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Why the last 6 out of 11 years of illness have been so significant

6 years ago this was me. Married Oct. 1. Back then my health wasn't prefect but it was manageable. Each year I reflect around this time & where life has taken me. I've often been asked if my health got better or worse during marriage or after the divorce.  Truth is, it stayed the same until after the divorce. Then 3 years later it seemed like I was going into remission.  I hadn't had a flare in months! I went almost a year without one.  Then things changed. 4 out of the 6 years out of the 11 total (of being sick) is when I lived the most.  I experienced my 3rd love, marriage, divorce, redefining how I wanted to be treated as a person, ran a half marathon,  connected with my mentor, changed my schooling path, participated in a documentary, had my thesis published,  & met the most incredible people of my life.  If I didn't divorce, 99% of those wonderful things wouldn't have happened.  I've grown so much these past 6 years. Never did I imagine on Oct.1 that I would be back at my parents,  walking with the support of a walker & cane, unable to drive, no break in flares, seeing a psychiatrist for PTSD, have part of a rib bone missing, & then developing neuropathy in the ribs. 6 out of the 11 years of illness have been the most wonderful and trying years of my life thus far. A massive load of life experiences in such a short time span.  But I wouldn't trade it for anything. I know I may complain or get frustrated with my health & what it's stopped me from doing. I may get down & cry, but I know from the moment I got married to now, it has changed me for the better. The whole 11 years has but most within the 6. I don't look anything like my 6 years ago self. When I look at this picture now I see that it tells a story.  I used to look at it & think that's a great bridal picture but also empty. It's definitely not an empty photo anymore. It's full of courage, strength, struggle, happiness, sadness, & mostly, HOPE. To the unpredictable future! #helpingmaika #rarediseases #chronicpain #chronicillness #neuropathy #ptsd #neuropathyinmyleftribs #autoimmuneproblems #anniversaries #hope #tojourneys

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