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Happy 23 to Me!

Happy birthday to me; I’m officially 23! 🎉🎈

I got birthday hugs & the sweetest gifts from the amazing College Inn crew!  Tifani gave me this fancy mug & a beautiful candle that smells sooooo good & says “Hello, Sunshine” ☀️ She said I am the most sunshine-y person she knows & I always brighten her day! I teared up & honestly still do thinking about it. And Austin gave me the bright, gorgeous flowers you see in the pictures below! I was so surprised & so happy I was literally shaking. I still can’t believe they did that!

Then I got to spend my birthday evening with my parents & Clyde 🙂 They showed up to my apartment door wearing giant party hats & big, cheesy smiles…which totally caught the maintenance workers off guard when they answered the door, lol. We went to Mellow Mushroom & had some delicious gluten free pizza with onions (my favorite)! After dinner, we went to McDonalds & sat at a booth for hours drinking hot chocolate, just talking & laughing about everything & nothing at all. I am so incredibly blessed to have a family who truly enjoys one another’s company & who can have fun doing just about anything. My parents are my best friends & I don’t know what I would do without them. We are a dysfunctional bunch, but I wouldn’t change a thing.. ❤

And Peter wants to take me to a birthday dinner tomorrow night! We were supposed to see each other tonight, but I was feeling a bit low after some things happened & so I asked if we could reschedule. I am actually excited we’re going tomorrow instead, because, as dumb as this may sound, that means the celebration isn’t over  🎉

I received some really, really sweet text messages & voicemails today that reminded how many people out there truly care & love me, today & every day, even though we may not get to see one another often. I really needed that, especially lately.. ❤

I truly appreciate everyone who helped make my special day so special, both in person & from a distance! I feel the love 😘

Here’s to year 23!!

 

 

 

 

4 Years Ago

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I cannot believe I graduated high school 4 years ago.  Wow.  Feels like lifetimes ago & yet just yesterday in so many ways. Looking back on pictures always fills me with an almost-suffocating sense of nostalgia and…well…emotion, I guess. Not happiness or even sadness, per se, but an overwhelming feeling that I cannot quite seem to name.  Looking at this picture, I am taken right back to that day– I experience the memories with all of my senses– & I am left feeling hollow yet full to the brim, tears streaming down my cheeks & smiling all at the same time…

The Reality of Chronic Illness: Prom Edition

Just realized I never shared this! Check out my amazing spoonie sister Em’s blog post about our experience attending Duke Children’s Hospital Prom…and all that went on ‘behind the scenes’ to prepare and recuperate… 🙂

Through the Peaks and Valleys

Last Saturday (April 22nd) Duke Children’s Hospital held their very first PROM! I had the amazing opportunity to not only attend but I got to attend with 3 fantastic ladies that I have gotten to know over the last year online! We share quite the list of medical diagnosis’ and life experiences.

Pre-Prom Prep!

Prom prep started about a week before the actual prom. Cancelling doctors appointments, scheduling doctors appointments, ER visits, lots of medicine, and rest rest rest!

Pre-prom prep (IV fluids, Nutrition, pain meds, steroids and prayer!)

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While we got ready for prom before getting our dresses on and doing our make-up we pre-medicated and talked about how much we get it. There was no need to explain anything or feel ashamed because they live it too! (Though I so wish none of us had to, it’s nice to not feel so alone).

We all meet online in…

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“You’re So Brave!”

There are many instances of my life that haunt me. Rhetoric that plays over and over in my head like some sick tape I cannot escape. Actions that color my dreams, jolting me from nightly slumber. However nothing makes me quite as sick as the innocent words of my then 13-year-old sister, remarking on my self-harm:

“…I tried [to cut myself] but I couldn’t do it.  I wanted to but it hurt too much.  You’re so brave!”

Hearing those words took my breath away.  I was 14 when I started- not much older than she.  It was my heavy, shameful, long sleeves in July secret for 3 miserable years.

Cutting was not brave, and that self-destructive path was certainly not what I wished to model for my little sisters. It’s been more than 4 years since she uttered those words, and while they still shake me to my core, they also push me to keep fighting, to not give in to temptation, and to show her what bravery truly is.

1 Year

It’s been 1 year since I got kicked out of my parents’ house.  This year has been a wild roller coaster of ups and downs (more downs than ups, if we’re being honest here)…but I have grown so much.  Getting kicked out was hard…and being guilt-tripped and begged to come back was even harder…but I made it.  I didn’t give in and didn’t turn back.  And now my relationship with my parents is better than it has been in years.  Things were really rough for a while, but we’re all 1 year stronger.  Who would have guessed?

More Like Falling In Love

From August 25, 2015.

Had moved into apartment all by myself, while really ill, and the place was trashed.

It was trashed BEFORE I even moved in, because my mother asked them not to clean or paint (because I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities). There was literally blood smeared around the bathroom and nasty stains on the carpet and goodness knows what all over the walls and desk.

Worked really hard to get it together- again, BY MYSELF! – despite my health and my body’s objections. Took me hours (though the time-lapse makes it look like seconds!)…but I did it. I needed my room to be a place where I could think…study…breathe…function. And I had a lot of people to prove wrong.

As of now (9/7/15), the room looks COMPLETELY different. It is beautiful and matches and the carpet is even scrubbed and new-looking. It’s even organized 🙂

The point of the beginning of this video?

I overcame everything and did what I needed to do…turned the pain into power…and was successful. Was the room perfect? Not even close! But did I make a lot of progress? YES.

Difficult does not equate impossible.

Small victories are still victories. 🙂