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Stick Me In A Grave At 18? I Don’t Think So!

Post Published: 01 September 2010
Author:
Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 13 responses. Leave a comment

Who are you, and who do you think you are to just act up and expect me to put my life on hold? I was 18 years old when I met you, or found out who you were.  It was just two weeks after I moved out from my house with my family and went three states away to start my new life in college. Then, you stepped in. You ruined my freshman year. It‘s supposed to be spent meeting new people, going to class and going to parties. Not for me, I was constantly in the hospital, getting blood tests or running to the ER because my heart was beating uncontrollably. I couldn’t sleep or study. I was an honors student in high school and an athlete and musician as well. Here I was in college and I can’t pass a single test or pay attention, couldn’t work out because I would pass out and could not sing because I lost my voice and my will to try. You ruined me. I used to be beautiful, and I turned into a swollen, fat buggy-eyed girl no one could recognize, you scared people away. You made me depressed; lose track of relationships; you made me hate myself for letting you get to me.

You made me have to leave my new friends and my new home at school and move back with my parents to get better. You made me fail out. You tried so hard to put my life on hold but you failed. I learned better now and you will NOT control me. You lasted through multiple RAI and other treatments, still fighting to stick around, but I was fighting harder. I was smarter than you and I stopped letting you take advantage of my body. I have accepted the changes. “Tough times never last, only tough people do.” I lasted, you didn’t; I am NOT sorry. You died in April, I am still cleaning up the mess you left, but along the way I am learning so much more about my self than I had known before. I now wake up every morning to a memorial of you, a little pink pill that now takes over your job. For the rest of my life I will be reminded of the hell you put me through, but I will also recall the lessons you have taught me.

I now know very well who you are, and you will not put my life on hold. I am 19 years old now and it’s been two weeks since I have moved three states away, back to school. You stepped in, taught me to be strong, to be mature, to grow up faster than I was supposed to. There are things I can deal with and things I can change, I just didn’t know that before, but now I do. I am an honors student again, playing sports and most of all I have found my voice again.  I have found the will to try, to not let my appearance get to me. I AM beautiful, unique, brave, strong and independent. I am happy, have the best of friends. I still do hate myself for letting you get to me though. But I know that if I didn’t meet you, I fear that I would still be that girl who cared about what people thought, more worried about what I looked like than what I lived for. I live for me; I live for my future. I don’t miss you, but I would like to thank you for building me up to who I am today.

Love/Hate you,

Lauren Bertrand, 19

Graves Disease Fighter/Survivor

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13 Responses to “Stick Me In A Grave At 18? I Don’t Think So!”

  1. Amanda says:

    Lauren,
    Awesome letter. I also have Graves Disease. It does teach us so much about ourselves and taking control, hard way to learn the lessons… but I too am grateful for that. Keep on being as beautiful as your letter, you touched my heart with this.

    Amanda

  2. Lauren says:

    Thank you Amanda!
    Good luck with your fight as well. It means a lot to have to love and support of strangers, yet I feel so close to you all because I know we all find that rare common denominator. If I can do this, so can you, and so can everyone else.

    Love, and Crazy Thyroids,
    Lauren

  3. Lauren, this is a BEAUTIFUL letter. YES, you ARE beautiful and unique and brave and strong and independent. And the way that you’ve turned a bad situation into something positive, well that’s just inspiring.

  4. jillautumn says:

    Beautiful letter Lauren! I have learned a lot about myself through this also and am definitely not the person that I use to be. I miss a lot about myself, honestly, but I am thankful that I have learned to appreciate the smaller more important things. I have learned that some people weren’t who they appeared to be, and others had qualities I never even noticed. I am sometimes ashamed of what I use to value, but am extremely thankful I have been given the opportunity to live my life in a more meaningful way. I view everything a bit differently, and in a more humorous way (or atleast I try to).

    I am truly happy for you. Not that you have Graves disease, of course, but that you had doctors who were able to correctly diagnose you and begin treating you as such. Good luck in your journey – stay strong – and hug the ones you love.

  5. Alex Miller says:

    GIRL STAY STRONG!I love you good luck at school this year!

  6. Brittany Wood says:

    Way to be strong Lauren. It takes a lot of guts to stand up the way you did. Just wanted to leave you with the words of my wise friend Kenny Chesney..

    “it’s so damn easy to say that life’s so hard, everybody’s got their share of battle scars. As for me, I’d like to thank my lucky stars that I’m alive & well. It’d be easy to add up all the pain and dreams you’ve watched go up in flames, dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain- but not me, I’m alive..”

    You’re alive, beautiful, and wonderful, but most of all, strong and filled with courage.

    xoxo, B

  7. Madison says:

    Hello Lauren,

    I know excatly how you feel. I have Hashi’s. This was a great letter. The best way to win is to be postive.

  8. M says:

    You have turned your experience into a positive one…one where you won’t settle. Keep your eye on the prize (finishing school) and completing this battle that you refuse to give up on, especially when the the hurdles were being raised.

    Focus on what you can control and don’t lose a minute of sleep on what you can’t! Life is too short for that!

    Way to go!

  9. Lolly says:

    Lauren what a powerful letter, stay strong everything is a learning curb you found out the hard way and did something about it my hat goes off to you.

    Good luck with school enjoy it.

    Lolly

  10. Mary Kay Kopp says:

    OMG Girl!!!!! I am so proud of you!!!! You have always been a fighter. So many people will learn from your message,those who are still fighting and those of us who love and care for all of you who are still dealing with this. You have matured so beautifully and will be so successful in anything you want to do. I am so proud to be your godmamma!!!! I love you and please take care of yourself, have fun and study hard!!!!
    Love your favorite godmamma

  11. Nicole Wells says:

    Dear Lauren,

    I can’t imagine going through the Graves mess at 18 while trying to start a new chapter in my life. You’re very brave, and I see that Graves has made you ready to handle all the challenges life will throw at you. Bravo for not succumbing to this awful disease!

    Take care,

    Nicole

  12. Jeannie Grassl says:

    September 4, 2010

    Dear Lauren,

    I just read your letter and am so proud of you. It did not suprise our family when you faced this disease with bravery, grace and your strong-will. You always been a fighter. You have always been spirited, beautiful, brave, unique and strong. I admire the maturity, self-confidence, self-awareness and independence you have gained. YOU ARE WOMAN AND WE CAN HEAR YOU ROAR!!

    Have a great year at college. I will continue to pray for you and all those who are fighting thyroid disease.

    With Love and Pride,

    Auntie Jeannie

  13. Brigitte your Coworker says:

    Hey Lauren,
    Getting to know you at work nobody would have ever guessed the trials you have been through. I understand, being diagnosed with Hashi’s at 8 years old. I understand the tiredness, the weight gain, the emotions you dont want nor understand. It feels as though something else has taken over your body. I have been somewhat fortunate to not really remember all the life changes I had to make. I can not even imagine how it would feel being so far from family when it all came down. I know we have only known each other a short time, but know you have someone that works with you that understands the struggle and is here if you need to talk to. See you at work 🙂

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