The Will to Succeed in the Face of the Adversity of Living With an Autoimmune Disease

Sweta Patel

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Many of us live with symptoms that no one knows about. In fact, most people with diseases don’t know which symptoms pertain to their disease. This was my case from childhood. Many people labeled me as the “mischievous” one, but they didn’t know what I was dealing with privately and how it affected my brain. From childhood, I suffered from epilepsy, which also caused anxiety, brain fog, and many other symptoms. Overall, living with my autoimmune conditions made me more irritable and impatient with frequent mood swings. People saw this as a personality issue, but I meant no harm to anyone. In fact, my goal was to lift those around me.

As I grew up, I realized how intolerant people were towards me when they found out that my illness was disguising my true character. Good people are commonly labeled as “bad” when they are living with a disability. I am not trying to pull the victim card here, but living with an autoimmune condition takes a toll on your body, brain, and gut. These three functions not working properly can cause you to be a different person without even knowing it. I found helping people understand what it’s like to live with an autoimmune condition to be so important. It is not you—it is the disease, so don’t let others’ misjudgments get to you. I lived my life forgiving people for misjudging me and never apologizing. Those same people still have no idea, and I am still misjudged. You can’t let anyone get in your way when you are on the road to success, not even your disease.

You are stronger than you think

As I grew older, I realized that my mindset was more important than anything else. People will think what they want of you, and there’s nothing you can do. You have to realize that whatever you do in life will require a lot of effort and also make you stronger than steel. Many people who live a normal life run to their parents when they have a problem, but you may not have that option. I was my own hero in a lot of situations—many of which had nothing to do with my condition, but I knew that it wasn’t helping. The adversity I faced living with autoimmune made me keep going towards my mission to help those who have been misunderstood by society and undervalued. Why do disabilities have to have a bad rap? Why do many workplaces not see the capability hidden within the disability? In fact, I was willing to outwork anyone just because I knew how hard it was to live with my condition. I was willing to work more for less to prove I was capable. This doesn’t come easy to most people. They will work for the paycheck. When I realized how resilient I was for going through what I had and coming out stronger, I knew I had the will and drive to go after anything I wanted in life.

You are wiser than you think

Living with autoimmune has taught me how much wiser I am than the average person who has never suffered through any health conditions or endured pain in their lives. The truth is that life teaches us to take a spiritual approach when we decide to heal our inner child and move towards success. It takes a lot of will not to fall victim to the symptoms we have to deal with. They do make us tired and sleepy, but they also encourage us to keep going. I tried to envision myself as the healthiest person I could be; this way, I was able to get closer to my vision. I also became unstoppable on my journey. I didn’t let anyone get in the way of achieving my goals. Many people taking breaks or partying—and there is nothing wrong with that, but it just wasn’t me. I grew up on my own—and fast—because no one was there to support me. My dad was a business owner and always busy taking care of things, and my mom had a mental illness. I had to maneuver through life without her support. She never really considered me as her daughter; growing up, this was a very hard pill to swallow. It made me wiser and more understanding of other people’s struggles in life.

You are healthier than you think

I feel blessed that I am more health-conscious than others. I have gotten to the bottom of my health issues, and as I am working on becoming healthier, I also see how society is not unaware of their health and how they can become the best versions of themselves. It is unfortunate, but if I didn’t have to deal with many of these chronic conditions, I probably would be the same way. I wouldn’t know what to do, and I wouldn’t be living my life to the fullest. I realized that I couldn’t do this; I had to be more aware of what I was dealing with and ensure that I did everything in my power to help others dealing with autoimmune conditions to inspire them and help them see that this is their second chance at life.

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Millions of women who silently struggle with autoimmune-related health issues have a new resource to turn to for help. Sweta Patel, founder of Healveda is no stranger to success. She has advised and served as an executive for more than 200 high-growth startups in Silicon Valley. She’s the founder of Startup Growth Mode, Best-Selling Author, and an Oracles Member, an elite brain trust of entrepreneurs that include Sir Richard Branson, Tim Draper, and more. Sweta switched from tech to health after successfully dealing with three different autoimmune episodes. Today, she is on a mission to help women all over the world find natural ways to defeat the crippling effects of autoimmune diseases while going after their dreams.

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