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This fortune says: Happy days are ahead of you. Suffering is over now. Things are looking up.

Since I was about 18, I’ve suffered from a relapse/remission immune disorder, major depression, and an anxiety disorder that’s probably sprouted up from the fact that everything can be going fine and then I get sick. And I stay sick. For months. So all of the carefully crafted things I’ve surrounded myself with go up in smoke just like that. When one day you’re up on your feet and the next week you can’t get out of bed, it’s hard to think of anything as permanent. Half of you at this point are thinking, “That’s a lot to deal with.” The other half are thinking, “She’s a lot to deal with.”

That’s fine, I’m not here to tell you about what it’s like to suffer from a chronic illness. I’ve lost friends. I’ve lost jobs. I’ve lost myself more than once. But life didn’t stop because I couldn’t do the things. I met the love of my life. I got married. I moved back to my favorite city. I became who I am. And I hate a lot of the things I’ve been through, but I love who I’ve become.

So this month, I turn 25 and I’m flippin’ ecstatic about it. I’m celebrating the whole month because there are times when I didn’t have the mental capacity to see 25 in front of me. I started this website at the beginning of my latest remission in April, and I’ve spent the last few months happier and healthier than I can remember being since I was a preteen.

The posts you see are really me learning how to not be afraid of getting out into the world, knowing that I carry a lot of scars. You’ll find hiking and restaurants and a few just random experiences that I’m grateful for every day. You’ll find photography to purchase that reflects the beauty of the world I’ve felt out of reach really often from the confines of my couch or bed.

To share in my celebration, I’ll be posting 25 posts in 25 days called The Birthday Series; you can find the 25 things I’m celebrating here. And as an added bonus, all the merch in My Invalid Life’s shop will be 25% off with the coupon BIRTHDAYGAL.

Thanks for being a part of this life with me and helping me learn to live again. 25 is going to be an incredible year.

-Madie

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