I first began my fight for my health in 2012. I was diagnosed with the interstitial cystitis (IC), chronic painful bladder syndrome, in the fall of 2013. I did not begin sharing my journey until 2017. It wasn’t until 2019 that sharing my journey no longer caused me to have panic attacks. It took time to find the courage & strength to share one of the most vulnerable parts of life. It’s still not always easy. But I now see the most vulnerable parts of myself are truly the strongest parts of me.
When I was diagnosed with IC along with other autoimmune diseases & chronic conditions I didn’t want anyone to know about it besides my family & closest friends. I didn’t want to be seen differently. I didn’t want to be judged. I thought I needed to hide that part of my life away to be safe. I was afraid … terrified to show this part of me. So afraid what others might think. But I became tired of hiding. It was exhausting. “Fuck this”, I thought, I didn’t want anyone who is suffering to feel as alone as I felt during my fight.
When I first started sharing my journey I was so afraid. My secret was going to be out in the open. I felt exposed. After posting I would have to shut my phone off so I wouldn’t immediately delete the post. My anxiety would go through the roof where I would be shaking & crying. With those moments I realized how traumatic this fight for my health truly was for me. How much was kept down inside me. With each share I was able to face my fears. Was able to take a look at what I’ve been through without brushing it aside as if it never happened. I was able to feel. To be angry, sad, frustrated, & to let those locked in emotions out. It hurt. But it was a release afterwards.
It’s taken time for me to reach this point in my health journey. I’m thankful I no longer feel the need hide this part of myself. I’m very proud to be a health advocate. I’m proud to be able help others with my journey. And I’m so very thankful for each of you supporting me along the way 💚 #keepfighting#nevergiveup#interstitialcystitisawareness