Not long ago, I stumbled across an article addressing people who are facing chronic illness and autoimmune disease. The article made an appeal to its audience that the process of healing or managing illness didn’t need to be a fight, they didn’t need to be warriors. It went on to state that the warrior rhetoric present in the AIP community has the potential to make people feel like they are likely to fail and discourages them from accepting themselves for who they are. The overall message of the article was that in order to TRULY heal one must correct their thinking and accept themselves and their disease, rather then fight for a physical change.
Before I give my response to this, let me first say that I appreciate the varied views present in the world of healing and I fully respect each person’s right to have their own opinion. It is not my role to tell anyone how they should or should not feel about their own experience. As always, the role of my writing is to express my feelings about my own experience.
I am proud to be an autoimmune warrior.
An autoimmune warrior is not someone who fears trying and failing but rather fears never being given chance. I fight against the fate handed down to me by doctors who said my life would be sub par, marred by illness and ending in my body inevitably failing me.
An autoimmune warrior doesn’t fight against their body but rather fights FOR it. I fight for the idea that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” and that my body is a creation of many parts, designed to work together rather than attack each other. I fight for the idea that my body didn’t start to fail until outside forces triggered it to do so.
An autoimmune warrior doesn’t accept the pain-filled status quo but rather fights for a brighter future, not only for themselves but for the world-wide community of autoimmune sufferers and for those who may avoid autoimmune disease through education and intervention. I fight for more research, more evidenced based practice, more integrative health models and more empowerment of patients, because I do not believe that we have learned all there is to know.
An autoimmune warrior finds joy in the journey, in their community, and in the knowledge that they are loved.
An autoimmune warrior is strong in spirit, even when their body is weak.
An autoimmune warrior greets each day with a renewed sense of purpose by forgiving the past and resolving to fight on.
An autoimmune warrior will always win the war, even if they lose a battle.