A Bump in the Road
When I was 18 years old I was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease that has been in my family for four generations. My mother, aunt and grandma had it prior to my diagnosis. What followed after my diagnosis was two life saving operations including a 9 and a half hour one. After all the physical trauma and pain I endured along the way, the most difficult and long lasting hurdle I didn't anticipate to struggle with was my mental health.
Once I left the hospital, and began to get weened off my pain medicine is when reality came crashing down on me. For the first time I was forced to analyze the reality of my life, and the reality that laid in front of me I hated. I didn't think at 18 years old I would have to navigate both a crisis of physical and mental health. My surgeries created not only physical pain but mental phobias and anxieties that took far longer to heal than my physical self.
Luckily for me I had a phenomenal support group that was able to stay the course during my darkest days and help me get back to a life of health and happiness. I understand not everyone is as fortunate as me, which is why I have tried to help others avoid the same painful circumstances that I endured. As someone who was convinced I would never live a happy existence again, to being a person now who is not only happy, but has opened up enough to write a memoir on my life experiences in the hope it can help others in similar circumstances. I reached out to ADAA because since my book's release I'm reaching out to organizations, support groups and nonprofits my book relates to in hopes I can connect with others and help them via my own experiences. My disease may be genetic that affects my large intestine, but there is no question I faced difficult battles with anxiety and depression following my surgeries. Nowadays I live a very happy life, genuinely, and given my past circumstances even I myself considered that impossible at one point. I want to show that there is a life of happiness beyond our circumstances. I hope my personal pathways to happiness can show others who think there isn't a light at the end of the tunnel there is, and I'll help you get there.
Learn more about my journey and book: