“So apparently, I’m autistic, and my free self is the version of me that I began repressing at the age of 22 because it made people highly uncomfortable,” she tweeted. “It started first with me doing insane amounts of drugs, and then when that didn’t work, I just held it in. Which led to lupus.”
In a follow-up tweet, Long continued: “And now the lupus has gotten to a point where it’s effectively impossible to contain. And in order to free myself from the rollercoaster that is autoimmune disease, I have to let my emotions, thoughts and feelings out. Autism! OMG WTF THIS IS SO WACK.”
She concluded with, “But at least knowing I am autistic explains SO MUCH.”
Another reminded the singer that this is now the time to take care of herself.
“Wow. I knew you had lupus but that’s a lot to unpack. And still we’ve seen you show up to engagements look good, sounding good, maybe not feeling the best sometimes,” the person replied to Long’s tweets. “I Love you, I see you, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF💜💯. Do what you need to do for you babe🙏🏽🏽”
One follower shared a similar experience about learning that he was on the spectrum.
“When I found out, everything – my ways and day to day living made so much sense,” he wrote. “I have an autistic daughter so I light bulb went off. The Sarcoidosis was only half my battle once I found out I’m on the spectrum. You’re truly gifted!”
Last year, Long shared her experience with Lupus during an appearance on REVOLT’s Black Girl Stuff. She opened up about living with the autoimmune disease and how life could be “difficult,” especially as an entertainer with a rigorous schedule.
“Lupus is a stress-related disease. It’s a silent, invisible struggle ’cause you can’t see it. You wake up in the morning and you look just fine, but you really feel like you got ran over by a train,” she said at the time.
She added, “When I feel good, I look good, I produce well. When I feel like crap, and I gotta go out… Even something as small as someone touching my arm, it hurts. But I gotta smile, and I gotta talk to people when I don’t feel like talking.”
Long is among several celebrities who have been vocal about their battle with Lupus. Toni Braxton, Cori Brodus, Seal and Nick Cannon are just a few who have opened up about their issues stemming from the disease.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, leading to inflammation that can affect various parts of the body. The disease is more common among Black people, especially Black women.
According to Medical News Today, lupus affects every 1 in 250 Black women, and Black women are more than three times more likely to get it than white women.
There is no cure for lupus, and doctors have not been able to detect why Black women are susceptible to the disease. However, they suspect that triggers may be related to genetics, hormones, and environmental factors.