I was first diagnosed in 2015 but took it as reality in 2017, and if I could compare my emotions to something at that time, it felt like a death sentence. I was in and out of depression for almost two years after. I spent most of my alone time in tears, but so longed to tell someone how I felt. This impacted me spiritually, mentally, and physically. I had to learn (and still working on it) how to love myself again, adapt to my new body and new norm. Essentially, I’ve had to re-work how I do things at work, church, in public, with family and friends. Most importantly, I am no longer afraid to ask for help when I need it.⠀
Regardless of the diagnosis, knowing that life is still worth living and that others (my sisters, other warriors, my future children) are depending on me to get through this inspires me to thrive. Knowing that my story can one day help someone else see the light encourages me to continue to thrive. I am grateful for family, friends, and even coworkers who have been understanding and have even made accommodations in their lives to see me happy, healthy, and whole. Most importantly, I am grateful for God’s subtle reminders that he has not forgotten about me and that the diagnosis will not put an end to what he has already promised and shown me over these past couple years. Now whenever I start to succumb to negative thoughts concerning the symptoms I experience; I remind myself of the things I am grateful for to overcome.
My message to other warriors is to not give up on hope. I’ve found that this is easiest to do by knowing your why, this is what will get you through on days you just can’t take it anymore. Secondly, you are not your diagnosis, your diagnosis is not you (hence why I try to refrain from using the phrase “my diagnosis”). And lastly, you are deserving of all love, period.