Laura West

@laura-west | contributor
Laura West was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2015. Since that time, the twenty something year old registered nurse has experienced some of the highest highs and lowest lows that come with a chronic illness diagnosis. She writes about such moments at www.itsaglitterfullife.com and on her Instagram @itsaglitterfullife
Community Voices

Dear younger me,

Dear younger me,

First off let’s keep this real, and start off by saying this is pretty weird to be writing a letter to your younger self. The younger you that didn’t know they had a progressive demyelinating neurological disease lurking within. The younger you that doesn’t know Shonda Rimes is going to totally ruin Grey’s Anatomy by killing off Mcsteamy, Lexi, sending Christina to what might as well be another planet and killing Mcdreamy. The younger you who thought she knew hardships, trials and tribulations but in fact knew nothing of the sort. Oh my dear sweet dumb younger self, if you only knew what all awaits you. In a weird way (weird being as I know I can’t) I wish I could save you. I wish I could protect our innocence just a little bit longer. I wish I could protect your heart, your self esteem, your wild child spirit, your belief that everyone in medicine is good. I wish I could hug you and hold you because I know what’s coming, and I know that you won’t let anyone hold you when it all comes crashing down, because you want to be the strong one, you feel you have to be the strong one; and you know that allowing someone to hold you during those vulnerable moments will cause you to completely fall apart, and we don’t particularly do that. In fact, we tend to avoid things like that like the damn plague. But that plan doesn’t always work out in our best interest (or ever), it leads to some unfathomable breakdowns that will leave you exhausted, alone and scared. It will lead to self isolation for a few too many days that turn into weeks.

You’ll have to give up the life you had planned. The pretty little pink glitter filled bubble that you crave to live your life in must take on a new form, a new image. And trust me, the quicker you see that and accept it, the sooner you will start to grieve and heal the dreams of what once was. Please don’t let me scare you, while you will give up some pretty big dreams, you’ll find the almost equivalence of these dreams in other forms. Let me give you some prequels into the joy that awaits. You’ll out of sheer desperation for a treatment that works allow physicians to infuse experimental chemotherapy through your veins, your hem-onc nurse brain having given such medications to your leukemic patients knowing the damage it’s causing to your already dramatic reproductive system. When that fails you’ll even sign a waiver to begin an category X medication knowing what that means for the future eggs inside you. And let me tell you now: IT WILL BE OKAY. Yes I know that was always our dream to be a mother, yes I know that one reason we chose nursing for the flexibility it offered when we became a mother, yes I know we bought a 3 bedroom house at 20 to facilitate this dream but like I just said it will be okay. Because getting diagnosed and taking care of patients with chronic conditions who have children will change your heart and mind on marriage and having children. I won’t get any further into that because I don’t want to start a controversy, just know we make that decision with peace and much thought. We also are so incredibly blessed to get to play the aunt role to some pretty incredible nieces and nephews and even a Godson, who you will fall head over heels in love with, so incredibly much it will fill the void in your heart, and be everything you ever needed.

I wish I could warn you, caution you, and pray over you, for you to  never lose the sparkle that makes you so uniquely you. But, spoiler alert you will. And it will hurt. Maybe even more than all the broken dreams, failed treatments and physical pain. You won’t mean for it to happen, in fact you won’t be able to even pinpoint when it slipped away. One day you’ll look in the mirror above the bathroom sink and realize you don’t recognize the hallowed eye, physically and emotionally exhausted girl starting back at you. And that my dear sweet younger self is the moment you will realize numbness is worse than heartache ever thought about being. Don’t worry though my darling, you’ll still catch glimpses of her, especially when you interact with your patients, you’ll see the little remnants of sparkle come through your words and actions, and as validating as it is to be reminded that that ever positive glitterful girl is still inside you, at the same time it will break your heart, when you realize how exhausting it is to bring her out from beneath the scars, failures and heartaches. I wish I could tell you this is the only work and personal harsh realization you’ll face at 26, but unfortunately it’s not. You’ll have your share of physical hurdles, but you will have coworkers who turn into more than family, that will fill in those gaps on the hard days and remind you the good you still offer. You’ll throw a full blown temper tantrum in the soiled utility room the first time you miss a omega port access. You’ll throw carts into walls and eventually come to rest in that beyond disgusting floor in old dried puddles of God only knows what as you break,but then your charge nurse will come in, and remind you why your invaluable, why you’re more than your shortcomings and failures. Then she’ll make you get up, off that floor, and send you in to access another port. And you’ll initially hate her for it. You’ll argue, drag your feet, even whine and beg not to have to do it, but you’ll lose that battle with her, (per the usual. ????) and you’ll go in and nail that access, but more significantly you’ll concur that fear. Months,  later you’ll succumb to the fact that your bedside career is over. Your Hem-Onc career is over. But you know what? It turns out to be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Sure it hurts walking away from the floor that raised you, saw you through nursing school and taught you how to be a nurse, gave you some of your very best friends and supported you through your initial diagnosis and all the progression, but you’ll join a group of people who are just as supportive and who are amazing clinicians and people. You’ll join a physician who appreciates you more so than anyone ever has, who understands your illness and makes sure you feel valued and never limited by your symptoms. He’ll have maintance rewire the lights in the office, making them adjustable for your optic neuritis photosensitivity, he’ll continue to remind you  that you have value. You’ll fall in love with a new set of patients, a new group of frequently seen illness with their own medications and pathologies to be learned and you’ll learn to love your new role, even more than the one you left behind.

You’ll end up finally ending that relationship you fought so hard for. The pain of hurting another person due to your illness will be too much. The fear of it hurting to love you, will destroy your plans at any meaningful future with him. I wish I could tell you that this part will be okay, that it will get easier, that others won’t question your decision, call it wrong, selfish or cruel, but that my dear, would be a lie.

Rest assured though, you’ll find your glitter again. The fight to keep it, will be daily, but will take your strength, faith and bravery to their maximum potential. Like we said earlier on, this journey and life is not for the faint of heart, and you my dear Laura are not that. You are a fighter, with enough glitter to brighten the darkest days ahead. You are a warrior.

Love,

the future, current you.

Community Voices

Dear physician who doesn't understand your chronic patient.

Dear physician who doesn’t understand your #ChronicIllness patient,
Hi it’s me. The twenty-something year old female in room 452 with #MultipleSclerosis. You claim you and your service know me. You even take the time to dictate it in your H&P that I’m well known to your service. You come in, like previous admissions, ask the same questions without listening to my response, do the same exam as always, ask confusingly why I have #Spasticity and no complaint of weakness. I explain for the 14 time I have severe spasticity, severe enough to require a intrathecal baclofen pump. You claim to remember, then tell me it’s not typical for my disease. I know this. I didn’t choose this symptom. I didn’t chose this disease . I don’t like to be a patient. I don’t want to be sick. Sometimes I wonder if you know this. You continue going through your typical spill, telling me the subjective symptoms I say I have don’t add up, how you feel this isn’t really qualifying for a “typical” MS patient. You ask me if I’m still taking my medication, remind me how I’ve failed or been unable to tolerate medication x,y, and z which once again is “odd”. You tell me that these symptoms, this onset of #Blindness in my left eye is “just part of MS, that there is no need to proceed with steroids because it won’t change the outcome at this point.” Because I shouldn’t be having this happen again. Because the MRI didn’t show any new active lesions so this is only a “pseudo flair”. I remind you it’s been over 24 hours since symptoms onset, that all labs, urinalysis, and chest X-ray didn’t indicate an infection which is the number 1 cause of a “pseudoflair”, that my MRIs are still showing new lesions even after trying medication x,y and z and that my left eye is unequal at 8mm and non reactive to light. At this your mood changes and shifts and you tell me it’s secondary to the drops ophthalmology put in. Even after I tell you that is incorrect, this presentation was my reason for admission and that ophthalmology didn’t use dilating drops in that eye, and said it was their belief that this was #OpticNeuritis, you turn cold and say well it’s not a true MS exacerbation and we are signing off. You leave the room shut the door and leave me in pieces. You break me. You make me feel crazy. Like a hypochondriac. Like I’m manifesting these symptoms. Like I want to be sick.
But what you don’t know about me, or care to take the time to know about me is I’m one of you. No, not a physician. I didn’t put in the time, the schooling or the years for that. I respect you for that and I congratulate you on that. I appreciate your profession for that. But I am someone who wanted to study the beauty that is medicine, I was drawn to the science of it, the art of pathologies, I was also born with the desire to help people. So I became a nurse. Life was perfect. Until I got sick. Until you gave me this diagnosis. Until I started spending what feels like more time as a patient than a nurse. It’s been 3 years and still you haven’t “fixed” me, or even helped me.
But what you don’t understand is why you may not truly know me,  I know who you are. I walk these halls as do you. No, not as a physician, but as a nurse. Someone who sees the same scenario happen with other patients. Whether it be seizures, transient weakness, acute onset of confusion, or #Stroke symptoms. I see this similar scene happen. Because I’m the one, that stays behind in the room after you leave, to pick up the pieces of the patient, and the family that’s left with fear, dumbfounded, and confusion after your exit. I’m the one, who reassures them that there is indeed something wrong with them, their mother, their father. I’m the one who explains whatever diagnosis you just handed them that will forever change their lives. I’m the one who offers reassurance, hope and support that they will get through this moment. Yet I’m the one that when you leave my room, after dismissing my fears, my concerns, my symptoms, can’t pick up her own pieces, or even find it within me to fight my for myself anymore.
Luckily this is where my people come in, my tribe, my team, my group of individuals who are my saving grace every single day without even knowing it. They come in forms of childhood friends, coworkers who turned into family, physicians, and family. They become my voice when I lose mine due to your words. They are my advocate when I’m too tired, broken and confused to be my own.
And this is where my story has a happy ending. No, not because of you, or your team. But because of your lack of care, lack of knowledge and lack of expertise it lead me to seek a higher level of care, it lead me to one of the leading MS Specialists not only in the state and country but the world, it lead me to someone who cared, who saw that something was seriously wrong, who personally reviewed my MRIs and saw the problem immediately, and who has worked tirelessly to find the right treatment so that I may have my life back, and rejoin you in walking those halls.
So please don’t take this as a request for an apology or my attempt to make you feel bad, because that’s not the intent or goal at all. I don’t need nor want either of those things from you. But I do  hope you will remember my case, your actions, your words, and that every time you come in contact with a patient from now on, you stop and remember that person in that bed, in that office chair in the exam room, is someone’s person. They’re an aunt, a friend, a daughter, a sister and a human being who is clinging on your every word and trusting you to have the answers, solutions, and just simply validation, that what they are experiencing isn’t right and that something is wrong. Remember that. We as patients, know you’re human too, therefore we don’t expect you to have all the answers, and if you don’t, that’s okay. But instead of dismissing someone’s symptoms, someone’s suffering, show us that human side of you, admit you don’t know why what’s happening is happening and be human enough to admit it and refer us to the next specialist who just might be the one to change everything.
Sincerely,
Your former chronic illness patient.

Community Voices

I’m sorry for not getting better.

While my disease journey is ridiculously glitterful and filled with blessings, love and light, there are dark, gloomy and cloudy parts that I struggle with. These consist of feelings of shame, guilt, and even embarrassment. I dream of being able to come back from an appointment with my specialist and let everyone know that things are improving and from a health standpoint I’m doing great, honestly I’d settle for a no changes, everything is status quo report, and I’m sure my friends, family and medical team would too.

What hurts the most is not sitting in a Dr.’s office getting the results or bad news, it’s what follows. It’s having to call my mother and tell her the MRI showed progression, it’s knowing she’s going to ask what we do now and knowing I’m going to have to tell her that there is nothing else to even try at this point. It’s the looks people give you when you return to work and they ask how your appointment went. Generic answers like “fine” and “okay” aren’t well received, especially by people who care about you, and can see straight through that fake smile and can hear the sad undertone even through the over the top cheeriness that my own voice struggles to expel. It’s the hurt in their eyes that matches mine, it’s hearing them apologize that this is my life, and wishing they could do something to fix it, it’s knowing that they truly mean it. The reality is, I wish they could too.

I struggle with feeling like a constant Debbie downer, a constant drama queen, I find myself wanting to yell at my own reflection “just get it together already, enough of the same old song and dance.” I worry that others feel the same.

The medical side of me, wants to yell at my own reflection even more; “why can’t you just get better already, look at all the resources that have been thrown your way, the countless hours multiple physicians have spent on you and your case, to get you to specialists, to get you top of the line medications, all for you to continue to have disease activity, all for you to have the rare possible side effects leading to termination of the medication. Can’t you see how much time and energy, not to mention money that’s been wasted on you?” I feel guilty and ashamed; I worry that I’m a burden for my physicians.

So to the amazing group of family, friends, coworkers, nurses and physicians I have beside me, behind me, constantly loving me, supporting me, cheering me on, and holding me when it all comes crashing down around me, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not getting better, I’m sorry loving me isn’t all glitter and sparkles, I’m sorry loving me hurts sometimes. Just please know, that if I could wiggle my nose, snap my fingers, or dance around my yard in a circle chanting some nonsense to fix all of this , I’d do it in a heartbeat, not for me, but for you.

Thank you for loving me, when it isn’t glitterful.

-Laura

Lisa Prins

Chronic Illness: Fighting With Doctors to Get a Diagnosis

This is a tough topic for me. But the tough ones are always the ones most worth sharing, aren’t they? The ones that can show us we aren’t alone. So, I will delve in as best I can. As far as I’m concerned, I have been emotionally scarred and physically scarred by the medical system. Don’t get me wrong, there are great, amazing doctors and nurses, and wow…I am so thankful for that! They make it so I don’t give up. So I didn’t give up. They make this fight a little bit easier. I feel that many of us who are legitimately sick and have been chronically ill for a long time can recall multiple experiences of when they were treated with disrespect, mocked, brushed off, openly insulted, called a drug-seeker or any other number of inappropriate things. Yet, somehow, this is acceptable in the medical field. Patients are often presumed healthy until they “prove” otherwise. Because they are presumed healthy, they have to jump through hoops just to get a test done or get a referral to a specialist. It’s a never-ending fight to be treated with dignity, caring and respect. This has damaged me. I openly admit they have successfully beaten me down many times. Exhausted me. Made it an easier option to give up than to try to continue to find answers and get better. Somehow, I never gave up, but sometimes I’m not sure how I survived.   This is wrong. In any other field, the person you hire to fix a problem could not treat you this way and keep their customers. Imagine hiring an architect. They tell you that you are wrong. You don’t need a house. You need a bicycle. You don’t want that burden of a house. Why are you so determined? Stop fighting me on this. I know better than you! I’m the architect! Here, I’ll build you a bicycle and you will see I’m right. You would fire that architect in an instant. But with doctors, it’s not that easy. You need to plod along. Plead. Prove. Do all this work to try to find out what’s wrong with you during a time when you are too sick to be doing this exhausting work. Even once you know what’s wrong and you have the “golden proof ticket,” those battles have embedded their way into your soul. You doubt your symptoms. It’s become ingrained in how you think to doubt yourself and your body. You feel guilty going to get help. You feel like you’re wasting your doctor’s time. It stays with you. You can mend the wounds and fight through, but your heart never forgets the exhaustion and the pain it took to get you to where you are. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Thinkstock photo via Wavebreakmedia.

Laura West

When Chronic Illness Makes You Feel Unworthy

Nope you read that title right, chances are if you have a chronic illness you can agree and relate the that title immediately. If you’re lucky enough to not know what that could possibly mean, I encourage you to keep reading and to thank your lucky stars. I won’t speak for everyone with a chronic illness. The story, emotions and expressions are all my own. But if you spend more than 30 seconds in a chronic illness group on Facebook, or browse hashtags on Instagram, you’ll quickly see I’m not alone and the isolation our illnesses can cause are common. I recently came to the hard realization after spending three weeks unable to play on my phone, write, read or do anything (other than get lost in my thoughts, pray, and do way too much over thinking), when I experienced an episode of optic neuritis in my “good” eye. This left me virtually blind and with every reason to jump straight into that cozy cave of darkness and isolation that I tend to make my home when something like that occurs I tend to forget that I’m not some emotional badass brick wall made of steel that is exempt from having to face the hard parts, the messy parts, and the sad parts. I forget that crawling into my cozy hole of isolation and dealing with it all alone doesn’t actually “fix” a single thing and definitely doesn’t “save” the people who love me, no matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise. If we are being truly honest, all bullshit, sugar coated little white lies aside, that is the hardest part of the entire journey for me. Feeling like a burden. Feeling like I’m hard to love. Feeling undeserving of that love and believing that it hurts to love me. You see, I believe God gave me this journey to walk in life. And I’m 100 percent fine with that, because I wholeheartedly trust Him – even when I don’t understand the paths, directions and detours the journey tends to take sometimes. However, the amount of associated guilt, hurt and pain I feel knowing that my family and friends walk this journey right beside me and go through the heartaches right along with me is without a doubt the most horrible, painful feeling one could ever know. So even though the rational part of me knows that choosing to fall into that black hole of isolation hurts them too, it’s way of protecting the ones I love most. I could not have a better, more supportive, loving, beautiful or perfect group of people surrounding me. They are the reason I’m here, and they save my life everyday without even realizing it. I love each and everyone of them to absolute pieces and would do anything in the world to save them, including from myself. Which is why I tend to push the ones I love and need the most away. When my illness makes me disappear, turn into a hermit, hide away in a land of darkness, please understand the “whys” behind my actions. My worst fear is y’all realizing one day that I’m not worth the pain that comes with loving me, and you walking away. So please don’t stop calling. Texts are great too, but so easily dismissed and ignored (especially when vision problems arise). Please don’t stop praying for me, praying that I’ll keep the faith as my big brother would say, and praying that I’ll find my way out of the darkness and into the glitter again. I also want to let you know that I’m OK. Even when I feel unworthy, I know it’s the darkness trying to win and I know even on the hardest days of this season and journey that I’m exactly where I’m suppose to be, and that I’m still who God has called me to be. The ugly, dark, hard parts of this journey are in His plan. Someday I’ll hopefully see the reason why, and be able to give one heck of a testimony from it. And to the ones I love so dearly, please don’t give up on me. I know I’ve fallen down and lost every speck of glitter and the spark I once cherished and built an entire life around, but know I’m trying, and soon I plan on rising as the whole damn fire. In the mean time thank you for loving me when I definitely don’t deserve it. “Whenever you feel unloved, unimportant or insecure, remember to whom you belong.” – Ephesians 2:19-22

Laura West

To the New Multiple Sclerosis Patient

Dear newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis patient, Welcome to a club you never wanted to be in, a club that none of us want to be in, or even visit. So you just got told you might have, do have, or are very likely to have multiple sclerosis (MS). Now what? Now you get to have your moment to freak out. Seriously. Cry. Scream. Eat a gallon of ice cream. Live off of Starbucks and Dr. Pepper for a week. Wear the same pajama pants and oversized T-shirt for three days and keep telling yourself your hair isn’t “that dirty.” Refuse to answer your cellphone for a week and only send out texts that say, “I’m fine.” Do whatever you need to. You’ve just been handed a bombshell and you deserve to handle it however you want for approximately seven days. Then you must get your shit together, because this is going to be a journey for which a positive mindset, and a wicked sense of humor are required. Regardless of how you were diagnosed — whether it was during a whirlwind five day hospital admission following optic neuritits, where you saw 999 different physicians who came in and threw 768 syllable words at you, then walked out and left you in shock — or maybe you’ve been fighting for this diagnosis for years and the initial words, “You have MS,” were the equivalent of jumping into a ice bath in the middle of winter — it’s OK to ask 37,493 questions. It’s OK to have to email or call your physicians office multiple times to ask the same questions or have them explain things just one more time until it sinks in. I was diagnosed a little over two years ago, three months after starting my first job as an registered nurses. There are still days I call my primary care doctor back just to have him repeat what he told me no less than two hours earlier, and I ask him more questions. Do whatever it takes to give you peace of mind. It’s OK, and its normal. Open the notes app on your phone and start a list of questions you have, and don’t be afraid to ask them. This is all new to you, and you need reassurance as much as answers. People will surprise you. If there was one thing I wasn’t expecting, it was the way people would shock me. Over the last two years I’ve had a few people who I thought would have stayed through anything simply walk away…but you know what? They were replaced with people who walked in. People who I wasn’t expecting to walk in. Coworkers, family, childhood friends whose contact had been lost, people from my hometown. They all stepped up and covered me in love, support and prayers. And they’ve never left. They’ve stayed through the good days, the bad days, the hot mess express moments, and the melt downs, the projecting. They’ve stayed and been so understanding. I am internally grateful. Don’t push away the people who love you. Let them. You need it. You deserve it. It’s OK to have bad days. It’s OK to temporarily give up. Seriously, like I said in paragraph one, you’re allowed to cope how to you want to. You’re allowed to have days when you can’t be positive what so ever. But keep in mind, they better be short lived. Tomorrow that sun is coming up, regardless of how you feel, so you might as well get up, pull yourself together and go out and participate. Learn how to be your own advocate. This. This is quite possibly the most important thing I can share with you and sadly the number one thing I myself struggle with. Throughout this journey you are guaranteed to meet some really good physicians and some really bad ones. You know your body. You know your symptoms. Never allow a bad physician to dismiss you, belittle your symptoms or make you feel insignificant. Be strong. Be brave. Stand up for yourself. You run this show. If you don’t agree with their plan of care say something. Don’t ever allow someone to force you to do something just because they have the letters “MD” behind their name. And finally, find something to believe in, something or someone to fight for, and cling to it. Whether you’re religious or not, you’ve got to have something to place your hope in. Whatever that may be, a higher power, faith, science, or Nutella. I could care less what you believe in, just know you’re going to have some hours when that’s all you have to cling to. That and your “why.” Your why is the something or someone you fight for, whether it’s your spouse, your children, your future, or just to say you kicked MS ass. Find your why and feel strongly about it, because there will be some hours, some days, and some moments when that is the only thing that will pull you through. But you will pull through, even when it feels impossible, even when it hurts, even when it’s hard, even when it all just falls apart, you will make it through, and it’s going to be OK. So once again, please accept my warmest welcome to this ugly, sucky club, but please also know you won’t walk out of this storm the same person who is walking in right now. You will walk out a more humble, stronger, and beautiful person. This journey isn’t for the faint of heart, but it does have the potential to be a beautiful and glitterful one. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Thinkstock Image By: Polyudova_Yulia

Laura West

What I've Learned About the Hard Days With Multiple Sclerosis

For the record, spilt wine and spilt Starbucks is ugly cry worthy. I’m going to go ahead and apologize now. I feel like I only ever write when I’m feeling down. Like really down, like when it’s the bottom of the fifth and you pitch a home run for the opposing team and lose the game level of down. It seems like I only ever pull out the laptop and write when I don’t know what else to do and there’s no other choice than to put everything into words, and attempt to make sense of the hot mess that is my life. OK, back to ugly crying and sad puddles of wasted cupcake Moscato. The last few weeks have been pretty hard in the world of Laura. By hard, I mean finding out that my current job will be changing soon and experiencing some heartbreaking days that come with being a hematology/oncology nurse. I also ended up in the bathroom floor of the medicine room with a gash in my lip, a fabulous bruise and some broken teeth, some unforeseen health concerns that I was in no way shape or form expecting, and of course the usual stress that is everyone’s lives… like the first return episode of Grey’s being a total bummer. When God handed me the multiple sclerosis crown, He couldn’t have given me something that high stress levels improve. No, He had to give me a disease that is exacerbated by stress and fatigue. Thanks God. One of the new lovely symptoms that has graced me with it’s presence is arm weakness and numbness that is intermittent in nature and occurs at the worst possible times This has made life around my house and job pretty interesting. Not as interesting as two failed shopping trips, though. Sunday night when I got off work I knew I needed to walk around for a little while before making the drive home. So, I went to almost every girl’s favorite vice. Target. With a venti white chocolate mocha in hand, a red Target shopping basket, ear buds blasting my favorite Pandora station, and that handy always in fashion Target red card, I set out for some retail therapy. About an hour in, I pick up my coffee and boom, the electric shock effect followed by numbness and severe weakness hit my left arm and hand. Like a bad music video, I turned the cup completely upside down in what felt like slow motion, onto my phone, keys, self, and shopping basket. Needless to say I left my favorite Target sticky and smelling like old milk, in tears of humiliation, defeat, and anger, and fearful that I could never show my face in my favorite Target store ever again. Fast forward to Monday afternoon, I’m in Walmart this time because I’m still too embarrassed to enter a Target store just yet. I decided that I needed a bottle of my favorite wine to commemorate the fact that even though I have been feeling absolutely horrible and have been struggling, I’m still standing, still working and now, I’m even grocery shopping through it all like a real functioning adult. Then, boom… it all happens again, except this time, it’s more dramatic than ever. There’s something about glass shattering on icky Walmart tile that makes everyone stop mid sentence and stride to turn and look to see what has happened. Seriously, even babies stopped crying to turn and stare. First thought through my mind, “Seriously. Why is this my life?” Second thought, “Shit, do I still have to pay for this even though its obviously wasted? Also, is it too soon and frowned upon to step over the broken glass and grabbed another bottle?” Third thought, “Perfect, first Target, now Walmart. I’m never shy on the dramatics.” In the end, the entire fiasco was nothing that a three minute cry session in my car and a phone call to my mother couldn’t fix. I mean, let’s face it, sometimes some humility and embarrassment is good for the soul, right? What this all equals to is that no matter how much we choose to ignore things, no matter how many cable wired fences, steel walls, or trained attack dogs we put outside of our pretty glitter-filled, perfect pink bubbles that we try and live our lives in, the bad things still happen. The reality still finds us. The hard things, are still hard. The bad days are still going to occur. And, in my case, the lab results, imaging, symptoms, embarrassing trips to the ER in bloody scrubs and cervical collars, and sticky, coffee and wine messes in major department stores, will still happen. No amount of denial, perseverance, bargaining, or sarcasm can make reality any less real. Whatever your equivalent to spilt wine is, embrace it. Cry over it, laugh over it, make fun of yourself over it and be thankful for it. You were chosen for this life. The good times, the hard times and the “glitterful” moments were hand picked for you. There’s only one you, and the world needs your best moments and your worst moments. This life is an absolute hot mess of ridiculous chaos, but it sure is glitterful. Follow this journey on It’s a Glitterful Life. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Thinkstock Image By: KazanovskyAndrey