"If you had told me at age 15 that I’d be as happy and independent as I am now at 21, I probably would have laughed in your face. Or rolled my eyes like many angst-ridden teens do.
However, I wasn’t filled with angst for any of the reasons that most 15-year-olds do. While many of my friends worried over boys or a few pimples that sprouted the morning of our school’s homecoming dance, I had much bigger, heavier things on my mind. But, let’s back up a little bit and I’ll tell you about myself.
But honestly, my story is one of success. Sure, times were trying and growing up as the ‘sick kid’ was never easy, but what I’ve learned over the years is that things could be so much worse. When it comes down to it, adapting a sense of gratitude and awareness for all of the good people and things in my life, combined with empowering myself to learn more about my own body, is what ultimately saved me.
Every single day I am beyond grateful for the amazing people in my life. My family and friends have gotten me through many dark days – without them, I wouldn’t be here. When I learned that my skin was sensitive to certain foods like dairy products and gluten, my family helped me to figure out a diet that would work for me and not make me feel deprived. Additionally, my parents never let me feel sorry for myself for too long. They pushed me to be strong, to be a good person and to see my inner beauty.
I’m definitely not the wisest person but I do know this: life is short and I’m not going to spend it letting my condition run my life. I’m in charge of my happiness and how I handle things. And so far, I think I’m doing a pretty good job. Attitude is everything – cheesy but beyond true.
Thank you Carly for letting me share my story!"
May is Ichthyosis Awareness Month - I am sharing stories of people who have experienced Ichthyosis. Read all stories in the Ichthyosis Awareness Month Blog Project here.