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  • Kori A. Winters

Why I Say I Am Healed from Chronic Illness Instead of 'in Remission'

Recently, I came across an article on Facebook that hit so close to home it basically smacked me in the doggone face. A young woman by the name of Aala Marra shared how she healed herself from a debilitating autoimmune disease by adopting a holistic diet. In three months, all signs and symptoms of the disease were gone from her body. I was amazed because this girl's testimony was virtually identical to mine.

Under the article was a long thread of comments. Most were positive, sharing similar success stories. Others weren't as encouraging. One in particular, which was made by another autoimmune disease patient — we'll call her Jay, for the sake of her privacy — caught my attention. Jay was offended by the young lady claiming to have cured/healed herself instead of saying she had gone into "remission", a term used for patients who have recovered from diseases that are medically claimed incurable.

I replied to Jay sharing my personal journey with chronic illness and stating that I also claim to be healed rather than in remission (because remission means "temporary recovery" and ain't nothing temporary about my recovery, okurrr!). When I tell y'all homegirl called me everything from "ignorant" to "ill-informed", I'm not exaggerating. Apparently, according to Jay, because I don't have a doctorate or medical degree, all of the information my family and I had researched that helped me recover within five months of my diagnosis doesn't count for anything. Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet to help reverse the inflammation in my body was insignificant because it wasn't part of the doctor's orders. And choosing to say I'm healed/cured rather than "in remission" apparently makes me ignorant because, according to medical research, autoimmune diseases aren't curable. I rebuke all that.

My journey to healing from chronic illness was as much — if not more — mental and spiritual as it was physical. I had to become stronger in my faith and develop a whole new mindset towards my situation in order to heal. I never claimed dermatomyositis, the chronic illness I was diagnosed with, over my life. I simply viewed it as a challenge that, with faith and determination, I would one day overcome. Each day I'd set a personal goal to accomplish — whether it was pushing myself to walk a little further than I had the previous day or making an extra effort to get out of bed without assistance. I viewed every small victory as a major one. And with each victory, my health gradually improved until I was symptom- and medication-free.

Once I recovered, I never claimed that I was in remission. I simply focused on doing what I needed to do to maintain my health, from periodically monitoring my blood work to being conscious of not only what I put into my body, but what and who I invest my energy in. There is power in the mind and the tongue. How we think and what we speak has a major impact on our outcome, which is why I don't fix my mind or words on claiming what medical professionals have deemed to be a "temporary recovery."

As far as I'm concerned, I am healed, I am whole, and as long as I'm living, I'm gonna keep claiming that sh*t.

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