I opened my eyes and awoke from my dream. In my pockets were golden beliefs of the past. It was worth nothing to me now! What was a nickel worth when all hope was lost?!

Dangerous people exist around me. They also demand respect. Forgive me my insolence, but I don't give respect to those who are undeserving of it!

I was in control now not that damned disease. It lived like a tyrant, sucking all energy out of me. It was foolish to fight back, even more foolish to escape. The disease was akin to King George the Third...gluttonous and greedy. There was no escape for me.

Everything I made was made by me. I cared not for money or possessions. What were possessions to a woman who was ill?! How could they be enjoyed?

People called me a blasphemer. Everything was done wrong by me. I guess I didn't think like other people...

I had Fibromyalgia and Lupus. No one had heard of those diseases. People assumed that I was just sick with the common cold.

The thing about Lupus was it was hard to diagnose. And even when the tests came back negative, you knew it was ever present within.

Who would listen to you if not for your doctors?

Everything will be okay in the end they say...

Far from it!

The worst thing about those diseases was the diagnosis. One would think that being diagnosed would be the end of all pain. No...not at all.

It takes years to be diagnosed and until that time, you would live a fate *worse* than death! You would wait for help that never arrived! You would scream in pain and never be heard.

My whole life I knew I was different. Many people looked down on me. I was sickly and frail. People saw me the same way they would have seen a cancer stricken patient. They didn't know how to react, so they avoided me.

I am a warrior. Well, I would like to believe I was strong. Strength came from unbiased suffering. I looked for people like me to know my suffering was not in vain.

I didn't know what would happen. I was so full of promise. Now I saw the storm on the horizon. I knew I had to do something...even if it was small, it was something.

There was another monster inside, and it was going to have to be driven out.

Let's increase awareness...together.

We should increase awareness and show that Lupus and Fibromyalgia are real diseases. Our body is our castle, and we won't let others invade it!