It seems I’ve become one of those seventy-two-hour-freak-shows that parade around the Internet behind some absurd headline. I don’t think many people will go out of their way to see this blog and read this statement so I’ll say this to those of you invested enough to come find the real me. I am not just that water-girl. I am not just allergic to water, and I do not love sailboats and squids despite my allergy. I love sailboats because I love sailboats and I am not going to let anything, disease or public opinion dictate my interests and abilities.
I would like to say that I am not the only one with this illness, and there are great deal of other illnesses like it. I am willing to speak out about it and let my story become one of these news-cycle fads because I know that somewhere there is a fourteen-year-old girl who can’t go swimming with her friends when they invite her. And I know that she feels freakish. To her, and others suffering from what peers will determine makes you too this or that, I want to say that you are not your disease. You are not whatever thing makes them stare, you are much bigger than that. Others will attempt to categorize you as one thing, but I think it should be made clear that no one is just that one thing. You are not just gay, or just good at chess, or just asthmatic. You are complex and growing and constantly exploring what you are and what you will become.
There will be days when you lay in bed covered in hives or gasping for breath or whatever your symptoms may be and think that maybe I’m a mess up, a flaw in the assembly line of humanity, a printing error in the contract of life. And there will be times when people attempt to contain you in some two-syllable insult, because they can’t make sense of you in how they see the world.
Kid, you are no mistake, you are not a grand human being despite your illness, your flaws, or your peculiarity, you are grand because you are grand. I am not a normal person despite an obscure disease. I am not a writer despite my dyslexia, I am a teenage-girl who likes jellyfish, Kurt Vonnegut, and dandelions, who happens to have one of those disabilities that is worth googling. To all the people out there who have been crushed by their inability to be an olympic swimmer or a mermaid, I sincerely believe there is always another way to complete your dreams. Stay positive interweb folk, I think you are amazing, and I don’t care if you have Pressure Urticaria or Aquagenic Urticaria or weird shaped ears. You are grand.