a woman with pink hair walks along the stem of a flower towards the sun

A Journey to My Authentic Self

I have always strived to see the silver linings or the good in every situation. My immune deficiency diagnosis of hyper IgE syndrome came from a near-death experience. I was diagnosed very unexpectedly while spiraling out of control, trying to understand what was going wrong with my body.

Why did I keep collapsing my lungs, and how do we stop it? I, without a doubt, know that this experience made me question my own strength. I couldn't see the silver linings, and it scared me to have absolutely no control over my life.

I didn't fit in with the world around me

Since my journey started with immune deficiency, I have learned so much about myself. I have worked to accept myself for who I am and to love myself. I always felt I didn't quite fit in with the world around me.

I didn't fit in school growing up. I had all these symptoms like skin cysts or my eyes watering like I was crying just from being near people. I honestly thought I wasn't the only one. Maybe others had these symptoms, but I just didn't see it? Or I would do everything I could to hide the weird parts of myself, so no one saw me. I could just blend into the background.

Finding my authentic self

Since my diagnosis, I have wanted to feel more like my authentic self. I decided I no longer cared what others thought of me. I have dyed my hair hot pink and purple. I'm bubbly and, overall, just feel freer and more confident.

I decided to research and learn everything I could about my illness. I wanted to do everything I could in my own power to make life changes and stay off as much medication as possible. I learned during this part of my journey how resilient I am.

I learned to choose myself

I educated myself on how food impacts our bodies. I learned that stress and negativity can impact my body, causing inflammation. I went to therapy to heal not only from this part of my life but also growing up with abuse. I wanted my mental and emotional health to be a priority.

I realized which people were in my corner and those I needed to let go of because they were impacting my health. Along the way, I learned to choose myself. Women are often taught from a young age to be on the back burner, to put everyone else's needs before their own. I had to unlearn this behavior, which was difficult.

The importance of doing things for myself

It's been years since I went through all that turmoil. I have learned how important I am. I have learned to speak up for myself with doctors and make them hear what I have to say. I have learned how to not feel guilty if I need to cancel an appointment or a friend date.

Most of all, I have learned how important doing things for myself is. To go on an adventure one day and rest a bit the next. Self-care keeps my mental, emotional, and physical self healthy. I choose me.

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