I am me.

Being a junior in highschool is beyond stressful and it doesn’t help that my summer was the opposite of relaxing. Over the summer, I had two brain surgeries, which were both extremely scary. I am doing so much better since my second surgery and I am thankful, but at the same time, the struggles I face from being chronically ill, have only gotten worse and continue to impinge on my life.

Having a disease has often made me feel separated from society, but as time goes on, I am beginning to realize that I am not much different from the rest of my peers.

For my entire life I have always seen the healthy kids as the “normal” kids.

But what does it mean to normal? Can you really set a standard so generalized when every human being is so unique and beautiful? We are really all so different, how can there possibly be a normal?

When I first started my blog, I didn’t know where it was going. I just knew I wanted to inspire and guide.

I decided I would write as an attempt to inspire and that has transformed into Sweet Lemon Pies. I am so proud of where a random idea has gone and the twists and turns it has taken along the way. Each turn inspires me and teaches me something new. Currently, I not only interviewing kids with rare disease, I interview all people doing inspiring things.

All of my blogs are meant to inspire and so, today I hope to inspire you, the reader, my audience.

I hope to inspire you with this idea; what if none of us are normal?

You are you; and what you are is beautiful. This is the greatest lesson I have learned throughout my three years of high school. The most important lesson in life is to learn to love yourself and love others.

The first month of being an IB Diploma candidate has been a wild roller coaster ride, which I have somehow found a way to smile through. This month I have realized that sometimes it takes all your strength to smile when you want to cry and some days, it takes the most strength to let go and cry, but there is no in-between.

An aspect of my life, which I have always been very private about is the emotional struggle that my physical pain causes. Pain can make you feel so helpless. This summer I went into a depressive downslide when my headaches were not getting better.

My mind was non-stop and I could tell that I was not myself.

I could not stop asking myself why I was even on this Earth. Why would God save my life so many times, just so I could suffer? Why can’t I be like the other kids? Why can’t I go to parties? Why do I have to get allergic reactions?

I would cry and cry about how unfair it was…

Unfair is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as : treating people in a way that favors some over others : not fair, honest, or just.

In my mind, the situation I was facing was unfair because I wasn’t given the chance to be as happy as everyone else.

It took me three years of high school to realize; I never wold be like any one else and so there was no point in comparing my life to theirs.

It took me three years to realize I was basing an opinion of MYSELF upon the opinions of OTHERS, which just doesn’t sound right to begin with.

Why was I letting other people control how I thought of myself and how I felt about my life? After all, it is MY life NOT THIERS.

It does make me sad. When the weather changes and my whole neck aches. When my shunt can’t pump fast enough and I can’t see straight. When all my ribs are subluxated and I breathe like an overheated dog. Thoughts go through my head. If I could only not have these screws in my neck or this VP shunt in my brain… If I could only be like the healthy kids.

Realizing that these thoughts and this rationale for being sad, are unhelpful and, more importantly, I realizing the harm they do, has been a gift carrying greater weight than any words I could possibly say.

God gave me my own life to worry about and that is enough. I cannot and will no longer burden myself with how others live.

The reality is what it is.

I must accept my life and I must smile, for a life is a life, and life, is the greatest gift.

It is time for me to focus on myself and taking care of my life, because that is what God gave me to worry about.

Being sick takes so much energy, I cannot waste any more energy on worrying about others standards. I cannot worry about what people think of me when I am in a hospital bed. I must do my best to direct my own life, how I want it directed.

I challenge you; think twice before you judge someone.

I challenge you; love yourself and everything about you.

I challenge you; to be yourself, who you want to be, not who they tell you to be.

Nothing is going to change my world, so I may as well conquer my world just as it is.

My life is mine and it belongs to me. It does not belong to my disease, and it does not belong to the standard normal, my life is mine, only mine and it belongs to me. It is about time I finally take it.

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