Life is funking messy.
I started writing this blog to help me combat what I thought was a “particularly strong case of seasonal depression.” Little did I know that I was experiencing the beginning stages of a complicated illness.
One minute, I was out here in Los Angeles, living my dream life and pursuing an acting career. The next minute, I’m standing at the checkout counter at Victoria’s Secret, yelping out in pain as I grabbed my swelling abdomen, begging strangers not to call an ambulance as I crawled back to my car. Suddenly, going to the ER became a normal thing. And the doctors? They were stumped.
The worst part wasn’t the pain. The worst part wasn’t having to quit my job and retreat to the confines of my bed for days at a time. The worst part wasn’t pushing away my friends and the worried calls from my family. The worst part was that the doctors refused to see anything other than what they saw in front of them: a seemingly healthy, fit young girl.
As I lay on the sterile white hospital bed on my third emergency room visit, I did what any insane adult would do — I Googled my symptoms:
The first article I came across was a piece from the New York Times, and it changed my whole life. This ONE article led me to the woman who would solve my medical mystery. In the year and a half that it took me to finally get the life-changing surgery that I needed, I continued to find answers and support through discovering an online community of women that were fighting the same battle I was. Fighting to live their everyday life despite the pain. Fighting to be cured. Fighting to be heard.
My surgeon told me that it takes about 5 years on average to diagnose people with my disorder because tests and imaging come back inconclusive. 5 Years! Not saying it was easy, but I only suffered for a fraction of that, because someone wrote about it. That’s right — an article from a Google search literally saved years of my life. And now, as I sit here writing this, on the edge of recovery, all I want to do is return the favor.
If my words help one person get some answers, I’ve returned the favor. But I want to do more than that. I want to build a community that reminds you that you’re not alone. Through my experiences and through the experiences of others like me, I want to inspire you to get back to the person who feels like they can conquer the world. The person who looks out the window and sighs at what a beautiful day it is; a person who belly laughs; a person who exhales and feels free again.
So here’s to you, new friends. Thank you for joining me on my road to recovery. I hope you learn a little something that makes you and your life a little less WTF and a little more f’ing awesome 😉
With Love (and a little fight left in her,)