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You will be stronger

It began one summer day when I felt a small burning blemish on my face. It felt like a sore on fire, concentrated into a tiny dot the size of a pinhead. At the age of 12, I had no worries, and guessed it was a spider bite.

Despite my facial abnormality my youthful boyfriend, funny, intelligent and handsome, saw me through. Encouraged me to seek treatment. I never knew what he saw in me. I was the sporty one, the athletic one with a thick skin. I realize now I gave him strength.

It took roughly 2 years for the doctors to diagnose the spot. Once they had cut it out of my face and run tests to determine its makeup.

Ironically it was my boyfriend who made the correct guess: Lupus. I had an ANA level in my blood - way off the charts, and the doctors were not sure if I would live, or if my organs were being affected, and like my face, my body was self destructing inside too.

My adorable little boyfriend tried to be a good man. Imagine that, 13 years old and your girlfriends possibly dieing in front of you. Your parents are getting divorced, your little brothers acting out and chucking people down stairs and beating them up, and your the only one he listens to - and the only one keeping him in line. Oh how we grew up so fast emotionally. I literally watched his star dim. His soul just tear up, until one day I had enough.

Like a butterfly I soared . Oh how it hurt, I never have known such pain, to sever your first love and hurt oneself so deeply... I shattered my soul. How many tears I cried, so he would not.

I watched, I became sicker and sicker. Each night wishing it was my last on this earth. Stricken by fatigue like being held awake for nights on end. Cold all the time, the sun would burn me, I couldn't go outside due to my illness.

First I watched him struggle, then become class president, date the prettiest girls in school. It hurt so deeply, to know that I was fundamentally flawed. I felt replaced and forgotten like everything about me was broken. I had scars now. I began to eat emotionally and gained some weight.

Highschool on its own is full of challenges. I was fortunate I had a few friends around who provided perspective and kept me sane... I owe them so much.

Somehow I managed to survive, my ANA levels dropped, my body began to calm down, and I started getting more energy again. I could venture for short times in the sun. I graduated. I lost weight.

At my grad, that young man came up to me, with tears in his eyes, and held me so tightly and said "I knew you could do it". We both knew, finally, I knew. - I have never seen him so happy in my life.

He told me I was his pillar of strength. I kept him grounded. He knew all along my pain. It was me who kept his perspective on life, out of drugs, in school. We will forever be friends, although its too painful to reunite.

Life is painful, each day I live in this world, I know, true love is not selfish...

Like a butterfly I have flown far far away. I went to college, and now have a great relationship with a man I absolutely love and cherish. I would cry all over again for my first love, because it taught me so much about myself and my strength of character. It taught me that all people have limits. It taught me about pain, perfection. It showed me what to value in life.

If I could offer any hope to others, it would be even after you feel as though you have lost your soul, you can get it back, and when you do, you will be 100x stronger, and you will be able to love 100x deeper.


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