Many of you have asked what my sudden motivation was for starting the blog, and why now? I started this blog not for me, but for all the amazing people in my life.
For 27 years I have pretended there's nothing wrong: never wanting to worry anyone or draw attention to myself. Friends and family would always ask me how I was feeling or how my doctor's appointments went. I would always reply with the words, "fine" and a big smile, in hopes that it would put them at ease and make them move on from the subject. I thought it was easier for us both to pretend CF didn't exist. I never wanted to be someone's pity party or again, draw focus to myself. I thought I was protecting everyone from those difficult moments when words are lost. There is no worse feeling than telling your friends and family negative news or information. You see their heart sink as well as yours with every percent of decline in lung function, infection, and IV treatment. Most of all though, I thought I was protecting myself from the possibility of people seeing me as different, weak, or sick. I have never wanted CF to define who I am. I have wanted everyone to see me first and foremost for who I was, not what I had.
What has changed?
I still do not want to be someone's pity party, and I still have a very hard time dealing with the conversation being solely on me, especially when it comes to CF. I know completely shutting people out of my life isn't the right thing anymore. I am not protecting anyone: I am just being selfish. As I have had to face some harsh realities with CF in the last year and a half, the amount of love and genuine support is overwhelming. People truly care: they want to be a part of my life, CF and all. I have never been more humbled in my life.
The landscape of my life is filled with beautiful flowers: some just budding, some just sprouting from the earth, and others in full bloom. I am so thankful for each beautiful one.
What motivated me to do this blog? Some very dear people in my life during these past months came to me wanting to raise money and awareness for CF. I was shocked and overcome with emotion. I thought I had hidden that part of my life so well, and to have people say through actions, "we know and it's ok, Ashley. We love ALL of you, and we want to fight for your tomorrow."
I wondered how I could ever repay them. How could I ever show them how much their kindness and support means to me?
What is blooming in the landscape of your life?