I was diagnosed with SLE in 2004. It was a very odd experience learning that I have an incurable autoimmune disorder. Like you, I knew something was up, that something was wrong. When I got the SLE diagnosis, I was numb. And then, I was scared.
Fast forward 6 years, I still have SLE with active flares on a regular basis. I used to be scared of having a new flare. In some ways, I still am, knowing how bad it can get. But, for the most part, as bad as the flares have been, I managed to make my way through all of them. Some were easier than others to get through.
I still worry about a really bad flare coming on, however, that has not happened. This disease, these flares that scared me so, have proven to be manageable most of the time, and something I can control through proper meds, and a lifestyle that does not do anything to aggravate the situation.
I know you are afraid, I am too sometimes still, but know that what you fear can be dealt with, and on most days, can be beaten. The members here who have 5, 10, 20 or more years of successfully living with Lupus are the proof that it can be done.
Please know that there are many good reasons to have hope, and that you are not alone.
P.S. You ARE NOT defeated. The fact that you are alive, means that Lupus is the one who has been defeated.