For Everyone Married to Scoliosis

For Everyone Married to Scoliosis

It's too late to get a divorce from Scoliosis now.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Van Pelt Bags

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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How To Avoid Getting Sick Your  Freshman Year

It's going to take a little more than an apple a day.

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College is the prime time and place to catch a cold... or worse. Although, somehow I managed to crack the code to health and not get sick my whole first year of college. This is surprising considering I was living in the close (and very unsanitary) quarters of a dorm room.

1. Keep your diet somewhat healthy

https://picjumbo.com/healthy-fruits-and-vegetables/

I know how hard it is to eat healthy in college, especially on a low budget. But with the dining hall foods, you can at least include some vegetables and fruits into your everyday consumption. The vitamins in these foods will help keep your immune system up and it will be worth the effort.

2. Try to exercise a few times per week

https://picjumbo.com/fitness-girl-jogging-morning-run/

Even if you're just getting out of the dorm for a thirty minute walk, it will benefit your body. If you decide to up your routine from that, even better! The more endorphins, the more you will feel better inside and out.

3. Cut back on the drinking if you feel a cold coming on

https://pixabay.com/photos/glasses-toasting-cheers-alcohol-919071/

Surprisingly, many college students don't seem to know that alcohol lowers your immune system. Of course, for some people theres no way of avoiding drinking. But if you can at least give your body rest days, it will be extremely beneficial.

4. Invest in a dehumidifier for your dorm room

https://icdn2.digitaltrends.com/image/dehumidifier_hero_1-2-720x720.jpg

I believe this was a very big player in helping me not get sick. The dehumidifier helps reduce dust and other particles in the air. This will help not agitate your allergies and you will feel more clear headed.

5. Try not to share personal products

https://picjumbo.com/makeup-brushes/

Sharing things like towels, makeup, unwashed cups, etc. can all be causes of a sickness being passed around you and your friends. Of course sharing is caring, just make sure it's sanitary.

6. Be conscientious of who you kiss!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/love-people-kissing-romance-18397/

Make sure that your girlfriend, boyfriend, or "its complicated" person is not sick before you're getting cozy with them.

7. Drink lots of green tea!

https://libreshot.com/green-tea/

Personally, I credit green tea and its anti-oxidants for keeping the flu away and even getting rid of bugs that might be forming in your system. So if you feel like you might be developing a cold, chug that tea!

I know how annoying these tips may be. But I promise, if you implement at least a few it could reduce your chances of feeling horrible during midterms in the winter, and sneezing all over your finals in the fall.

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