What it's really like to live with lupus, as told in 14 harrowing confessions

Everyone gets sick -- but part of what's so amazing about the human body is that we have a built in security system that can help us get better. If you have lupus, your immune system might not only be less efficient at destroying threatening viruses, bacteria, germs, etc., but also blind to the difference between healthy and unhealthy tissue. In other words, your antibodies might start fighting some of your healthy cells, causing anything from some mild inflammation to serious life-threatening situations. And while this disease may seem rare or unusual, it's estimated that 5 million people globally have some form of lupus.

Several people with lupus took to Whisper, the popular app that provides an anonymous platform for people to share their most honest thoughts, to explain what it's really like to suffer from the disease.

1. Nothing makes you feel as capable as knowing how much worse you could be feeling:
When I

2. Half the battle might be putting on a smile when you really want to cry:
I have Lupus, and I

3. It might be depressing to think that your disease is holding you back from dreams you might have otherwise accomplished:
Sometimes I

4. Knowing your body is extremely important, but it may come at the risk of putting out people you care for:
I call out of work more than most because I have lupus. If I push myself over my limits I get sick; sometimes I just need a day to sleep. I feel bad for putting out my coworkers, I wish I was normal

5. The most common age range to be diagnosed with lupus is 15-44:
Today I was diagnosed with lupus and I

6. You might feel like you have to hide your pain to keep the people you love in good spirits:
I have lupus. I

7. Little things, like 24 hours without pain, might feel like big dreams to someone with lupus:
I have lupus. It

8. Feeling like people are immediately threatened by something you suffer from might feel offensive:
People look at me weird when I tell them I have Lupus. They immediately ask me if it is contagious and if they can "catch" it. No. Lucky for you, this disease if my very personal dungeon of hell.

9. Suffering from a debilitating disease might make you feel like you're unworthy, but that's not true:
I have lupus and I am afraid that I will never find my true love because I

10. You should never have to explain or defend your disease, especially to people who refuse to believe you:
It really sucks having an "invisible illness". I have Lupus and people just don

11. People with lupus might miss out on some of the most basic joys people find in life:
I love the sun but I can barely be outside in it because I would develop a butterfly rash on my face because of my Lupus.

12. It's nearly impossible not to fear for the future when you suffer from an autoimmune disease:

13. The alternatives to chronic pain aren't always ideal, either:

14. You don't need anyone's approval to ensure that what you feel is true or valid:
I take 30+ pills a day to keep my Lupus under control. Just because I don

Want more from people with lupus? Check out Whisper!

In case you'd like to hear more on what it's like to live with the autoimmune disease:
Living with Lupus
More from Whisper:
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11 confessions from people with celiac disease will make you realize that going gluten-free is more than just a 'craze'
16 cringeworthy confessions from baristas will have you rethink your next latte
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