Health & Parenting, Home & Happiness

June 22, 2019

Perfect Isn’t Real

There’s a guy with CF named Morgan who is usually talking about the aspect of mental illness and cf. To be honest, I never seriously considered that mental health had a direct association with cf. I’ve always been the type of girl to try to handle everything by myself and I’m awful at asking for help. I started believing that mental health is a struggle for a lot of people with cf after I found out my friend Darrin committed suicide, and the girl who I would’ve never thought to struggle with mental illness decided to reach out and post about her own struggles. I guess I never really understood Anxiety or Depression, and I still don’t think I completely understand, but I know I’m definitely anxiety-ridden.

In 2016 in the hospital, a girl I followed on Instagram reached out to me. We Skyped and talked about life, compared hospital stories, and shared ideas. Next thing I knew she was gone. She was so unbelievably nice and interesting and I looked forward to talking to her again but I never got the chance. I met another girl in the hospital who had a similar health history as me and a rainbow sign on her door that I thought was pretty great. It was a holiday and I went to the gift shop fully masked, gowned and gloved covered in sanitizer and got her some sparkly elastic hair bands because I wanted her to have something to cheer her up even if it was small. She died several months after I met her, which I only found out after I re-activated Facebook.

At the same time, I had another friend seriously considering suicide, and I met a guy. I was a mess and had no real idea what I wanted in life other than for someone to think I was important because everyone around me was vanishing. He was passionate and seemed caring, we talked a little bit more and then I never heard from him again.

That year was rough and all I could do was look at everyone around me and wonder why everyone else was having such a hard time, and there I was, doing okay. Survivor's guilt is crazy, and instead of thinking "Why me?", I was thinking "Why not me"? I thought about all of my friends and all of the sad stories you see on the news, and I wondered why such great people have to die. I wondered why I get to live and they don't. I had this idea in my head of how I would grow up and how everything would be so great and so perfect, and one by one everyone started disappearing and I realized the story we tell ourselves as children rarely actually happens. I felt desperate to help everyone and powerless to help anyone. I got on the treadmill and broke myself down fighting the cry from my lungs to fight for my dead friends. I don't believe in perfect anymore.

I thought if perfect was real I would have my friends back and I would be living that fairy tale life with white picket fences, married to an amazing man, living out all of my wildest dreams (which are actually pretty tame). Perfect doesn't exist in the literal sense. Perfect is impossible, so why do we strive so hard for it and when it fails to exist we are disappointed?

I have since realized I can create part of my own reality. Even though "stuff" happens -- and boy does it happen, I am resilient and adapting to the changes. Some day we're all going to die. Being in the mid-end stages of life, with no more second chances, and saying "I'll do better next time" is exhausting and sometimes scary. This is all I have left. I have come to really cling to life a lot more and have the will to fight for it, I only wish I had done that sooner. I love my boyfriend, my friends, and my family. There are so many goals and dreams I have left that I hope to achieve before my time runs out. Right now, I would do anything to keep life just like this to share moments of laughter or happiness for a little longer. I know my family and friends had their own hopes and dreams for me.

In the grand scheme of things, I believe we learn a lot and there are important and necessary lessons from those we have lost that carry us forward. I wish everyone could skip the parts of grief that cause unfathomable pain, anger, and sadness and still draw the same conclusion. Even though my life is far from perfect, it's my perfect. I'm not scared of dying so much as I am scared of changing everyone else's optimistic reality to their acceptance of what's real.


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