As I was falling asleep last night, something occurred to me: it has already been 6 months since I got the spinal surgery that changed my life forever. I almost let the day pass by without even noticing.

One year ago, my scoliosis was a constant thought in the back of my mind. I couldn't go a single day, or even a few hours, without thinking about it in some way. I'd wake up in the morning and instantly become aware of the nagging back pain. I'd look in the mirror and think about how much I hated the way my body looked in my clothes. I'd be in constant pain simply sitting in chairs at school.

Over time, I began to realize that my scoliosis would forever be my burden to bear, and those thoughts would likely never dissipate. I tried to convince myself to grow comfortable with that idea, but I just couldn't. I knew it wasn't the worst thing in the world to have to deal with, but I still couldn't accept the thought that I'd never be pain-free and comfortable in my own body.

Once I discovered that spinal fusion surgery was not only an option but also recommended for severe scoliosis like mine, I finally saw a way out of the future I thought I couldn't control. One day, I could actually be happy in my own skin. One day, I could actually be pain-free. I decided to schedule my surgery for the nearest available date. Once I caught a glimpse of those possibilities, I never looked back.

My surgery experience went as smoothly as it could have, and I recovered quickly. Three weeks after my operation, I went back to school. Three more weeks later, I went back to most of my regular activities. Since my 6-week post-op appointment, I haven't returned to the hospital.

Since my surgery, I've had multiple full weeks without pain. Some weeks are better than others, depending on how often I'm sitting, if I've started a new activity, or if I'm exceptionally active. Days go by and the thought of my scoliosis doesn't occupy my mind. It feels as if I weight has been lifted off my shoulders (quite literally).

My scoliosis and my surgery experience will forever be a part of who I am, but I'm so relieved that they no longer define me and control my life. It's only been six months, and so much has changed already. Although I have no idea what the future holds, I know that it's bright!