Dear, Transverse Myelitis

Before I had Transverse Myelitis..

I never EVER heard of it, now I can’t EVER unhear it.

It is plastered in my brain forever.

An only 18 letter word ripped a 14 year old girl from her perfect life and threw her into a crazy one, ripped her apart, took away her legs, her freedom, her 8th grade school year, changed her whole life as she once knew it.

Just a 18 letter word that dictated my future, dictated my hopes and dreams.

An 18 letter word has changed thousands of people.

I don’t want anyone to feel the pain I’ve felt, the pain my family has felt. I don’t want anyone to know how it feels to not be able to walk, to look at your legs and they don’t even feel like your own and they just don’t work no matter how hard you try, they just don’t. You can stare at them for hours, but they won’t move. No matter what you do.

This 18 letter word has changed my lifestyle, my abilities, who I talk to, who I love, who I trust, how I think, how I feel and who I am.

This disease has made me become who I always have wanted to be, but never really knew how to become.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, I didn’t know how I was going to help people but I knew I wanted to, I didn’t know how I was going to change the way people think, but I knew I HAD to.

I had so many thoughts and ideas but used to be SO AFRAID of what everyone thought. Terrified and self conscious.

I was afraid they’d not agree with my thoughts, I was so so very afraid. So, I didn’t ever, not even once speak up.

This 18 letter word taught me how to speak up, even if I was afraid, even if everyone laughed, even if no one agreed with me.

Transverse Myelitis, taught me that even if you’re scared, you have to do it anyway. You’ll regret not doing it and you may never have another chance to do so.

This 18 letter word has made me KNOW I want to work in the medical field, with children.

Now I know that I have a voice and before, I just never knew I did.

This stupid 18 letter word isn’t who I am, or what I am. Not one bit.

It’s a tiny part of me, this 18 letter word has made me become me, and even though I truly do hate TM with a burning passion..

I do have to thank it for teaching me so much, for showing me- my thoughts matter, teaching me to always live each day as if I’d never have another, showing me what’s important, showing me that it really doesn’t matter what everyone thinks, it only matters what YOU think of yourself, and if YOU love YOU, nothing else matters.

So..

Dear Transverse Myelitis,

Thank you. Without you, I wouldn’t know who I am. Thank you for the lessons, thank you for showing me that walking isn’t everything, thank you for showing me my real friends, thank you for making me brave, thank you for giving me the people that I’ve needed all along, thank you for keeping my life interesting, thank you for knocking me down but letting me get back up again, and finally, thank you for being so horrible.

Because you taught me that there is so much good in the bad, nasty and horrible, you just gotta find it.

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