Sunday Breakfast Club: “When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” ~African proverb

This post is part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health. I will be writing a post a day for all 30 days. You can learn more about it here:

NOTE: This is the post for Saturday, April 7. I skipped Friday, April 6 as one of my 2 pass days, because I was just too exhausted and stressed at work. I realize that this is supposed to be Saturday’s post, but since I’m posting it on Sunday, I figure it’s fine if it’s a Sunday Breakfast Club post.

Today’s topic:

Blogger’s choice.

During the two years that I was studying for my masters degree, I would meet two of my closest friends every Sunday morning at a local coffee shop. We’d spend an hour chatting, venting, gossiping, and catching up on our lives (or lack thereof) over bagels and coffee, before the conversations would inevitably tangent off onto random topics. I miss those chats – and the insights into my friends I’d gain through them. So I thought I’d try to restart something along those lines on my blog. A chance to hear more from my readers… at first, I was trying to decide if I wanted something consistent: quotes/sayings, song lyrics, random current or pop culture events…. But I think it will be more fun, more free to mix it up. Just whatever I’m dwelling on at the moment. Hope you all have as much fun with it as I do.


I think this quote came via my Twitter feed. I jotted it down in the margin of a notebook, and I can’t figure out where it’s from. Nevertheless, it stuck with me, and I went in search of the wording today. It’s a nice thought: if you love and believe in yourself then the world can’t get to you. Of course, for those of us with chronic diseases – and especially those with autoimmune diseases – we have an ever-present enemy within us. In fact, at least to me, my disease is my greatest enemy.

Now before people get all riled up… yes, I do realize that this quote is probably talking about mental enemies not physical. But my illness is linked with my mental health. It’s not something I can “grow to love,” as someone suggested once. How can I love something that keeps attacking me and makes my life (and health) miserable? My enemy is literally inside of me, attacking me from the inside out. I hate that I’m sick, and I guess I just haven’t really resolved myself to it yet. Perhaps I never really will.

Everyone reacts to their illnesses differently. I get that. I have a lot of respect for those people who learn to accept that they’re sick and move past it. For me, though, I’m forever bitter about it. How can I love something that has sabotaged my health – and with it, every other part of my life including all my life plans, goals, love life, and a number of friendships? Every time I think about everything that my illness has taken away from me, I get bitter. And more bitter. And even more bitter. The fact is, I’m not sure which one is more dangerous to my health: the lupus itself, or the way I can’t seem to stop being eaten up inside by my illness.

Maybe someday I will get past this, and learn to just accept that I’m sick without letting it rule my thoughts and emotions. For now, though, I just can’t seem to get there.

Sunday Breakfast Club posts are always about people’s input. So I’d love to hear how you deal with this topic. Leave me a comment below so other people can respond too. Or, if you’re uncomfortable doing that, then send me an email at chr0nicbookworm(at)gmail(dot)(com). It’s always so inspiring to see how people deal with this issue.



Filed under blog carnivals/grand rounds, breakfast club, coping, introspection, WEGO Health Activist Writer's Month

3 responses to “Sunday Breakfast Club: “When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” ~African proverb

  1. I find that having some good friends or folks to chat with once a week, is good for the mind. A great idea to have a Sunday Breakfast Club, again. It is better to be able to share your bitterness with your hatred for your illness. If you hold it in, the anger, I think you make yourself more sick.
    So, share.

  2. Pingback: Best Conversation I Had This Week | Lifestyles of the Ill and (mostly) Blameless

  3. I feel exactly the same, time and time again I have healthy people telling me that I need to “accept” my conditions and take ownership of my constant pain. I’m pretty sure if they were in our shoes they would feel quite resentful about it all too. I’m not entirely sure it’s even healthy to accept something that has completely destroyed your life, past, present and future. To quote Shrek “it’s better out than in”. I think we have every right and actually need to get upset, angry, bitter etc about it all

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