Hand pulling a sword out of a stone that looks like lungs

Cystic Fibrosis Changed My Personality And This Is How

Cystic fibrosis has pushed me to my limits and then compelled me to go past them; time and time again. My perspective on life has been altered in many ways because I have CF.

CF didn’t change me, it made me.

Life through my lens

I don’t see life through the lens of a healthy person, I see it through the lens of a person perpetually aware she is living on borrowed time. CF had stolen something from me that was irreplaceable. It indefinitely warped my concept of life. I almost spent twenty two years feeling utterly defeated by my sick girl shadow. Constantly in a battle trying to slow down time but speed up my pace of living.

The years spent in turmoil worrying about what was at the end of this burdensome journey were not wasted, they were some of the most insightful, successful years of my life. Those years made me get up close and personal with what really matters and who I really was beneath my sick girl skin.

What has grown from the genetically faulty seeds

CF watered my core until I was strong, bound and determined. Like a tree, my roots were unyielding. My independent, persistent personality is one of my strongest assets. It gave me the tools to get back up when the chips were down. And they were down, a lot.

When I, once again, rose from the ground my appetite for life was calling. I wanted to eat, sleep and breathe every single moment. My relentless trials and tribulations because of CF needed to count. I fought for life and then I got to walk away with it. My time has been spent ticking off bucket lists, creating my dream career, adventures to far away lands, truly valuing time with family and friends, giving back to the community and never, never taking life for granted.

Maybe if I didn’t have CF I would have had children or chosen a different life path, but I may have also lost all those insightful bits that only living with a chronic illness can form. The additional empathy, the defiance to not be beaten, my adaptability to stressful situations, overcoming my darkest fears, becoming the boldest and best version of me.

A final reflection

I often think about the personality traits I would have gathered if I didn’t have CF. Questioning if I would be as persistent with my goals. Wondering if I would feel so threatened by the concept of time. Asking myself if I would have overcome or achieved all that I have?

Undoubtedly I know, I wouldn’t have been as resilient as I am. CF molds you that way. You see, you don’t survive, you surrender; and by surrendering you become conscious of your weaknesses. You learn that to be weak is to be strong and to be strong is to be weak.

John C. Maxwell once said “change is inevitable, growth is optional” and that encapsulates what my journey with CF represents.

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