Thursday, October 2, 2014

Being Honest

6 months ago I did something that drastically changed my life.  I logged into Breathe Bravely for the very first time and I began writing.  Never did I imagine a few words would transpire into something so incredible.  Never did I imagine how it would change the people I know and love, and my relationship with them.  Never did I imagine how it would change... me.

A Promise
This blog was started because it was time for me to be honest not only with myself, but with the people who unconditionally supported and fought for me at the arms distance I kept them.  It was to come clean and share this life I had so meticulously kept hidden from the world my entire life. Something I had worked so tirelessly to conceal my entire life was becoming nearly impossible to hide.  It was time I share not only a part of my beautiful life, but ALL of my beautiful life.  

I promised myself this blog would reflect my honest life and the beauty of the good, the bad, and the ugly of Cystic Fibrosis.  I found myself the past few days fighting the feeling of wanting to stuff CF and any signs of it deep within myself, away from the world.  Suddenly, I wanted to pretend it wasn't there.  

Why did I hide a huge portion of my life from the world for so long?  Why does a part of me still?  I couldn't stand the thought of the faces of the people I love when telling them less than perfect news.   I still can't.  Most days I can handle the life I have been given, and can see the beauty in every breath I take. What I can't handle is how my life impacts and hurts those I love so dearly.  But, there is no greater gift than telling those I love good news: that their fighting and support make a difference, that I'm breathing better than I have in 4 years, that I'm running, that the possibility of the future seems limitless.   I can see it on their faces: they have hope.  Most of all, I can see my reflection in their future.  The past two months have been one of the greatest gifts of my life.   

On Tuesday after several tries, two hours, both arms used, and my body finally cooperating, I had a PICC line placed to begin a course of IV antibiotics.  I think this time has been the hardest when it has come to sharing the news.  Seeing the look of disappointment in not only myself, but in those I love truly kills me inside.  Maybe it's not their looks of disappointment, but the reflection of my own in their faces.  The last person I wanted to tell was Mark.   I felt terrible.  I felt like for the last two months we had real hope.  Hope for a future that seemed like anything was possible.  A future in which CF wasn't going to have any hold on our life.  But that's not my life, and you know what?  That's ok.  I will be grateful for every day, every memory, every relationship, every opportunity, and every breath I am given.   I am thankful for an aggressive team who wants to keep me the healthiest I have been, who care about me, and fight with me every day.  Even if that means IV antibiotics and hitting things before they turn into something really terrible again, I am so truly grateful.  Some days are rougher than others, but all are good and filled with their own beauty.  The future is filled with wondrous possibility and hope, and it's all mine.  Love to you all.

This is honesty. This is my beautiful life.  This is Cystic Fibrosis. 

Is your life an honest reflection of who you really are?

1 comment:

  1. Oh my beautiful Ashley, what an inspiration you are!! I think of you often, what a darling little kid you were, and then the ambitious teenager you became (I remember trying to "slow you down" during practice for our fabulous church play-by the way, you were awesome!), and then I recall your beautiful wedding! You looked like a princess! I love your honesty and heart-felt tenderness of your blog. You are truly an inspiration to so many. Love you, hon! Hugs, Cheryl Monen