never be answered in my lifetime (research into Lupus is still relatively early and scant), but the questions I've HAD about what this disease means FOR ME have been, for the most part, answered.

How did this happen? It turns out once the immediate crisis had passed, the how-it-happened wasn't all that important anyways. How did this happen? It doesn't matter.

The how that matters is how I live with it.

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I think it's easier to live with diseases that correlate with the way you lived your life before than such which demand big changes from you or which turn your social life completely around.