At 24 years(almost 25), this is not where I thought my life would be. From a little girl, I dreamed of teaching little children, specifically first graders! I graduated in 2016 with a bachelors degree in Early Education and was a very active member of multiple clubs, vice president of two, on the cheer team, was social, was in a relationship, and I thought this was the life I was going to have. August of 2017, all of my medical took a turn for the worst. What my mom always called "Pandora's Box", I was jam-packed suffering with 13 chronic illnesses and four mental ones, an eating disorder being a deadly one. I thought after my battle with the "devil"(my anorexia) I could finally finish what I started in college, settle down, get married, have children, coach skating but that wasn't the idea my body had. Within these 7 months, I've become someone who no longer goes to school or works full time but goes to doctors, tests, and ER's "full time". I can't say that my life is terrible now because I know it could always be worse, but I can say the "old" me never knew how amazing my life was before or how truly blessed I was with everything. This "me" has learned that I can never take anything for granted anymore because for me, two days in a row without endless fatigue, nausea, migraines, or pain is nearly impossible. When I could no longer skate due to my declining health, I found vlogging. I sat down with my Ipad and figured it would be a one time thing that I never did again. Now almost 30 videos later and an editing app, I can say that YouTube is probably one of the things that has created hope in my life. It showed me that there are so many others that relate but that live in fear of rejection. Let's face it, in 2018, we are no where close to where we should or could be in terms of equality and kindness. We as a global community need to come together and accept others challenges or struggles, all while finding the usefulness in them! Each battle we face, we come out stronger in at least one if not many aspects of life. We all deserve love, kindness, someone that understands, and people that will be there no matter what. It shouldn't be about body shape, weight, car expenses, degree levels, how "used" our clothing is. Is that what we should be thinking of when we look at people? I'll be honest, I was in that thought process at one point but through this eye opening experience, I've learned and continue to learn how amazing each and every individual I meet is! I've decided it is my dream goal and future to "make the UNknown, KNOWN and make the IMpossible seem possible". We all need a little hope and support sometimes, always remember that and love one another! Thank you Ellen, for allowing me to feel comfortable enough to post more about my life in my Vlogs on YouTube("Fighting for Freedom-Desiree Schwartz") and for teaching me that no dream can be too big or small. I hope that one day I can meet you, the inspiration behind bringing awareness to chronic illness, mental illness, and daily struggles.
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