Vote For The Headache Heroine in the 5th Annual Health Activist Awards!

I’ve been nominated for three award categories for the 5th Annual WEGO Health Activist Awards this year! The categories I’ve been nominated for are below:

  • Best in Show: Instagram
  • Best in Show: Pinterest
  • Rookie of the Year

Please take a quick minute or two to vote for me on my nominee profile!

I truly appreciate all of the support and am very humbled and excited to even be thought of for these awards! It’s extremely touching and motivating to know that I’ve at least reached and helped one other person over the past year through The Headache Heroine.

Thank you in advance ❤

By The Ocean With My Thoughts

The sound of water says what I think.

― Zhuangzi

 

There’s this feeling I get whenever I walk onto a beach at night time. The darkness everywhere, the unspoken strength and mystery of the strong ocean ahead of me, the stillness of the air, and the intimacy felt when I’m sitting on the sand. The inevitable introspective thoughts immediately take up residence in my head the moment my feet hit the cool sand. It’s as if I’ve opened up a door to a different world. I’ve left my reality for only a bit and everything from my everyday life is no longer apart of this temporary world I’ve stumbled into.

 

There’s a reason I love the beach so much. Because the feeling I described above cannot be replicated, for me, by anything else. No matter if I go to the beach for a day, a weekend or a whole week, I try to save at least 30 minutes of my trip to step down to where the ocean meets the sand after the sun has gone down.

 

I’ve sat with friends, with family, with my boyfriend and at times just myself. No matter what, there’s always meaningful conversation and deep thoughts that I hadn’t been able to find before.

 

I’ve found inspiration, grew closer in faith, came to realizations, wondered endlessly and learned a lot about myself by the water. I’ve also argued, been blue with sadness, made mistakes, ignored true happiness, pushed people away, and built walls by the water.

 

No matter what it’s been about, no matter who I’m with or if I’m alone, the water has always been able to tell me what I was already thinking–no matter if I was aware of it or not.

 

Isn’t That The Place Where… 4.16.07

I can almost guarantee you that every Virginia Tech student, current or alumni, has been asked the question “Isn’t that the school where the shooting happened?” at least once in their lives when they tell someone where they are currently attending or where they previously attended college.

I know I’ve been asked that question more times than I remember. I’m never sure what kind of response people are expecting to hear. I know that they can’t understand from my point of view because they’ll never know what Virginia Tech truly encompasses. It’s hard for people on the outside to understand the feeling of relief after stepping onto campus in the fall after being away for months. As an insider, I have to remind myself that what I experienced as a Virginia Tech Hokie is something too beautiful, rare, and unique to make sense to someone who hasn’t experienced it.

So when I am asked that question in the future, instead I will stop them short at “Isn’t that the place where–” and say this:

“Yes. It is the place I called home for 4 amazing years. It’s the place I met incredible, smart and beautiful people inside and out, some of whom I still consider my closest friends. Those people I called family while I was there. Yes, it is the place where I truly felt myself. Where I could be silly, weird, adventurous and feel completely alive with a group of people who always brought the fun to the party. Where I got to celebrate birthdays, holidays, and carefree Fridays with people who constantly put a smile on my face and rhythm in my steps. Yes, it is the place I learned more about myself than I thought possible. Where I grew, matured and experienced love, loss, failure and success. Yes, it is the place with the most loyal college fan base you will ever know. The place with Enter Sandman blasting throughout the town on Saturday, the stadium pulsing as feet jump up and down in the stands as our football team charges the field. Yes, it is the place where we truly know the meaning of tailgating, whether it’s 8 PM or 8 AM. Yes, it is the place with the best mascot across the board. Yes, it is the place that allows me to brag about being a part of the #1 Relay For Life in the country, raising money and awareness for cancer research, survivors and honoring those we’ve lost. Yes, it is the place where the campus and the people on it are known as an extremely tight knit community, always looking out for one another, always supporting one another. It’s the place where four generations of my family came and left as Hokies—maroon and orange flowing throughout our family tree. Yes, it is the place that I will continue to call my second home. The place that I will always hold dear to my heart. It’s the place that always gives me an overwhelming feeling of love whenever I come back visit. It’s the place that makes me proud of who I am, where I come from and where I’m going.”

That’s what I’m going to say, because that is what I want people to think of when they hear the words: Virginia Tech.

I want people to know that I chose Virginia Tech for a reason. I chose it as my home for four years because I knew I would find family there. I knew that I would  learn, succeed, grow, laugh and love there.I knew that while I welcomed the school with open arms, it would also return the gesture.

From the outside you can’t see it, but the students and professors on Virginia Tech’s campus and its alumni across the world support one another every single day, in so many different capacities. But on this day each year, April 16th, we all gravitate a little closer to one another. We hug a little longer, pray a little harder and feel a lot deeper together. I know that we will always live for the 32 and that we will always remember the loss and hurt that were felt and the tears that were shed that day and every year since. But I hope that people around the world who only see us from the outside looking in and ask us only about the negative will now be able to see what we see from an inside perspective, and be more inclined to ask us about the good.

Spotlight Saturday: An Unlikely Friendship

If you haven’t seen this story yet, you definitely need to! It’s gone viral within the past week of so, and for such a great reason. 

A 330 lb professional power lifter has become best friends with a 12 year old girl with a rare genetic disorder: progeria. 

  
Such an unlikely friendship evolved and a picture showing their special bond went viral. 

  
 He says that she has helped pull him out of rough spots in his life. While it seems that he has helped her stay strong in a body that is only working at making her weaker. 

 People looked at me as strong when everything about her was stronger-David Douglas 💪🏼

If you want a story that warms your heart: read the full thing here: http://aplus.com/a/david-beast-douglas-lindsay-ratcliffe

A Farewell Letter To My First Love: The Softball Field. From A Girl With A Chronic Illness.

I grew up with you. Loving you, caring for you, constantly visiting you and sometimes, quite honestly, despising you.

You brought me some of my closest friends, fondest memories, funniest stories, and some of my most valued life lessons. You also brought me some of my first curse words, toughest frustrations, and inevitable girl drama.

You taught me that winning is fun, but that losing will happen too. To never give up, even when you’re far behind. That the underdog can be a champion. To never underestimate people. To stand up for myself and the people I care for. You taught me what it means to be mature when you want to be anything but that. You taught me how to learn but also how to lead. You taught me loyalty and what it means to be a team-player. You taught me love and you taught me loss.

The first time we met, I was too young to recall. And now, all these years later, just the sight of you brings a warmth to my heart that not many others can claim.

Each time we met, the fire within me started. There was always an excitement that couldn’t be fulfilled doing anything else.

When I walked away from you, I either felt satisfaction and joy or disappointment and anger.

Before all this happened, I never expected to one day walk away from you feeling nothing but emptiness.

I never knew something I loved so deeply and valued so greatly would one day make me feel hopeless, sad and defeated.

Every now and then, though, I tell myself that this time it’ll be different.That I will put on my glove and run around the outfield, feeling as free as I once did. Weightless and immortal.That this time I’ll take the bat in my hands and feel the rush as I connect with the ball. Run around, passing my dad waving me toward home plate with a look of pure joy and pride. That this time I’ll step out on your dirt and not worry about how bad I’ll want to tear off my head this time around. That I won’t feel the excruciating pain inside my skull.

And each time, I’m let down. My thoughts become dreams that just need to be put to bed.

We’ve been taught that we will experience love and loss in our life. However, no matter how much we’re taught it, we’re never prepared for it. We know that we will enjoy victory but also suffer defeat. The victory will never feel sweeter and the defeat never more bitter. We will learn what it feels to be completely alive but also what it’s like to be completely numb.

Every time I used to walk away from you, there was no goodbye, only the unspoken promise that I would be back soon. But the truth of the matter is, I never expected my headaches to last this long into my young life. I always was hopeful that something, someone, somewhere would cure me or find a treatment for me that allowed me to be active again. To play again. To truly be one with you again. As you know though, that’s not the case and I don’t think it ever really will be.

So now, I leave you with no return date, only the hope that one day we may meet again.

It’s hard to leave a first love behind. But, maybe we have to sometimes. Maybe in order to move on, we need to find something else to replace the hole where that love once was.

But this statement I know to be true: You never forget your first love.

softball diamond

 

Spotlight Saturday: Corporate Angel Network

 

Read this article and learned about a great mission set out and accomplished by the Corporate Angel Network. 

They are a charitable organization that helps cancer patients by arranging free travel across the country using empty seats on corporate jets, in order for the patients to have access to the best possible treatment for their specific type of cancer ✈️

Eligibility is not based on financial need or how often you need to travel. It is open to ALL cancer patients. How freakin awesome is that?💖

 I feel like there are a large number of CEO’s in America who are solely money hungry💰 (maybe I’m stereotyping) so it is so heartwarming and refreshing to see a group of people use some of their major wealth for a greater cause! 💸✨☄ 

Check out their website! www.corpangelnetwork.org 👼🏼

What’s the Word? “Kindred” 🌸

  
I started this blog to help myself and others feel less alone in this life. I used to feel like I was the only one for miles and miles who was battling such chronic and numerous health issues while everyone around me was living normal lives. But I have found a community that makes me feel so supported and not alone. We all are connected even if we’re strangers. The things we share in common help us provide support to one another in order to continue to fight our daily battles. 

There’s a reason we all share our stories here and keep coming back to support each other day after day. It’s because even though we may all be strangers, we are connected through our journeys. We share the similar battles, frustrations and experiences. It’s great to find and feel connected to other people when before you felt like the only one on earth going through what you’re going through. 

Tackle Your Tuesday 

  
It’s the first day of March, y’all! Where the heck does time goooo (cue the cliche reminiscing and questioning of how time flies so fast)
For me, February was a month of stress, anxiety, ER visits, painful and long headaches, and lots of trying to keep myself positive. 

Well, this month I am going to try my best to remind myself every single that that no matter what happens, that things will work out. Even if things seem scary, overwhelming or impossible, things will work out. 

Gotta keep the faith and battle on 🌸✨ 

Soulful Sunday

   for all of you who just can’t understand why things are the way they are right now. Keep holding on to the faith that one day we will understand. 

I can’t understand why it is I’m feeling the way I’m feeling lately, both physically and mentally. Can’t figure out why I haven’t been able to get out of this funk and can’t figure out why this time is different than others and why my head is doing so bad for so long, so different than times before.

Holding on to the faith that one day I will understand. Hoping you all are doing the same, no matter what it is that you’re trying to understand.