patient stories

The Autoimmune Masquerade

Continuing Briane’s story, she gives us another perspective on college life and autoimmunity.  From her struggles, sacrifices, and positive outlook, Briane turns her story into one of inspiration and advice.


–Do you have everyday struggles?–
You know that feeling when you have a cold and your body is extra achy and tired because it’s using all its energy to try to make you better? Imagine feeling that way all the time everyday. That is the basic struggle anyone with Fibro experiences on a daily basis. It is also the easiest of the everyday struggles.

–What is college life like with an autoimmune disease? struggles?–
Life with an autoimmune disease in college is like living a lie almost. In my situation, I don’t look sick so it is hard for people to believe me that I am almost always as sick as I am. I learned the hard way who my real friends are and I am so damn lucky for the people who stayed around despite my disease. It is the scariest thing letting people know you are sick in case they judge and drop you.

As far a academics, I am sad to say it puts up a huge road block, but I am very proud because despite struggling so much I am still graduating on time. The key is to earn your professor’s respect immediately when the quarter starts and build a relationship with them that motivates them to be understanding of your situation. Despite that fear I try to live everyday like my condition isn’t a burden but a blessing in disguise.

–Do you wish autoimmune disease was less of an “invisible” disease? why?–

Sometimes I do wish I had some sort of scar or something to physically show my struggle just so outsiders wouldn’t judge me, but then I think how ridiculous it is that I am worried about people judging me for something that is out of my control. I just remember to love myself for who I am inside and out. The people who I care about most, accept me as my weird self and know my disease doesn’t define who I am. Those are the opinions that matter in my life.

So as much as I want to stop the stigma of autoimmune diseases, I don’t wish to accomplish that by having physical marks.

 

That can be done in so many different ways like spreading awareness and educating others.

 

You Are Not Alone – Community group: I hope this group can serve as a safe place for others who are living with chronic illnesses to go to and realize they are not alone. We didn’t organize this group of students to be a venue for people to complain about how rough life is and how much our situations suck. I hope it can serve as a positive reminder to all who see the page that despite being sick we are capable of so much and deserve to live out our dreams. The articles we share are cleverly chosen to give different perspectives and helpful advice on living day to day with an autoimmune disease. If enough people see this page and share it, and it helps even one person then all our hard work is worth it. 

~Briane

Join the cause and help raise awareness!

Share your autoimmunity stories to DrBonnie360@gmail.com

Edited By: Tiffany Simms

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