I’d rather have cancer

I was looking though some fibromyalgia blogs and I found this little snip bit. I thought I would share. This would probably surprise most people to hear, but I feel as though people suffering from severe fibromyalgia feel the same way.

“The friend of a friend said to me recently that she heard I have some health issues. I replied yes, that among a lot of other things I have Fibromyalgia. She was silent for a minute and then she said “At least it’s just Fibromyalgia. It isn’t like it’s something that could kill you like cancer or something.” Without missing a beat I looked her directly in the eye and replied with “I’d rather have cancer.”

Eyes wide and mouth gaping open she was stunned into silence for a few minutes. When she regained her composure she asked if I was serious. I told her that I was completely serious. I explained to her that Fibromyalgia is a strange illness, in that it effects people in different ways. It has varying degrees of implications on different people. Some people have it enough to notice it and have it be annoying, while others are completely bed-ridden from it. I’ve even known of a lady who in a flare couldn’t stand up and walk, and had to crawl on her hands and knees to the restroom.

Don’t get me wrong, cancer is a horrible monster that causes pain, agony, and destroys lives and families. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. So does Fibromyalgia though. With cancer, the pain and agony is going to end. No if and’s or but’s about it. The pain and sickness will come to an end. Either a person is cured or else they die. With Fibro, there isn’t any end in sight. It’s an entire life stuck in an earthly hell of pain, fatigue, co-morbidities, and sickness.

In my thought process, I’d rather have the chance of a cure and at least knowing if it doesn’t work that my pain will end anyway. Yes, I’m thankful to be alive but thinking about having to live for 40 or 50 more years trapped in this hell is daunting and to be completly honest, I’d rather not. No, I’m not suicidal in the least, I just would rather not have to live this way knowing it could be decades upon decades.”

Mind drunk

Hello once again…

I know I have said in previous posts that I aspire to be a celebrator. To celebrate life itself- all the big moments along with the small ones. In my mind, a good coffee is worth a mini celebration. Life is short, right? But we all have a vision of who we would like to be and what we are in reality. Thats why you see inconclusive results in self evaluation case studies- people don’t give an accurate description of who they are, they focus on what they want to be. Well in my case, I want to be a celebrator. However this isn’t always true. I wish it was, but it isn’t. I have bad days like everyone on this planet does. Today was one of those days.

This week I was home for spring break. I was really looking forward to relaxing and doing absolutely nothing to counter at my busy life at school… but like I said before, theres expectations and then theres reality. In reality, I spend my breaks at home hopping from one activity to another, obligated to see everyone while I’m in town. I’m lucky to get one night where I am actually completely relaxed. One of these activities was visiting a neurologist. If you have read my previous posts (if anyone even reads these darn things… i don’t really expect anyone to) you know that last time I was home i visited a rheumatologist. He told me he doesn’t think I have lupus. Of course he didn’t know what else it could be so he decided to refer me to yet another doctor to see if they could figure anything out. I had to wait 3 more months in Pullman until my next appointment… as you can imagine, there were several days spent in agonizing pain. There was one day that I couldn’t even wait 5 minutes to meet up with Sam for lunch- I couldn’t stand let alone eat for an hour in a public place. When my pain comes on strong, so does my anxiety- I walked all the way back to my dorm, crying silent tears the entire way. As you can imagine, I spent these three months HOPING that this doctor would know something. Have you ever hoped for something to be wrong with you before? Not many people know that feeling… let me tell you, its something else. Your whole life you’re taught to hope for the best, but what happens with the best solution is a terrible one? In my case, the best solution at this point is to hope they can find something wrong with me, because then I can hope to be cured and not have to live with this my whole life. All the doctors I’ve seen up to this point think that its fibromyalgia. Let me repeat and put emphases on the word THINK. You can’t really know if someone has it or not- you can’t diagnose it. The only way you can diagnose it is to rule out all the other possibilities. So my neurologist was the next step- her job is to rule out anything neurological. From the moment I made the appointment, to the moment I stepped into the office and all the moments in between, I was hoping she would say she knows exactly whats wrong with me. Even if it was something bad, anything, even a NAME, would bring so much ease for me.

The appointment went like this:

Sam and I walk into the room, the doctor walks in, takes a glance at my history and says “yeah its probably fibromyalgia.” Then she plugs a couple of digits into the computer while asking me whats wrong. Not once during this appointment does she make eye contact, mind you. So I tell her all about my legs and about being sick all the time and yadda yadda yadda. She’s just clicking away at her computer. Then she has my sit on the bed in the room and proceeds to do her “procedure” if thats what you want to call it. She taps my knees, holds metal to my finger and asks if its cold, pricks my finger and asks if it hurts, has me walk in a straight line as if I’m walking on a tight rope, tests my leg and arm strength and then the meeting is over. She tells me I need to revisit my regular doctor because she couldn’t find anything neurologically wrong with me. And just like that, I’m out the door. It was a 15 minute appointment that I must have spent $250 on. All the things she did to me I could have done myself at home! I waiting three months to have someone prick my finger?! I was furious. I left the office with tears of frustration in my eyes. That appointment brought no new knowledge… and she wasn’t even nice to me. It was a waste of my time and hope.

Ya know, when this happens to you over and over and over again… you would think that you would start to get used to it, but you don’t. It hurts just the same every single time walking out of that office. My parents celebrate every time they hear another doctor say that they can’t find anything wrong with me, but I mourn the loss of what could have been- peace of mind and ease in my own body. People might think that this feeling leaves. That hope returns. It doesn’t…. it lingers. If you have a chronic disorder or illness you know exactly what I mean when I say we are surrounded with endless positivity and support that doesn’t make us feel any better about whats happening. This is our reality. We live with this pain day in and day out. Its easy for people to say “you will get better” and “stay positive” when its not their own self having to go through it. I yearn for someone to look at me in the eyes and say “you know what, this sucks ass and I hate that you’re having to go through this” and just let me cry. Let me cry and scream and say whatever I want about it without any advice or positivity for the future. Just accept the situation. I don’t blame people for being like this, its our human nature. Its actually how I would behave in the situation. But I wish I had that all the same. I don’t have an outlet for all this pent up hurt I have inside after appointments gone wrong or particularly painful days. I have no where to go. No one to talk to. Don’t you hate the feeling that you don’t have anywhere to go to feel at ease in your own body? You feel trapped. Today, I felt trapped. I couldn’t escape the pain. Emotional or physical. I didn’t want to be with anyone. I didn’t want to do anything. I just want to be in a numb world for just a couple minutes to catch my breath. I completely lost it. I’m at my boyfriends house by myself and I completely lose it. I’m laying in his bed, bawling my eyes out for no reason but life itself, and I completely and utterly lose it. I’m screaming and crying and throwing punches at the air… something I do when I have a serious mental breakdown is i dig my fingernails into my skin. I don’t know why, I think it may go back to my self harm days. Anyways, I get this feeling in the midst of all this like I need to run. To just leave the situation I’m in. Escape all my responsibilities and obligations for only a couple minutes. A couple minutes seemed like the world. But where would I go? Not home. I couldn’t stay at Sams. I couldn’t go anywhere were there was people. I finally decided to drive to a walgreens parking lot that I back spaces behind the buildings where I could park and not be seen. I lay my chair back, lock the doors, but on sunglasses and just lay there and cry. Bawling for a good hour. Once I stop, I continue to just lay there. Silence. No music. No people talking. Not even the sound of my breathing is loud enough to disturb me. Just staring at the ceiling in complete bliss. Not a thought passed through my mind. Tiredness crept over me like a warm hug. Have you ever been so tired from crying its like your mind feels drunk? Like you just don’t give a shit anymore cause you had a good cry and you’ll take whatevers coming to you next? Its exquisite.

To be honest, I have no idea why I felt like I needed to document this day. The day that I had a complete mental breakdown for the hundredth time this year. I guess I’m just tired of pretending these moments don’t matter, because these moments are my life. I want to celebrate these moments… even the shitty ones… cause it means I’m still alive and living life. I say that, but its so much easier said than done. Celebrating pain and deep hurt and frustration isn’t the easiest thing to do in the world. In fact, if anything, you wanna look up to the sky and ask God why your life has been cursed with chronic pain. But the more I talk about it, the easier it gets. I’m lucky to be where I am, even if where I am sucks pretty bad.

“I’m doing this to get over my own mind. This has nothing to do with you. I love you and it has nothing to do with me not loving you.”

Do you know what it feels like to be abandoned by someone you thought you would never have to live without? Its a fear I’ve had ever since I can remember. I’ve worried about my friends leaving, my family leaving, and, especially, Sam leaving me. For 4 years he has been by my side and loved me harder than anyone else ever has. He is the only person I truly believe would never hurt me intentionally. But if you know me you know that i come with a whole lotta baggage. 19 years worth and issues. Doctor visits, therapists, spiraling depression- and thats only half of it. I thought I was blessed with a miracle that was Sam Davis. To be frank he’s one of the only reasons I believe there is a God. God sent him to me to keep me alive and healthy and loved. And for almost four years he has been doing just that. Yes, we’ve had our hiccups. But never anything that lasted more than a day. We pride ourselves on having the kind of relationship where communication is the least of our worries. We’re the super couple- the couple that knows how to do a relationship right. But even the best of couples can withstand doubtful minds.

Being a couple thats been together through high school and now into college isn’t the easiest of all things. Where people had time to be single and get to know themselves, we were spending snuggling, going out to dinner and laughing about our future together. I was so happy to be in a committed relationship… Sam treats me like I’m a princess. I have what every girl wants. But college can do weird things to your mind. One day your living under your parents roof and have little to no responsibilities. The next day your on your own with a million and one responsibilities. You have to make yourself get up for school, you have to decide how late you can stay up, and you have to remember to eat, do your laundry, dishes, vacuum… the list goes on. On top of all that, keeping a relationship when you have to learn how to be independent is hard. College is about finding yourself. Who are you? Who do you want to be? Who do you want to be in ten years? Let me tell you, when you’ve been answering all those questions for years with your boyfriend in every single answer, its hard to picture any other future. Now we’re here, surrounded by people doing just that (finding themselves) and neither one of us can help but wonder who we would be without each other. Would I be a different person? Would he? Would we be better or worse off without each other? These are questions every couple in college asks themselves. That is completely normal… even healthy. But doubt is when things get sticky. See, I’ve had things questions in my head and have brought them up to Sam every single time (cause we’re excellent at communicating, right?) and have talked it out every single time. I would never leave Sam. I am more independent with him than I would be without him (look up the dependency paradox if you think this is an odd statement). I thrive with him by my side. The thought of him not being in my life is way worse than anything. However, I may be alone in this way of thinking.

Today was just like any normal day with us. Tonight we went to the Cougar basketball game together and it was a good time. We walked to the cafe to get some food before heading up to my room to watch Tarzan like we had planned earlier. All was well! We were snuggling and laughing and having a good time… and then all of the sudden he asks me if I’ve ever thought about what life would be like if we weren’t together and if I’ve ever thought about taking a break from our relationship. WHOOOAAA. That came out of no where. For the next hour we sat on my bed discussing how he felt. I cried the entire time. There was a steady stream of tears running down my face as I clutched the bear he gave me for valentines day. Was he breaking up with me? I didn’t understand. Just an hour ago we were happy. At least I was.

He says he wants a break. At least three weeks. My world is spinning and I don’t even remember a lot of what he said. He just kept on saying he didn’t want to hurt me, that this has nothing to do with me and has everything to do with his doubtful mind. I could tell this wasn’t an easy decision for him to make. So I tell him, “I’m going to be hurt by this. But if this is what you want and is going to ease your mind I will do it for you.” He leaves, and I’m curled up in a ball on my bed, bawling my eyes out. Then I can’t breathe. I’m standing, pacing around my room, hyperventilating and trying to decide what to do next. Suddenly he’s back through the door and holding me as I sob into his chest and his face is buried in my head. “I don’t know how I thought I could do it for three weeks when I can’t even make it two hours without you.” At this point I’m feeling two things: Relieved and pissed as hell. I’ve never been so happy to have him come back in my life, but I was pissed at him for putting me through this for nothing. And then I think to myself, I  swear to God if he has just come back to put me through this again I’m not going to be happy. So I say that. I tell him that he needs to make up his damn mind before I lose mine. So he does. He tells me that he just wants a week now. Just a week. Not three. Not a month. Just a week. He says,”I’m doing this to get over my own mind. This has nothing to do with you. I love you and it has nothing to do with me not loving you. Talk to you in a week.” And leaves again. I stand there for a bit, shocked that he did in fact do it to me again… sit down and start bawling again, but this time was different. This was an angry cry. How could he do this to me TWICE? Give me hope just to take it away again. I keep telling myself that this is a good thing- that I will learn something about myself from all of this- but nothing ever seems good when Sam isn’t in my life.

This may seem so silly to anyone else. A week? Whats a week compared to years? Its not the week I’m worried about, its what happens after the week is over. I’m terrified he’s going to want more time. Then more time. And more and more time until he finally decides that he’s better off without me. After all, I’m the needy one in this relationship. He’s always the one taking care of me. What if he finds out that he would prefer not to have someone hold him down anymore. The reason this is so upsetting is because it feels like I’ve always, in the back of my mind, been waiting for him to realize he doesnt need me and this relationship isn’t worth it. It makes sense. I’m a lot of work.

So here I am… writing down my feelings because its the only way to keep me sane. I don’t know where to go from here. I’m lost. But I can tell you one thing- I will not be the one to give in first. I will not call him, text him, or show up at his place. If this is what he wants than he’s going to fucking get it. I hope whatever he gets from this is worth all the pain he’s putting me through.

What It’s Really Like To Be Chronically Ill

Couldn’t have said it better.

Thought Catalog

Society’s recent obsession with cancer stories and movies like The Fault in Our Stars made me realize that the average person doesn’t know what it’s really like to be sick. Chronically sick. What it’s like to wake up every morning and know you’re never going to get better. No amount of medicine, doctors, surgeries, and procedures can fix you.

I think the reason why people today love to hear about cancer stories is because they are just that. They are stories. They have a beginning, middle, and an end. While that end may not be a happy one, people are satisfied with closure. But my story doesn’t have an end. And people don’t seem to like stories without an ending.

Being sick isn’t as glamorous as they make it out to be in the movies. And unlike cancer perks, there are no “chronic illness perks.” Except maybe those really good…

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Opa

Looking through some pictures today, I stumbled upon a picture of my opa (German for grandpa). He passed away right before I started my freshman year of high school due to stomach cancer. Its so strange how one day someone is so engraved in your every day living that you start to take for granted their presence, then they get sick and before you know it they’re gone forever… Years have passed and none of us have forgotten. The youngins (as he would have called them) either were too young to remember who he was, or were born after his passing. But for those of us who were very much there emotionally and physically, it is something that will haunt us for the rest of our lives. Have you ever watched someone slowly loose themselves in a fight against their own body? If you have you know exactly what I’m talking about; if you haven’t, then you probably will never understand until it happens to you. People try to bring up the “bright side” of the way he passed by pointing out that we got to say our goodbyes and that he has lived a happy, full life. As true as both those statements are it doesn’t take the sting away from watching the life drain our of him little by little each day.

I was in middle school when I had the most fun camping trip I had ever and would continue to have. It was us four (mom, dad, my brother and I) which wasn’t out of the usual, but what WAS out of the usual was the fact that my opa and oma decided to tag along in their trailer. My oma never went camping and still doesn’t to this day, so getting her out there with us was a big deal. We spent the camping trip fishing, making camp fires and roasting marshmallows… but my favorite part of the whole trip was when my opa and oma told me the story of how they met. It was a beautiful story full of everything you would need to make a movie: action, suspense, humor, romance… it had it all. They sat side by side as they went back and fourth in narrating, interrupting each other every now and again to add in some detail. I specifically remember they held hands the entire time. I think it was that night that I decided I was going to find a love just like theirs. They were in love back then- and 40 years later they were still together with 2 kids and 4 grandchildren. It was the perfect love story. I was completely emerged in it. However, everything isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. There was a reason they tagged along with us on the trip. They had an announcement for us, more specifically Reece and I considering my parents already knew. My opa looked at us right in the eye and said he was sick. He said that he was going to start having to take a lot of medicine that was going to make him really tired so that he wasn’t going to be able to do anything for a long time. “Don’t worry about me kids, you have nothing to worry about, I’ll be fine” he said. At the time, I was 11 or 12 and Reece was 6 or 7. As you can imagine, we thought he meant that he had a flu or something. We were worried but not to the extent that we should have been. But what can I say, we were kids. We didn’t know how cruel the world could be.

Well, opa was defintely not fine. Shortly after that he stayed in the hospital. We visited quite frequently. He showed me the button on his bed that he nicknamed the “happy” button that would take all his pain away (looking back at it now I see that it was heavy pain mediations). Nothing seemed wrong with him during that time; he flirted with the nurses and laughed his booming laugh that echoed through the hallways… He looked happy and healthy. But of course, time tells a different story. He got worse and worse. The more time went on the more we found him fast asleep in his hospital bed for hours when we came to visit. His body get thinner and thinner. The best word to describe him was “frail.” It got to the point where the medicine was doing more harm than good, and it was time to let him live out the rest of his days in the comfort of his own home. For a very long time, my oma was his house nurse. He took up a permanent position on the couch, wrapped up in blankets. Some days were better than others. One day he would just stare at the wall in front of him like an empty shell of a man. Other days he would be up for talking and act somewhat normal. It was so hard to watch him lose his vibrant personality and watch him turn into the person I never thought he would be. By the very end of his life, he wasn’t even himself anymore. The cancer had completely taken over him. The thought alone could send me to tears.

I was woken up one morning by my mom. That never happened, it was ALWAYS my dad to wake me up if for some reason I needed to be woken up. I opened my eyes and there my mom was, face red, in tears, sitting on the edge of my bed. My stomach sank. I knew what had happened. “Honey, opa passed away last night.” Thats all she had to say. I turned my face into my pillow and screamed. The world closed in around me and all I could think of is that I would never hear his laugh again or lay on the couch with him under his special blanket… or hug his big beer belly again. We all knew this day was going to come. It was no surprise. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make it hurt any less. I waited until my mom left the room and then ran to my window and looked up at the sky. I just remember hoping with everything that I had that there is a heaven.

My opa was as good as they come. I know everyone says that about the deceased that they love, but I really do mean that about my opa. He served our military for 15 years. He made a life for himself and took care of my oma better than anyone else could have. He made everyone around him feel special and loved. I don’t think he had a single enemy in his life; in fact, I don’t thick that anyone who knew him knew him by anything less than a friend. By being alive, my opa made the world a better place, and no one can deny that. His funeral was huge. So many people showed up to pay respects to him that day. There were people who came from all across the country just to wish him farewell. Half of the people there I didn’t even recognize. I can’t explain to you what the funeral was, nor do I want to. That day was so intimate that i can’t even think about it without crying. But there is one moment that I relive every single time I think about that day…

Im sitting in the second row, facing the table where his yearn was placed. There are three decorated military men on each side of the table- all 6 of them were his friends, but one in particular was his best friend. As they lifted the box with the yearn into the ground the men lifted their hands to their foreheads, saluting him… and his best friend is breaking down. His jaw is shaking, tears are running down his face like rivers, and you could tell his knees were weak. This was the same man that escorted my opas body to the morgue right after he passed because he said my opa deserved to be looked after. The man that wouldn’t leave my omas side unless she asked him to. The man that was the best friend a man could ever ask to my opa. And as my opa entered the ground, I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. Thats the image I have of the worst day of my life.

I don’t know love

Dear future baby,

I write to you from my blog that holds all my deepest feelings, concerns, love, fear, and anything else you could possibly imagine. Here I write about all the pain that I experience in my life… but also all the pleasure. Pleasure being your dad, your grandparents, school, friends, my animals that I’m sure you’ll hear a lot about. These are all people and things that make me who I am and keep me drive to get past all the pain (which is a list shorter than the pleasure list, may I add). But another thing that makes me who I am, which only the people who are closest to me know, is that nothing gives me more pleasure than the thought of being your mom.

Don’t get ahead of me- I’m only 19. I’m a freshman in college. I have a lot to do before I get in the place in my life where I am stable and secure enough to have children. But for as long as I can remember, motherhood has always called to me and its what I’ve yearned for the most. Growing up, I played with baby dolls and made believe with Oma that I owned my own home and had a family that I had built. It was my go-to game. The older I got the more that my mom, your grandma, taught me what it meant to be a woman. She did not define womanhood as being a part of motherhood. She told me that women do not reply on men. We should be able to take care of ourselves if need be and be strong and independent. We should not allow for anyone to push us around- if we want to be a CEO, we will be a CEO. If we want to work at an engineer, so be it! To say the least, my mom is a feminist, and she raised a feminist. She instilled these beliefs in me and I couldn’t be more grateful. As soon as i got old enough to create goals and have ambitions I started making big plans for my future…. Get a masters degree in a field that I love, find a man that i love, get a high paying job that I enjoy doing so that I will always be able to take care of myself and those around me, and build a family. Motherhood should come after the important things in life that you have to do as an individual- school and job and marriage. When people ask me what I want to do with my life I have a non hesitant answer: Go to school, get a job, and live happily ever after. People prioritize achievement in a certain order, kids being last on the list of things to accomplish. But as I sit here writing this, the only thing I yearn for is motherhood.

I don’t know why but with each passing year the want to have kids grows stronger and stronger. Why is this happening to me? I’m so young. Yet every time i see a baby I just want to bawl because i can’t help but think of the love I will have for my child someday. I know this is all very dramatic and you’re probably rolling your eyes at me, but its true. I want to finish college… I want to have a job… I want to have a husband and a house and savings before I have you so when I do I can be the best caregiver possible and give you the life you deserve and more. But its all so far away. Too far away.

This is all stemming from a video I just watched online. It was a clip from the “Ellen Degenerous Show” of a interview Ellen was doing with Mila Kunis (one of my favorite actresses- she’s from the show “That 70s show”) who has just had her baby Wyatt Isabelle. She was descrying the love she has for her baby… she said “You think you know love. But the truest meaning of unconditional love is my child. I thought I loved Ashton, I thought I loved my parents, my dogs, I was like ‘I know love.’ … It’s just in a whole other field. If she murdered somebody in cold blood, I would love her.” And this filled my heart. I sat there after the clip was over and just thought about how excited I am to be your mom. To have you fill my stomach for 9 months as I help you grow. I live with you day in and day out while you, a creation of me and your father, grow so rapidly into something absolutely beautiful. Most women feel fat and unattractive while pregnant, but I think that I will feel the most beautiful I will ever feel in my entire life. I wonder what cravings you will give me? Will you be a kicker? I hope so. The pregnancy alone excites me, but then I think about after birth. Holding you in my arms. Looking at your dad holding you in his. Having your grandparents there taking a ridiculous amount of pictures. Then taking you home to a spectacular room that your father and I have decked out for your arrival (painted using unleaded paint for your safety of course). I day dream about this all the time. This maybe super weird and a bit freaky but thats the beauty of this blog- I don’t have to care about what other people think. I’m 19 years young with my whole life ahead of me and all I want to do is help you start yours. Maybe i was just born with too much maturity for my age. I’ve always been a couple years ahead of everyone else. My human development class I’m taking right now isn’t helping- its all about raising a child. I even have a virtual child online that I have to raise. People find this class boring, a waste of time and an easy A… but I find myself entranced with the abundant information they have out there about the whole process. I just can’t help but think that someday your father and I are going to be the best parents that have ever walked the planet. In turn, you will be the best child this world has ever been graced with.

I don’t know you yet. I don’t know when I’ll know you. But all i know is that I don’t know love as I am right now, and I will not know love until you’re in my arms. I will wait for that day so patiently (which is a big deal considering I’m the most impatient person ever) and count the days. Until then, I will sometimes write to you on here. Maybe someday you’ll even read my letters to you. Hopefully it doesn’t freak you out too much when you read them.

I love you sweetie.

Mom

New Year Old Me

2015 is less than an hour away and there is a lot on my mind. This year has been undoubtably the biggest year of my life. I graduated high school, went on a vacation in Hawaii with my incredible boyfriend of 3 years, traveled the country of Croatia with my beautiful family, packed up all my things and moved out of my house and into a dorm at WSU, went through greek recruitment and became a sister at Alpha Omicron Pi, got diagnosed with a life changing autoimmune disease, turned 19 years old and finished my first semester of college. No doubt about it I am a completely different person than I was exactly a year ago. I have been forced to mature, find new perspectives, and meet new people. I have cried more than I thought i could in a year, but a lot of those tears were from laughing so hard that i teared up. I found out what it really means to be a good student and have responsibility for your own education. Let me tell you, to have to get yourself out of bed at 7am when you know that no one would stop you from sleeping in is a challenge in itself. Not to mention being a part of a sorority comes with its own set of struggles- everyone thinks its all one party for us sorority girls, but I couldn’t disagree more. From philanthropies to study table hour requirements to scholarship pouts to chapter meetings every Monday night… it takes up a lot of your time; you really have to put in the work to be able to get the perks. But AOII has provided me with some of the best experiences of my life to date; this chapter has lifted me up as a person and is the reason I have succeeded so well in college thus far. Not to mention all the friends I’ve made there- my best friend from WSU right now is a girl I met my first week in Pullman going through recruitment, and we just happened to end up in the same sorority house.

Then there comes my disease… its no surprise that this is something that has made my year unforgettable. But it has taught me so much about attitude and strength. I have never had to go through anything like this before and it has altered the way I see things.

This year signals another opportunity to get everything right in my life. For now I watch as the New York ball drops and brings all the hope and promise of the future.