By: Olivia Morris
When I was younger I vividly remember my mom always telling me I had a choice. No matter what it was in life, ultimately the choice was mine. Now, some of the choices I made didn’t produce the best outcomes so I’ll call those learning lessons, but I’d say the most important choice I made was to live positively with cystic fibrosis.
When I was thirteen enduring my first hospitalization with CF I absolutely did not have a positive mindset. I was a teenager and thought the world revolved around me. It took time, it took learning lessons and it took friends and family speaking truth into my life. It was not until I was eighteen that my mindset began to shift. I was leaving a CF appointment and my PFT’s had dropped and my doctor wanted to put me in the hospital but I argued against it. We agreed that I had one month to try and improve my lung function and if I failed then into the hospital I went. Well, when you give this stubborn, strong willed gal a challenge, come hell or high water I will win the challenge. I realized that day that I was getting older and needed to take ownership of my health if I wanted to live a long healthy life with CF. I wish I had a video of myself that day in my car because I had a full on mascara running ugly cry.
But, I pulled myself together and promised myself that I would CHOOSE to take care of myself, CHOOSE to not let CF stop me and CHOOSE to be positive no matter what CF threw my way!
For those wondering, yes, I did improve my lung function in a month so hospital averted. That is when I chose to start training for my first half marathon, but that is another story for another day.
To an outsider I have no visible signs of a life threatening, terminal illness. Especially when you throw in the fact that my positivity and love for life are clearly evident! I joke that if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me how I was so positive living with CF, that I could retire. It all goes back to perspective. I know I have CF for a reason and I see it as a blessing rather than a curse. CF has made me the person I am today and I am proud of that person. I would not trade all the challenges, struggles, hospitalizations, sleepless nights of coughing or hard times for the world because they have made me the persistent, determined fighter I am today. I always try to make light of my circumstances, because what else can I do? Remember it all comes back to choice. I will have CF until the day I die so might as well make the best of it. Who else can say they have the ability to produce too much mucus!?
I do not want to paint a picture that I am positive 100% of the time because I am not. There are days when I am coughing a lot, annoyed with CF clinic visits, can’t breathe very well, or just flat out emotional thinking about the future with CF. If I focus too long on the “what ifs” of a future with CF, I get the blues. That is why I surround myself with positive friendships, positive mantras and remind myself that CF research has come so far since I was born and will continue to do so. I allow people into my life with CF so they can understand and know how to encourage me when I need it most. I know Who has taken care of me thus far and will continue to do so, whether I’m in a valley or on a mountain top.
Because of CF I have a unique outlook on life and I definitely do not take one day for granted. I celebrate the milestones that to most may seem small. I choose to be adventurous and not let it hold me back. I choose to live in peace knowing CF is a part of my story. I choose to be courageous even when it is scary. I choose to LIV A LITTLE. I challenge those of you that are lucky enough to have CF, to start looking for the positive and see how your mindset shifts over time.
About the Author: I'm Liv, I'm 26 and creator/owner of Liv A Little blog. I was born and raised in Arkansas but currently living in Kansas City. Thriving on dry shampoo, coffee and Jesus. Adventure and travel junkie. Whole Foods is my therapy. Cystic fibrosis fighter. Half marathon runner. Petite, five foot sassy thang fearlessly living life to the fullest and blogging about it.