This I Believe

Seana - North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Entered on September 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: disability
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

The Painful Truth

My name is XX and I am now 18 years old. Four years ago, in the middle of the night, I was rushed to the ER because my elbows had locked into place causing my body immense pain. Later I was diagnosed with arthritis and fibromyalgia, both of which are diseases that affect the bones, joints and muscles. After that, trying to do simple physical tasks became a trial every day.

Two years later, after the ER incident, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. This disease infected my large colon with bleeding sores. The pain caused by it was unlike anything I had ever felt before. The trouble it also caused was somewhat embarrassing. Soon I was questioning my real purpose in life.

Then one day, while sitting at my grandmother’s house, I found my reason while watching my family play and talk around me. I already knew that the ones I loved were having trouble accepting that I was so young and had an eighty-five year’s old body, and while I sat and watched my family I realized that they were what I was here for. That I was no longer just surviving for my sake but for those around me, and if I left this world everyone’s lives would be greatly shaken. Everyone exists for a reason whether it be selfish devotion or for the sake of others, my reason for living was to keep the worse type of pain to be felt away from my family. In that peaceful moment I also began to realize that what I was going through was nothing except what I disliked most, a surprise test. Everything that should have brought me down failed to make me stop. I was supposed to be stuck in some hospital bed, hooked to machines and depending on others however, I refused to do so. I refused to live my life in a pitiful state when I had so much I wanted to accomplish.

In high school I went from grade to grade rising above my fellow students and made A’s and B’s across the board. In my last two years of high school I even attended a school, known as the Academy that was harder than the average public school and demanded a more independent lifestyle from me. I ended up passing and graduating with A’s and B’s, once more exceeding the expectations of others who believed I would not make past the final year in high school. Then I went one step further and now I am a first year student at Coastal Carolina University and plan to go all the way even with all of my diseases still being active.

People ask me how I do it. I simply respond that it is nothing more than a test, just as every moment in life is, and how you take the test determines how bad your life can be. Every day is a test for me just to simply get by simply getting out of bed in the morning is an accomplishment, and so far I don’t feel like failing. I intend to continue on my path to learn more about history and help others to understand that, yes the world is a very scary place but with a little determination I can achieve anything. I myself am living proof that even if a person is disabled in some way and met by extreme obstacles that anyone can succeed at passing the test.