In November 2018, I made a decision.
After sustaining a brain injury ten years prior, I had let go of a lot of dreams regarding my life. I was living at home, unemployed, severely depressed and anxious, and saw no future for myself.
I waited a long time for my perfect life to begin.
Then, one morning I woke up and realized nothing would move forward unless I leaped.
That’s when Wildflower + Ink was born.
As a writer, I had attempted blogging with four previous blogs, most focused around my main passion growing up: becoming an author. I was trapped in this facade I felt I had to keep up, where being a writer and lover of books was my whole being.
That’s why I became passionate about creating an open space where I could finally express myself with no reservation. As I began to explore my other growing passions, such as non-toxic living, minimalism, and simple living, I soon fell in love with this new venture and am currently working hard to become self-employed and make Wildflower + Ink some sort of business.
During this time of self-discovery and new-found freedom, my physical health began to rapidly decline. I had always been in delicate health growing up (as my mom would say, I had a “weak constitution”), ran constant low-grade fevers, struggled with nausea, sleep issues, and plethora of other symptoms. After my brain injury, many of these symptoms worsened, but I attributed them to that traumatic event. Doctors could never find any other answers, so I accepted this was my “normal.”
In January of 2019, I became violently ill on a trip home from Christmas vacation with family. After a week, the symptoms fell into a pattern of disappearing and reappearing, but I felt so weak and ill I eventually visited my primary doctor two months later, who ran some tests which all came back negative for things such as mono, tick-borne disease, and autoimmune issues. However, shortly after these tests, I began to run a constant low-grade fever, which led into extreme fatigue to the point I could barely lift my arms, and then my joints began to grow stiff and ache. Since then I have developed approximately 20 new or worsened symptoms, though the more I research the more I think all of my health issues from childhood on could be related to this new illness.
After four doctors who couldn’t or wouldn’t help me, who told me my symptoms were caused by anxiety and I should see a psychologist and up my medication, I chose to visit a Lyme Literate doctor. Three weeks later, I had a diagnosis of Bartonellosis.
Admitting to myself that I have entered the world of chronic illness hasn’t been an easy mental transition. After spending so many years simply trying to get my life together after a brain injury, I thought I knew a great deal about physical and mental pain. This has been a whole new ball game, and there are times I desperately wish I could just simply call a time out. I decided to share my journey on this blog, not in search of pity or comfort, but to have a platform not only to help my own mind wrap around these physical changes but to also be a voice for others who are struggling or need to know they are not alone. Loneliness has been something I’ve struggled with since childhood, but in this journey I’ve not only connected with others who are dealing with chronic illness, but my faith in God has grown stronger than it has been in my 17 years of being a Christian. The importance of hope in a world of darkness is something I truly understand.
And so, my purpose for this space is to share my health journey, my discovery of simplicity, and bring awareness to non-toxic living. My greatest hope is to inspire YOU to create and live a happier, more purposeful life that will bring joy to your every day.
A few facts about me:
- I’m an intense animal lover — especially of Bella, the twelve-year-old Jack Russell my family adopted earlier this year.
- I’ve lived in New England for most of my life and call the mountains home.
- My interest in writing took off after reading The Chronicles of Narnia as a child
- When I’m not blogging, you can find me curled up with Bella, a cozy blanket, and either a fantasy book or guilty-pleasure TV show (Friends, M*A*S*H, or The Great British Baking Show, to be exact)
- I published my first short story through a college magazine in 2015; I’ve written several drafts for novels since then but am never satisfied with my work
- I’m lactose and gluten intolerant but love all the wrong foods — bread, pasta, cheese, chocolate… But I sneak in the occasional Udi’s chocolate muffin. With peanut butter on top, of course.
- After suffering from severe acne in my late teens, I became uncompromisingly passionate about simple, non-toxic ingredients in my skin care and makeup
- I’m 5’1″ and in my mid-twenties. And yes, I know one day I’ll be thankful for my young appearance.