CLC MEMBER FEATURE: My name is Mikey D’Amato. I’m 29 years old, living on the Big Island of Hawaii with my 2 fur babes. In January 2017 I began to lose the ability to walk, eat, or take a deep breath. I spent all of the year in and out of the hospital, and in my bed alone when I wasn’t working. Daily fevers, extreme nerve and joint pain kept me without sleep, and other symptoms led me to believe that my time was up. Fortunately, the mystery was brought to light with the help from tests, and I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus.
It’s a tough journey relearning how to live life with something that drains everything you love away from you. This has caused lots of frustration, loneliness, and has forced me to really assess what’s truly important.
Everytime it breaks me, I try to find something new about myself to be proud of, and I grow. This allows me to feel warmth of a tiny light in a painfully dark room, helping me focus on how incredible of a human being I can become if I remind myself to be proud of the tiny achievements on my new path, like spending an extra hour with family or simply getting out of bed.
Currently, I’m using the little energy I have to focus on my own wellbeing. To take what I have left of my chronically chill life back, and to inspire others with a struggle to do the same. Take what you’ve been given, go get to know and love yourself better, and then come back to win it all.