Is My Axial Spondyloarthritis My Fault? No!

I recently got asked by someone I met through coaching and lifestyle self-management how I got AxSpa? That is a very good question, and one question that haunted me for years. It was hard to accept my diagnosis and on top of it the cause of it remained unknown. And because of that, I lived with guilt and self-blame for a while, wondering what I have done wrong to myself, my body, to develop this condition.

Is it my fault?

There are other things which did not help me to think freely about my diagnosis, let go of self-blame and accept it. The kind of narrative that I could hear around me by practitioners and other people evolving in the "wellness" field saying that we stressed our system, we don’t listen to our body, we eat bad food, we basically give ourselves diseases...that kind of speech just got me to feel even more guilty about my own diagnosis with a chronic disease.

I now refuse to fall into this guilt trap

Now I have made progress on my journey living with a long-term condition, I know that not to be true and I refuse to fall into that trap that clearly guilt-trips people and leads them to feel even more vulnerable and helpless towards a diagnosis and how to live with a disease.

Now I know more and feel more in control, I challenge people with that sort of theory and use my knowledge and life experience to try to make them see things differently. Because first they have no proof that it is what happened to me, and they are not helping; in fact, in any case, they are creating more damage and make people with chronic conditions feel bad.

No, I did not give myself AxSpa and I know it

I am negative for the marker HLA B-27 and have non-radiographic disease, so I guess the cause of my AxSpa is not obvious. I searched information and read about potential causes of my diagnosis.

It was hard to keep my mind open at the beginning, particularly being a scientist, as any reason which did not have strong scientific evidence would be hard for me to believe. But with time, reflection about my life at the time I got diagnosed, and some education about auto-immune diseases, then I started to understand better how things happened to me and how it impacted my body, my mind and my soul.

Today I can say that my whole system was under stress because of life circumstances, drastic changes, and gradually I started to show symptoms, which got worse with time, until it was too much, and I had to investigate what was going on for me.

Coming to terms with my diagnosis

I would not have been able to talk about my diagnosis like that eight years ago. This shows that I have learned on my journey with AxSpa and come to terms with my diagnosis and my new life. In my next article on that topic, I will tell you facts and life circumstances related to my diagnosis.

It really helps me to be as factual as possible and look at the full picture of what was my life at that time. With that same holistic approach, my way to manage AxSpa today is to look at the big picture and pay attention at my emotional state, my spiritual and social wellbeing, as well as my physical state.

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