I have never had good posture. I would always slouch, use only one backpack strap, sit horribly, wear unsupportive shoes, etc. It didn't come as shock to hear that I had scoliosis. For those who don't know, scoliosis is the irregular curvature of the spine.

After hitting a rather speedy growth spurt starting in about fourth grade, going on throughout middle school, my back became very limber and flexible. Unfortunately for me, my spine decided to stay in position it wasn't supposed to be in. I am forever blessed with a 35˚ curve in the lumbar portion (lower back) of my spine towards the left side of my body and a curve bending forward at the top portion of the cervical zone (neck). And just to add to the mix, the scoliosis caused me to shrink 3/4 of an inch. Weird, I know.

My doctors and I have spent numerous years now attempting to maintain my scoliosis from getting any worse. Luckily, puberty for me is pretty much over and I will not grow any more. If I did grow, my spine could worsen and no one wants that. To keep my spine from worsening, I went through a short period of physical therapy to strengthen my core. Pre-physical therapy, I never worked out (I still don't today). Going into the appointments was like hell for someone as lazy as me. I knew it was for the best, but it was not pleasurable. They had my doing quite a bit of yoga, especially with an exercise ball and foam roller.

No matter what kind of exercise I participated in, my back be throbbing and sore by the end of it or even just a couple minutes in. I can't run a mile without a side-ache and feeling like all I want to do is just stop and lie down on the ground in fetal position. Cardio is practically impossible for me. Walking even gets hard after so much. I somehow can survive walking all over Disneyland, but I mean, it's the happiest place on Earth and no pain can get me there. In any other scenario, I constantly have to sit and take a break or just stop all together. This factor affects my life more than I expected it to. I can't work out like a typical person would. When going out on adventures with friends, I can only do so much without having to be the one who stops the fun. I don't even adventure much anymore because it's not worth being an inconvenience.

The worst part about my scoliosis is the way it affected my body physically. One side of my body is fairly curvy and quite the hourglass while the other side is practically straight. Finding clothing that won't show off my obscure torso is quite difficult. I have a reputation for only wearing high-waisted bottoms, not just because I'm "hipster" or whatever you wanna call me (I hate being called a hipster), but because it hides my biggest insecurity. If I wear mid-rise or low-rise anything, it looks horrible. I'm not just saying that because it's an insecurity, it just looks bad on my personalized body type. I am constantly wearing belts, even if I don't need them because it pulls the straight side of my body in to give the appeal of curves. I do end up with the temporary red marks on my waist at the end of the day due to the tight apparel, but it goes away. What doesn't go away is the fact that I can never again be truly happy with my body because I'm literally stuck like this.

The only thing I can do is to not let it ruin my life. It's taken over so much of my life already, all I can do is make sure it doesn't take my sanity. Do I hate my body because of scoliosis? No. Am I unsatisfied with how I look? Yes. Oh well, my life could be a lot worse because of it. I am fortunate enough that my scoliosis doesn't require a back brace or surgery; Others or not so lucky. My goal is not to fix my scoliosis because that's impossible. My goal is to let others with scoliosis know that it can't stop them. It may stop me from backpacking, but that's it.

It can if you let it, but don't let that happen. Work at it and don't give up on yourself. You are still just as amazing, even if you always slouch in photos. It's okay to get silently angry at people who tell you to "straighten up" or say "shoulders back." They don't know any better.

After what I have experienced in life thus far with my scoliosis, I can truly say that it's a battle that never has an end, but you can still win.