Pain is a standard part of life. It comes in many forms and teaches us various lessons,
but it always hurts. Pain can break and torment us, or we can decide to grow from it
and allow it to unify us. Lekeitha Sheffield was diagnosed with lupus six years ago, and while she cannot stop the pain, she has found a way to both help others through trials and raise awareness for this terrible disease by writing an autobiography about her life entitled Now That I Know Better, I Must Do Better. Her illness has forced her to spend a great deal of time at home, but she is living proof that there is no excuse to not make a difference as she has dedicated her time to being a lupus, mental health, and domestic violence advocate.
Sheffield stated, “I decided to write my story as a healing process. I have held on so
long to the hurt and pain I endured. This book needed to happen so I could move forward with my life. A wise person once said, ‘if you can tell your story without crying, you are healed,’ and I believe just that.”
Pain is not something we can avoid for long, so there comes a day when we must
look it directly in the eye. There is, however, something oddly therapeutic about writing your thoughts so that it is no longer trapped internally and allowed to consume your mind.
There is no cure for Sheffield’s disease, so she has learned how to fight every day in order to prevent it from stealing her joy. Writing has never been Sheffield’s hobby of choice, but exploring this avenue of expression has benefitted her greatly. She plans to continue doing it in the future, so this autobiography will not be the last of her works.
After an extensive process of writing, revising, and editing, Sheffield was able to publish her book independently on Amazon and is proud of this achievement. She highly encourages other people to use the tools available to share their stories as well because we all have a lesson we have learned the hard way that we can share. She said, “If you have a story to tell, write it. Nobody knows you better than you. You never know who’s watching your journey and is inspired by your growth.”
Lupus is a ferocious, chronic disease that refers to when the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue. It comes with an abundance of symptoms that forces numerous
kinds of misery on its victims. Sheffield explained this by saying, “I have not been able to work since 2018 because of my illness. The pain does not go away. You just make room for it. I have forgotten what living feels like without aching somewhere. I deal with constant fatigue and nerve tingling all the time. Loneliness, anxiety, and lack of sleep has made functioning hard. Sometimes, I wonder what I did to deserve this hell that no one else can see. Lupus has made some of these low periods last longer, but I have learned a lot because of my experience with this disease. Had it not been for my illness, some things in my life would have gone unnoticed, and I would have taken others for granted. I pray that God lets me live to see my son be GREAT!”
Sheffield has been given a heavy cross to bear, but she has been able to find the beauty
around her and fights to share it with others. She will be at the Moore County Public Library on Friday, April 23, from 12:00 to 2:00 to sign copies of her new book, which is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle forms on Amazon.