The Voice of Lupus Foundation

A Pillar of Strength


on October 1, 2012

Someone once said it is hard to accept that the past cannot be changed. You can’t go back and manipulate things to the way you wanted them to happen. But you can certainly change the future. That’s the beautiful thing about life….yes you will make mistakes and yes, you will have bad days-but as long as you let the past go, things will get better. This is my story.

My name is Reeanna Harrilal, I am 29-years-old and I am just like you. Perhaps the only difference is the journey I took to finding who I really am. For me it is embracing the good, the bad and the ugly.

To be completely honest, I spent countless hours on my laptop striving for a brilliant start to this article. Nonetheless, I sincerely hope my story will encourage and help those who have watched their lives fall apart…not knowing how to pick up the pieces…I too have been there.

I was diagnosed with systemic lupus-a chronic debilitating auto-immune disease in 2007. At the time of my diagnosis, I was employed at Gayelle the Channel as a journalist.

I had only a few months earlier joined the company after leaving HCU Communications Ltd where I worked at Radio Shakti and Masala 101 as a news broadcaster/ journalist since 2002.

After being diagnosed with this terminal illness, for months I struggled to come to terms with the direction my life had taken. My childhood dream of making it “big” in the media as a journalist was squashed, at least so I believed. I lost the once loved drive I had for life and the will to fight despite my current circumstance.

Yes, I gave up on myself…I became bitter, resentful, angry and most of all I became a different me. I had hit rock bottom.  I struggled with depression, suicidal thoughts, and putting on a charade of happiness to all those who I encountered. The fact remained; I was living in denial that I was sick and perhaps at that time, mentally and emotionally unstable.

My only relief was a bottle of morphine. I can’t tell you how many of those pills I popped or how many times I overdosed.  It got so bad I created my own pill cocktail with morphine, valium and other meds. I wanted to die. I abused morphine, because at the time, I believed it actually erased my pain. All it did essentially was numb and stifle the agony within me.

During the time I had been diagnosed, I had some truly amazing friends supporting me. Narrisa Mandol, Savitri Kamal, Cherrise Moe, Khafra Murray, Katherine Byam, Dieandra DuBarry, Paolo Kernahan –they are the ones who stood out the most, of course there were others. Their selfless acts of love and kindness can never be repaid. They taught me so much. But I let them down. I no longer cared for the consequences of my actions, nor how they would affect those around me.

I cannot erase the mistakes made in my past, as stupid and regretful as they were; I think they were meant to happen.

Almost three years later, my mind and my heart has been renewed. I have found peace and hope through the salvation, grace and mercy of my saviour Jesus Christ. You see, the Big Guy does not look at our past; instead he looks at out heart. Trust me, I am convinced He can heal and restore whatever has been lost. He did it for me! My redemption from the life I once lived in sin and the hurts and pains that accompanied it, forced me to reevaluate my own concepts and the destructive path I was heading in.

The lesson I take with me is knowing that each day I learnt and discovered something new about myself and it kept me growing into a better person today. You see life is like a rope, twined in all its complexities and yet weaved into one marvelous stream that you have the chance to use something amazing from…So grab hold of it.

Accept everything about yourself- I mean everything, you are you and that is the beginning and the end-  no apologies, no regret.

Winston Churchill once said: ” success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”

So shake off the “why’s” and the “what if’s” and rid yourself of confusion. Whatever was-is in the past. Whatever is? That’s what’s important. The past is a brief reflection, and the future is yet to be realized.

I believe in second chances and so should you. Lay to rest the guilt, resentment and heartaches from the past, they only serve to cripple you from moving forward. My life is not perfect, but I have accepted my imperfections. I still have my ups and downs, but my strength is renewed and I am comforted daily knowing that His strength is made perfect in my weakness. Just as Goliath was slain by young David, we too can overcome our Goliaths, no matter the size.

It has been my experience that your thoughts are often the product of damaged emotions, traumatic events and vicious opinions forced upon you by bodacious personalities of domineering people who continually feel it necessary to express their opinions about you.

One of the greatest challenges you will experience as you seek to move forward is to resist the temptation not to allow what happened in the past determine who you are today. You must understand and declare: “I am not what happened yesterday, I endured, I survived, but I am not what happened yesterday. This mindset will only impede your progress and destroy your morals.

On this new journey in my life, perhaps I have learnt to be open about my failures as I was with my success. No one is perfect, as the bible says: “we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of the Lord.”

As I move on successfully with my life, I have started my own foundation, The Voice of Lupus Foundation, to foster greater awareness about lupus and to offer help to those who are suffering like I once did with this illness. It is my hope this foundation will make a difference in edifying and helping the nation to understand this auto immune disease.

My journey ahead is a long one, but I am empowered by my trials and many afflictions …I embrace each new day with a determined spirit knowing that I am  more than a conqueror,  I am  an overcomer!


6 Responses to “CONQUEROR!”

  1. rharrilal says:

    Hello, thank you for responding to my post on my website- The Voice of Lupus Foundation. With regards to blogging, I suggest that you just write from your heart and whatever comes to mind. Being brutally honest is the best way to go….:) Good luck to you!!!

  2. says:

    Great web site you’ve got here.. It’s hard to find good quality writing like yours nowadays.
    I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

  3. We are a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your website provided us with helpful information
    to work on. You’ve done an impressive task and our whole neighborhood will probably be thankful to you.

  4. rharrilal says:

    :) Thank you very much for your kind remarks!!!

  5. rharrilal says:

    Thank you so much for your feedback, its means so much. Have a great day!!

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