Living with a chronic illness is challenging to say the least. And, learning to cope with this challenge of long-lasting illnesses is a process of understanding the health condition, accepting the new realities and adjusting to them. Shristi Joshi has been figuring out her coping process for nearly a decade. She was diagnosed with lupus in 2010 and she will have to battle this autoimmune disease lifelong. Looking inward through meditation and finding positivity has helped her conquer her anxieties and emotional stress that comes with the physical symptoms and problems that accompany lupus. Understanding the details of her condition has helped her manage her flare ups. Opening up and talking about her condition has helped her come to terms with her own reality, spread awareness and even find support among people with chronic illnesses who all share her reality to an extent.
Joshi has been blogging about her condition and uses every opportunity and platform she can get to talk about her condition. She focusses on opening up and communicating because she knows how confusing and daunting it can be to have a chronic illness. Even more with her specific condition. Awareness about lupus is not widespread. And in her experience, diagnosis itself takes rather long. During her visits to hospitals she has met patients who shared they would fall ill regularly and were treated for each of the symptoms only to find out years later that they had lupus. Talking about her experiences helps raise awareness about lupus, and her hope is sharing how she copes will help people with lupus be hopeful. It was a confusing and frightening time when she was diagnosed and sharing her lessons, she hopes, will help others to figure out their own processes of coping with the condition.
She shares that every individual’s coping mechanisms are unique, but there are some lessons that anyone with any health condition can benefit from. Understanding your condition properly equips you to deal with your condition – so research is key. Communicating with families and partners and being open about your state of mind helps your loved ones to understand what form of support you require from them, she shares. For her, the most important lesson is to look inward and find the optimism to be able to look at the glass half full because a can-do attitude can get you through anything. Her motto has been 'I have lupus, lupus doesn't have me' and much of her advice on optimism and coping are relevant not only for lupus patients but for people suffering from other chronic illnesses.
On this episode of Here’s Why, Shristi Joshi shares details of her journey with lupus and her experiences that have helped her fight her condition and come out stronger.