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Your world kind of just crumbles every time a doctor tells you that they don't know how to help you. You just spent at least half an hour in the waiting room, wiggling your foot back and forth, another half an hour in the actual room after getting your vitals taken by the medical assistant who doesn't understand that her perfume is making it hard to breathe because "she's worn it every day and it's never given anyone a reaction before"and now the doctor tells you that he doesn't know what to do because the easy way out is a different medication, but you can't take anything since you're allergic to it all and you realize that you just spent a chunk of cash that'll be applied to your deductible but was a waste for your health."I'm sorry" comes if you were lucky enough to find a physician that had a good bedside manner. And every time, your heart breaks a little bit more. It starts to tear apart your mental stability. You're failing. There's no longer control. Your body is no longer yours. Being disconnected from yourself is an entirely different sensation. You have no idea what's going to trigger you on any given day. Am I going to need my mask when I go out today? Can I fit the entire bottle of benadryl in my purse? Will I be able to walk through the grocery store without falling down? It's a guessing game with what your body decides to do.
It started with an avocado. Then a piece of fish. Finally, a banana almost killed me. With each week, then day, going by, every piece of food began to give me a reaction. A year and a half later and I got diagnosed with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. It took a fifteen months to find a doctor that was willing and (kind of) able to help me. And in the past six months, I've had multiple appointments for blood work that all comes back normal, a genetic test that unexpectedly came back positive, a MRI of my brain, autonomic test that I thought was going to kill me, so many antihistamines, sick appointments, emergency room visits, weight gain and hair loss, and lots and lots of tears (crying makes me react, so this was done in the safety of my own home with my epi-pen and benadryl near by). I still have a skin biopsy scheduled, an EMG, a follow up with my neurologist and so much more that isn't planned but I'm sure my body is just getting prepared for, because apparently with MCAS, comes along other rare diseases that my body kind of just threw up all of these symptoms for at one time.
At this point, while I sit on the couch in a hoodie from some indie show (check out 'rx soul', 'whstle' and 'ufoufo') that my sister in law and mother in law took me to, I am scared. I'm finally actually scared of my own body and what it has in store for me. Because you kind of just prepare yourself before every appointment and test, thinking "okay, if it goes bad, this is what's going to happen and I can deal with it". But then those things really happen, those words literally come out of your doctor's mouth and you are absolutely crushed. So here I am. Broken, allergic, hardly any circulation to my extremities and scared.

How do I tell you how much I love you? Is it even possible to put those kind of feelings into actual words? Using quotes from Shakespeare won't suffice. Poems from our favorite books don't measure up. I'm the one who uses words to get through life and here I am, completely stuck in the middle of the cheesiest field of flowers and corny love songs playing in the distance. I mean, how am I supposed to get across the feeling of my heart fluttering every single time you lift that damn gorgeous eyebrow of yours that sits so perfectly over those green (sometimes blue) eyes that make me want to dramatically melt into a pile of love goop? You know that drives me crazy so you do it at times where I cannot publicly react like I just described. And sometimes you don't even realize you're doing it and it makes me shake. How can I let you know that I love you so much that the simplest things you do give me a reason to be happy every day? And that's the thing; these days aren't promised to us so I try to memorize everything I can about you. I watch you like I'm studying - but not like I'm studying in high school because we all know that I did the bare minimum to pass. I study you like I'm going to lose my mind (which I kind of am - thank you public healthcare for being on top of that one).
The way you kneel down to kids and animals so you're at eye level makes me know that you care. You care that they understand what's going on and that you're not above anyone, even if you stand a good six inches above most people. Or the way your eyes light up when you're having a genuine conversation with someone. I never got that expression before you. I never understood how someone's eye could "light up". And I could watch yours sparkle for the rest of my life. You want to learn about the most random things. Our trips to museums on your only day off during the week are what I look forward to. I have a horrible memory to begin with, but when we go, I don’t pay much attention to what’s around us. Just you. Seeing you stop to read every single sign going “that’s so cool” or “babe, did you know that?” And I’ll say no, touch something I shouldn’t, you’ll grab me around my waist and go onto the next exhibit. I've learned that you pull away from me because that's what you're used to with people. But I also know that you can't go a day without spending a few minutes just holding me because I ground you. You swear that you don't dance, but the moment I get close to you, we're swaying around the kitchen. Those hiccups you get everyday are the loudest thing I have ever heard but they're part of the routine. My cat has become yours, that you can sit and play with for hours. You tuck me into bed every night and if we don't go to bed in each other's arms, it's the worst night of sleep. When you get sad, you bury your head into the crook of my neck. Dinosaurs are our thing and we've talked about getting matching tattoos. When I get self conscious about wearing my mask, you do the dorkiest thing so people are distracted by you and not me. You make me feel like the luckiest woman everyday of my life when you send me five back to back texts telling me every way that you love me. We're practically attached at the hip and wouldn't have it any other way. Everyone that knew you before me likes to say what they know about you or how they know you so well, but they don't know you like I do. You're my best friend, B. And now that you've asked me to marry you, you're going to be my husband and I get to memorize you for the rest of our lives.
I love you, B.

Everyone always knew what they wanted to be when they grew up - even if their plans changed as often as they washed their hands - they always had an answer. When I was asked this, honestly, I just pulled something out of my ass each time. A teacher, a forensic psychologist, a dietitian, a photojournalist. Teaching couldn't happen because I cannot stand talking to a group of people. The amount of school it takes to be a regular psychologist was just too much for me to handle. I have mast cell activation syndrome, so being a dietitian was a little too silly. Being a photojournalist was the closest thing I could come up with to what my heart actually skipped a beat for. I always wanted to tell a story and create that illustration for the reader. I told people that I would want to write a book with my own photos scattering the pages or even write for the National Geographic. This is still a dream for me. I never thought that these things could ever come true. Nobody ever really pushed me towards anything or showed much interest, so why should I? So here I am - 25 years old and just barely starting to believe in myself. But here I am. The point being that I am actually here, no matter how long it took. I no longer panic when I think about the future. It's all about making it through the day and surviving. Being able to take that breath when I wake up is a blessing in itself and reminds me that I don't have to have everything figured out. It is okay to just be, and everything will fall into place as it's supposed to.
Not that anyone is ever going to ask me what I want to be when I grow up anymore, I would just say that I want to create. I want to make up stories, capture memories, have babies, and be happy. Hopefully, one day, the nine to five job would be no longer and I can do this with B right by side. No. Let me take that back - it will happen. I'm going to no longer let this be just a dream, but instead a goal. So expect a lot more from me. Lots of lifestyle posts, some stories here and there and a ton of pictures. I'm excited to share with you and start this next chapter of my life.

Would the room feel a little bit emptier if I had walked out? Would the conversations get quieter if I weren't there to speak? Would anyone even notice if I were gone?
The answer to all of these would be no.
If I were to speak up, people listen because they have to. Or they just speak over me, which isn't very hard since my voice is small. I've never had a big voice when it came to anything, besides writing. This is my time to yell. But in reality, I sound like a little girl whose words don't really mean a thing in the real world. There is no interaction between others and me unless I were to initiate it. And for a woman who has the worst social anxiety AND who doesn't feel like she's worth paying attention to, this is extremely difficult. I was raised that I am not allowed to speak unless I'm spoken to. I remember that very clearly, standing in between my parents at some social gathering, being told to be quiet and I shouldn't say anything unless someone were to talk to me first. It stuck. Now when I do talk, I still wait until it's "okay". I also have an inappropriate sense of humor and tend not to think before I speak. - That happens when you hardly say anything anyway, so when you do, you just kind of word vomit because this is the only time you'll ever do it.
The worst of this all is that I don't seem to be given the right to be upset about all of this. If I were to bring it all up, then it's just my fault that I don't try hard enough. Or that I'm the one who's stand off-ish.
So I got used to not talking to anyone, not going anywhere and not having many friends because I was the "flake" or the one who didn't "act" like I wanted to be there. That was life for me. I grew accustomed to it. Do you know that bell that goes off when you open the door to the store? That's the only thing someone would notice about me. Was that the door had opened. But was anyone in that store? Nobody to make eye contact with, say hi to, ring up. Just that little bell.
Then B came into my life. He gives me the most attention that I have ever had in my life. He reminds me that I am beautiful everyday, that I bring a light into each room, that he genuinely wants to hear what I have to say. This is all brand new and I still ask him, "are you sure" or I just shake my head when he goes about this. When, truthfully, it makes my heart flutter. I have never had someone watch me move. He wants to be with me, always, and is so interested in every little thing I do. I am terrified that one day he loses that interest. How do I keep him wanting me? I have never had anyone want to listen to what I say. Was what I said okay to say? Does he want to hear me whine about my anxiety? I beat the shit out of myself overthinking if it's okay to say anything at all to him, sometimes. But here he is, everyday, asking if I'm happy and holding my hand.

The wolf hid in the heart of the cave for more than two decades. She made very few appearances throughout the years, hardly whimpering, not more than a scratch or a paw at the dirt edge of the sunlight. Nobody knew that it was all just practice for the day she was ready to walk on the gravel with the others. She was weary among the other monsters that eye her. They were loud and intimidated her, but she squared her shoulders and kept her nose high. She shut her eyes and raised her head towards the sunlight. It warmed her lonely skin. She kept the voices at bay and only let the sound of the universe fill her heart. The sun showed every flaw and every setback that had her hiding inside that cave for so long. It wasn't going to scare her away anymore, none of it was. She began to feel the confidence rise with the moon. The only light coming through was from the sky. It lit up other parts of herself that she had never seen before. The moonlight brought a different view to those areas she found so cringing; they were now pleasing to see. Each spot and situation were a separate being. As she stood on the edge of the cliff, she realized that she was the leader of her own pack. Those all sat behind her, waiting for her next move. And she howled. She found her voice and it rang through the branches of the forest around her, off the mountain. The strength that buried itself in her chest, was let out with an ever growing need to be heard. She may still find each step in the sun a little harder to take, but it will become easier as each night passes. Because she was the wolf.

It hurt too much to remember you, so I forgot it all
I wasn't feeling well almost immediately. Throwing up, body aches, being dizzy all of the time. It all had to be stress. I had just moved in with him and quit my job. I had never moved out before and this didn't feel like home. He wasn't the same after I closed the door behind me. Quickly controlling everything about me. Where I went, who I talked to, what I wore. It was all overwhelming. But I had believed that this was what love was. He accepted me enough to let me move in and came home every night, so I was "in love". We were barely intimate after I had moved in. He was hardly home and never wanted to touch me. I also hadn't gotten my period since being taken off of the shot earlier that year; you can only be on the shot for so long. So these feelings of being sick were just all due to the changes. My mental health was on edge and my body was learning how to be itself again.
About mid-day in the beginning of July 2014, I found myself on the bathroom floor. The amount of pain I was in was unbearable. I managed to crawl myself up to the toilet and blood just poured out of me. Shaking and trying to compose myself, I thought "okay, this is my period." I knew it was going to happen. I just didn't remember how bad the cramps were, but I can get through it. I took a ton of tylenol, got a heating pad and laid down for the night. The next day was almost worse. He was at work and started ignoring my calls. I was "being stupid" and "exaggerating", he was too busy to deal with me. Now, I was only given permission to go to the mall down the street or his mom's house for dinner, but I needed to go to the hospital. I knew something was wrong. I was at the point where I was numb. The cramps, bleeding and honest to God fear of what he would to say to me when he found out I left, I just stopped feeling. What I didn't realize was that I was done feeling anything for the next few weeks. The nurse's eyes widened when I told her that I was bleeding through a tampon and a pad every hour. I remember her asking me every few minutes how I was feeling, and they brought the ultrasound in. The internal ultrasound confirmed all of it. These weren't cramps; they were contractions.
Honestly, I couldn't tell you if he was upset or mad that I had left. He just refused to speak to me and slept on the couch the next few nights. All he knew was that I had gone to the emergency room for my period and that's all he ever knew. I never told him that I had been pregnant. I never told anyone that I passed that baby all by myself at home. I never acknowledged that a part of me was gone. Even though I didn't physically express my feelings while this was happening, I was struggling so much internally. I was dying inside while your heartbeat faded.
How could I only want to be a mother for as long as I can remember, and God take that from me? Because I didn't deserve it, that's why. That's all I could think. I had a person in my life that was treating me the best I thought anyone ever would (spoiler alert, that wasn't true).
As soon as the bleeding had stopped, I refused to remember. I couldn't do it. My mental state was crumbling, so my first instinct was to repress the worst memory I will ever have. And that's what I did for the next four and a half years until my heart found it's other half.
Getting to know this new man in my life and being able to fully love someone and experience how someone is supposed to be treated, my subconscious opened and these memories came back. At first, I didn't know if I wanted to tell him. This was just so personal and I wasn't used to sharing anything with anyone. But knowing that he was the one, I knew it was something I had to tell him about. I just had to write it first. This was my escape and I wouldn't know how to tell him without breaking until I let myself do that in my own time. I can't tell you how to get over this feeling of grief, because I'm still mourning that baby and I will for the rest of my life. But I can tell you that there is a light at the end of that very narrow, dark, blinding tunnel. My light just so happened to be a random message on tinder who turned out to be my soulmate. He treats me with respect, listens when I'm still learning to share my thoughts and has the purest heart out of everyone I know. One day, we'll have our own little garden because I know that the two of us together can give enough love to make our flowers bloom.
I miss you every single day, even if I didn't consciously think about you. I've had these recurring dreams where I lose you all over again, and I can swear that they're real. I wake up holding my stomach and feeling empty.
I'm so sorry that I didn't have a healthy, loving life that I could bring yours into.
I'm so sorry that I wasn't enough to be your mother.
I'm so sorry that I failed you.
I'm so sorry, little flower.