Saturday, April 23, 2016

Confessions of a Healthy Non-Teenager

I used to have this silly birthday wish. When the ground began to thaw, chickadees started croaking song lyrics, and little yellow flower buds burst forth their sunshine, I would determine that this was the one.

This was the birthday I would turn fifteen as a healthy kid.

Sometimes the weather would help me get up. I'd be excited to see the sky fill with leaves, and to watch the redbuds transform from tiny specks of blood-color to their rich, open pink. The pollen-warmed air might prompt a rush of energy, and enable a few sprints that were mostly make-believe. This was the ---teen I could be healthy.

But mums and imagination only last so long. With the onslaught of summer, ceaseless medication, and ever-changing symptoms came a deterioration of strength, resolve, and left my little pocket of optimistic health without air.

I never turned fifteen as a healthy kid. I never turned sixteen, or seventeen, or eighteen, or nineteen healthy, either. And I cannot pretend I wasn't disappointed--that spending the majority of my teenage life fighting chronic illness doesn't make me feel cheated sometimes.

But two days ago, I turned twenty.

Twenty isn't fifteen. It's not sweet sixteen, or almost-adult seventeen, legal eighteen, or nineteen's last hurrah. It's not the age I dreamed about.

But it is the barrier in which I leave my sickness behind. It is the number in which I'll get to relearn life, go to college, begin to read again, and run around parks and waterfalls without the burden of exhaustion and nausea and Lyme Disease hanging over my brow. It is where I say goodbye to symptoms and treatment, and hello to a new beginning, a state called New York, and a crazy-loving "adopted" family.

Twenty wasn't the number I dreamed of.

But it's the one I've been dreaming about.



  1. This is really well written and beautiful, Stephanie! (oh by the way hi! My name is Shar and your blog is pretty. Also your face) It's so wonderful that you're healthy! I knew someone who has lyme disease, and it meant they had to leave India. Anyway, happy (late) birthday! I hope it was lovely :)
    P.S If you want to read my blog/you're really into YA books, then it is here :

    1. Hi Shar! :)

      Thanks for reading my blog, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I hope you stop by again!

  2. Well, Happy Birthday Stephanie! Very well written, bueatiful and ENCOURAGING story! =)

    1. Thanks, Maggie! How have you been feeling?

    2. For the most part very well! God has been good and has shown us natural stuff, diets, and even medicines to do. Life is good. <3

  3. Congrats on getting healthy! That's so good to talk about, especially after sharing your story here for so long. Also, happy birthday! :)

  4. I wish I had seen this post sooner. I feel like responding and this response might sound harsh, but I mean well.

    IMO the worst way to deal with illness is by feeling sorry for yourself. Your tone comes across as if you have been doing some of that. No matter how hard you think you have it in life someone else out there has it a lot worse. Life is not fair and it never will be. Just deal with it. Figure out what you can do. Don't concentrate on what you can't. Expect that life will throw some challenges your way.