In September of 2017, I was diagnosed with an auto immune disease called Lupus. Since then I have learned so much about the disease and feel like I have discovered many coping strategies to help me emotionally deal with the daily reality of it. Something I try to do when I’m in a flare is simply laugh. Whether I’m having a hard time opening a water bottle (due to joint pain) or appear to have just put on loads of blush (due to malar rash) I try to laugh at these things rather than getting angry. Spending time with my siblings provides the greatest laughs so I make sure to try to spend time with each of them. Life is what you make it and these things are part of what make me who I am. Coping with a disease like Lupus can be extremely challenging at times due to the ups and downs it brings. It is totally unpredictable and can personally cause me mood swings. There are times when laughing just doesn’t do the trick. When this happens, I take a time out. Sometimes the best way to cope is to have some alone time and cry it out. Because Lupus causes a lot of physical pain, it can be difficult to cope emotionally. Typically when a person isn’t feeling well they can keep busy to stay distracted – whereas in a Lupus flare I am usually glued to my bedroom. It is a very isolating disease so it is important to find ways to keep busy that will cater to your overall health. I find that writing is something that helps me cope during these tough times. Writing can be incredibly therapeutic and passes the time spent recovering from a flare. I spent the first four and a half months in denial about my diagnosis simply because I didn’t have the proper tools to cope. I was scared to accept something I knew very little about. Now, two years into having Lupus, I have an understanding of how I can make myself feel better not only on the outside, but on the inside as well. To those out there struggling with an auto immune disease… I am alongside you, rooting for you and your remission. I hope that you take the time to strategize how to better cope!