That I need to advocate for myself.

That I need to fight.

That I need to eat.

And not only do I need to eat but I need to remind myself to eat 3 x a day.

Those of you who struggle with chronic illness, anxiety, PTSD, depression, etc. understand what this means. It means that some days our pain is too severe that we do not have an appetite. And most times this happens for several days at a time.

I can no longer do that. I have to take medication 3x a day. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening. And they are to be taken with food or just after eating to help with an upset stomach.

In the morning is usually the hardest for me because I don’t usually have an appetite until around 10 am. But I have to force myself to eat something (A bagel, yogurt, a banana) and it is very difficult. But I now am on two medications that are supposed to help with my symptoms and a new diagnosis?

I have been diagnosed with Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease- which means that I have symptoms of all major Connective Tissue Diseases (Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Scleroderma) but I do not meet the criteria to be diagnosed with any of them but I have symptoms from all of them. This is used to describe a condition in people who have symptoms and lab test results that indicate a systemic autoimmune disorder or connective tissue disease, but which do not meet enough such characteristics to indicate a diagnosis for a well-defined connective tissue disease.

So basically I am stuck in limbo until they are able to determine which one it is specifically. I am now on hydroxychloroquine which is the first medication that is commonly used for people with an autoimmune disease. So I am beginning treatments and I am very happy but it is also very very very hard to deal with and comprehend.

I have been sick for literally my whole entire life. I am about to be 28 years old and I do not understand how I do not have solid answers, yet. The biggest thing that I have learned is to be my biggest advocate.

But that does not mean only in my health journey. It means every single aspect of my life.

Advocacy goes so much deeper.

I have to remember to advocate for myself.

I have to remember that I can and have to set boundaries to preserve my space and my peace. I have to remember that though I am physically weak and in pain I need to remember that only I can set the boundaries for when I choose to exude my energy IF I have it.

I have to remember to keep fighting. I have to remember that every single day that I wake up I have a purpose ( which if you didn’t know my name, Nia means purpose and Renee means Reborn). I have a purpose and I have been brought here by the divine for a reason. And honestly some days that can be a lot of pressure. But I know that what I experience every single day are things that are not happening by chance. It is happening for a reason. That does not mean that I am happy about it (LOL). I cry a lot. But simple reminder that I am here to fight for those who haven’t quite found their voice yet. OR for those who feel alone (myself included) to never feel alone again……those days help me get out of bed and fight.

But I am tired.

So I remind myself three times a day.

Eat. Drink Water. Keep Fighting.

Keep fighting my battered hearts 💜. This journey is hard. Don’t give up.

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