Stick Me In A Grave At 18? I Don’t Think So!
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.
Lauren Bertrand, 19
Graves Disease Fighter/Survivor
Tags: Graves disease in teens, Graves disease psychiatric side-effects, Graves eye disease in teens, Graves patient letters, Graves symptoms, graves' disease, Graves' support, Stick Me In A Graves At 18? I Don't Think So! Dear thyroid Letter written by Lauren, teens diagnosed with Graves disease, thyroid storms