Becca has struggled with many chronic illnesses since the age of 15. She spent 3 1/2 of those years undiagnosed, going from doctor to doctor to doctor looking for help before she found the miracle one who has helped us find answers. He is still helping us look for answers.
She has been diagnosed with POTS, MALS, Chiari Malformation, Mast Cell Activation Disorder, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Intracranial Instability, Nutcracker, May-Thurners and so much more. Among other procedures, she has had a painful MALS surgery and three brain surgeries.
These illnesses have had a tremendous emotional impact. Not only has her life been full of unbearable pain, but also phases of complete loneliness, hopelessness, and an overall sense of no purpose in life. If she tried to talk about what she was going through, people would make fun of her and tell her she was faking it for attention. Friends no longer wanted to hang out because she couldn’t physically do anything and was bedridden for years. She lost most of them. She had years of living in heart-breaking solitude.
Her life has been a complicated roller coaster ride of redefining her life, her purpose, and her friendships with all of the ups and down that come with chronic illness. She is still trying to learn how to navigate the scary parts of life with a body that constantly fights itself, but has learned to find joy in the small and simple things. She is grateful for the strength these challenges have given her, and is excited to share her story in the hopes it will help someone else in a similar situation physically or mentally.
Tara has faced all of these monsters year after year with Becca. She has struggled to be a physical and emotional caregiver. She has had parts of her permanently break as she watched her daughter die and have to be brought back to life on multiple occasions. She has had to navigate the complicated straits of insurance and has had to pay more in medical bills than she did for her house — all while trying to balance taking care of the rest of her family as well. She lost her life in completely different ways.
As we have struggled together, we have made friends with new people of all ages and with all kinds of issues. We have learned that the only way to cope with the pain and misfortunes of life is by helping other people and by being there for those who are struggling. We know what our purpose in life is now: to help others realize that they aren’t alone with their monsters and that there are other people and communities who face the same challenges, pains, and fears.
Our Monsters isn’t just a way for us to cope and know we’re not alone, but to help others cope and share their stories as well.
Our goal is simple. We know life is scary. But you can use our monsters to help you face your monsters. We want our monsters to help you find:
- Courage. Use OurMonsters to help you stand up to your own. Everyone is stronger with a friend by their side.
- Comfort. Use OurMonsters as a huggable friend when you are having a hard time. Cling tight. Don’t let go. Cry a little. It’s okay. OurMonsters want to help soothe your savage soul.
- Conversation. Can your monsters talk? Maybe not. But you can. Use OurMonsters to start a conversation about your own. Use OurMonsters to provide validation that the scary things life can throw at us are very hard. We need to talk about them. We all need help.