I used to be able to reflect on life before my chronic Illnesses. However, I no longer can grasp those feelings. I have officially hit the point where all I remember is life since the pain began.

Then again, I began to see medical professionals at the age of twelve. I'm about to turn nineteen. The amount of years before my illnesses and the years since my illnesses arose are almost equal.

What I miss most about how I used to be able to sense what it used to feel like before all the pain, is that I was still so hopeful. I had no idea that the likelihood of me being able to do things I once did was very low.

I know that now. I used to play a full soccer game without breaks, I was fierce. I can't manage to run even a mile anymore. I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted. I have various food intolerances now. I used to wake up feeling refreshed, as sleep should make someone feel. There is not a day that I wake up feeling refreshed anymore, not for the past seven years.

The hardest part about now being seven years into the chronically ill life, is that I know life will only face larger obstacles. I want to graduate from physician's assistant school, travel the world, share my story, go to concerts, and much more.

The only hope I have is that I continuously promise myself I will make these things happen. For myself, and for the lives I may touch. I won't give up.

I am hopeful that science will continue to have breakthroughs. Ones I desperately hope to benefit from.

To everyone reading this that has a chronic illness, please know that you will always have a friend in me. This fight is such an isolating, lonely fight. We are stronger than the pain we experience that seems to be endless. We must continue to raise awareness and not settle for mistreatment by medical professionals. We must be our own, and each other's, advocates.