April 2021 marks eight years since my "rebirth", when I accepted that not-being-wholly human in flesh and bones will be my new normal. I had to go under the knife for a day-long surgery, only holding on to the hope of living a better life after; and continuing to hold on to that hope throughout the excruciatingly painful journey post-surgery were things that I didn't know I had the courage to face.
In 2009, when I came to know that I suffered from a spine deformity condition called "Scoliosis", my reality blurred. Reflecting back, if all those years, I hadn't been ignorant to what I was going through, what was progressively worsening over time, suffering back pains in silence simply assuming they were a normal part of growing up, I might not have had to get the majority of my spine replaced with implants to salvage the internal damage and straighten my posture. After my surgery, while taking time slowly to recover physically and emotionally, I then embraced the difference in me and made peace with the fact that I could and never would be fully straight (posture-wise), for reasons beyond choice, but that should not limit my capabilities.
I use the pain from my past to motivate me in many ways professionally - to voice out and not suffer in silence; embrace the difference in me and make a positive difference where I belong; to reach out and achieve. Personally, I've been blessed to be surrounded by family and peers that see no difference in me and I could not have made it through those challenging times without my now life partner who continues to remain a strong pillar of support.
I constantly remind myself - Being bent is certainly not going to break my spirit and it only prepares me for new challenges as they come along.
A more detailed article on what I went through can be found on my medium blog at the link below.