I had known for a long time that something was wrong. As a senior in high school, I was struggling to keep up, and it was seemingly getting worse as time went on. The months encompassing my diagnosis were without a doubt the darkest I have ever experienced. The diagnosis wasn’t the worst-case scenario, but it wasn’t very positive either. At the age of 18, I sat in the office of a specialist as I was told I would be sick every day for the rest of my life.
And there was nothing they could do.
In the aftermath of my diagnosis, I struggled to fight the darkness. Despite feeling a little better physically, I found myself not wanting to get out of bed. I felt like my life was over before it had even begun. Any hopes I had of a normal life, career or even family suddenly seemed out of reach. I felt like there was no hope. It took me a few weeks to realize I couldn’t live this way. I couldn’t restrict myself and treat myself like I was sick and fragile. Two weeks after my diagnosis I made a crucial choice, one that will continue to have an impact on me for the rest of my life: I chose to fight back.
I began to drag myself out of bed in the morning. My entire body hurt, I constantly felt sick, but I made a promise to myself that I was going to fight with everything in me. I would not let this disease define me and decide my life for me. Every day I have to push myself to go on. It’s not easy, and some days are much easier than others. With chronic disease, every single day is a battle against your own body. You constantly have to fight back and propel yourself forward. It’s exhausting, and there are days when I just have to lay in bed because I don’t have the energy that day, and that’s OK. Continue…