So, I am FINALLY 22! I made it another year! I'm still kicking butt! Neither Cystic Fibrosis nor depression has stopped me yet, and it isn't going to! I've been through and overcame quite a bit in my life, starting from birth.
When I was born and diagnosed with CF, my parents were told that I wouldn't live to see 18, but I did!
The first time I was hospitalized, I was in first grade. I made it out alive.
When I was 10, I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes. I'm beating it.
At age 11, I was granted a wish to go to Disney World through the Make-A-Wish Foundation because my doctors didn't think I would see my 12th birthday. Guess what, I did!
When I was 12, I was placed in a foster home with a nurse due to medical reasons. It was my last hope at living. It worked! My foster family remains a HUGE part of my life and I love them like they were my biological family.
I began rebelling against EVERYTHING that had to do with CF and isolated myself from almost everyone around age 14. I was diagnosed with major depression, PTSD, and anxiety. It got worse throughout high school. I spent more time in hospitals/therapy my entire 4 years of high school than I did in the classroom, but I still managed to graduate (with a lot of help and support from my school counselor and teachers) with honors. My long battle with self-harm was discovered somewhere throughout all of that. I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder at 18, Bipolar Disorder and selective OCD at 20, and though no one really diagnosed it, I struggled horribly with food. I'm STILL fighting AND beating all of these!
At 18 years old, I celebrated. No, not just because I was a legal adult, but also because I was ALIVE!
Life got tough from there, and at 19, I didn't care what happened to me. I didn't care if I died. I actually tried to help the death process along, but I had an angel with me that dark night. I survived.
A few months later, on October 1, 2011, I began a relationship with a man I hoped was the "one." March 6, 2013, he said he needed to talk to me an wanted to go somewhere special. We drove out to the lake, which was still snow covered and frozen. It was cold and windy and I was complaining and wondering why on this entire earth he had to bring me here to talk! Then he began to speak. Only a few sentences into it I knew what he was going to do... I had tears streaming down my wind bitten cheeks, and then he asked me... He had to repeat the question three times before I could stop crying long enough to answer. "Will you be my wife?" "YES!"
A few months later, I was excited to be planning my wedding and thrilled to be turning 21! I was now able to legally buy and consume alcohol, yes, but that's not why I was so happy. I was blessed to be defying the odds, to be proving doctors wrong and to be alive and healthy (from a Cystic Fibrosis standpoint).
January 21, 2014, I married Justin in North Carolina by a Justice of the Peace with plans to have a "real" wedding when he got out of the army.
I came back to Minnesota shortly after to get one more round of IV antibiotics at the U of MN before packing my things to move down to North Carolina to begin a new life with my new husband and soldier. I was released from the hospital and ended up back in the ER a day later with an extensive DVT (blood clot). I was immediately started on a Heprin (blood thinning) drip through an IV and transferred back to the U of MN. I was completely devastated and thought I would never get to go back to North Carolina. I was discharged from the U of MN 3 days later and left on the 19 hour drive straight from my hospital room. My parents had the van packed with as much of my things as they could fit, including my 130 pound Mastiff, Mator. I was FINALLY getting to start my new life!
March 5, 2014, Justin and I, with the approval of Mator and Diesel (our beagle/hound mix Justin got me for somewhat of a wedding gift), signed the lease to our first home together!
And yesterday, I turned 22!
I am still fighting and still conquering! I have learned a lot and I have so much more to learn. I've experienced some heart breaking events; however, I have also made some incredible friends along the journey I call my life. And I am more than blessed and thankful for all that I have.