`Boudoir New York - Self Love Experience - Albany - Saratoga Springs - Troy_0615

I Am More Than My Illness – Saratoga Springs | Albany | Troy | New York – Boudoir

This is one of those blogs where I don’t need to share, you just need to read what our #LRPBoudieBeauty has written below:

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“I’ve never written a blog before, and to be honest, I have been struggling to put this all into words. It took me a full year to gather up enough guts to book my Self Love Experience. I would always get too scared and come up with a dozen different excuses to put it off. I don’t even remember who added me to the LRP facebook group, but I decided to stick around because I love the messages the group sends to women. Everyone seemed so empowered after Lindsay photographed them, and I knew I wanted that for myself as well…someday. When I finally booked my session last July, I was in shock, but also quickly forgot about it since February was still pretty far away. I thought about cancelling so many times out of fear, but ultimately I was tired of all of my self-loathing. That’s the real reason I never cancelled. More than anything, I wanted to learn how to love myself, and this seemed like a great place to start. Honestly a lot happened between the day I booked and the actual day of the shoot, and it couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. I have a chronic, life threatening illness called cystic fibrosis. And this past fall and winter were a struggle to say the least. My health had been declining, and in December I started the process of evaluation for lung transplant. December has always been my favorite month, but this one was hell. Ultimately they decided I am currently too healthy to go on the transplant list, but it’s just a matter of a couple years before I will need to. And of course at the time, I didn’t know what they’d tell me. All I knew was that I had to go down to New York Presbyterian Hospital every week in December for several tests. All I could think of was what a burden I’d become to my family, boyfriend, friends, etc. And despite having great people around me, I felt more alone than I ever had in my life. I didn’t feel like my normal positive, unshakeable self. On top of that, just when the tests were finally over, I ended up getting sicker than I’ve ever been. I was in and out of the hospital all winter and almost had to be transferred down to nyc for further tests. Luckily I narrowly avoided that. February 25th, the day of my Self Love Experience, came just as I was finally starting to recover from months of illness. I was still doing IV meds at home, but I didn’t care. I was so happy to be excited about something again that I didn’t want to reschedule. Lindsay, Randi, and Erin were so kind and welcoming that I quickly went from being scared to actually having fun! I felt beautiful, appreciated, and even powerful in a way. I was even enjoying posing and being photographed, which was shocking in a good way. The whole rest of the day was spent in this strange yet wonderful sense of disbelief. I’ll never forget Lindsay’s reaction when I put on my first outfit, a black bodysuit that I bought at one of the LRP popup shop nights. She let out this surprised sounding “Damn, girl!”, which was super adorable and made me feel so good about myself. I still think about it and laugh to myself happily. Being around such inspiring women like Lindsay, Randi, and Erin was such a powerful experience. It made me want to inspire women too, and I quickly thought of how I might do it. During my session I still had my port accessed for antibiotic use. When Lindsay told me it was too big to be photoshopped out of the pictures, I decided that might be a good thing. I kept the bandage thing over it, so it wasn’t totally visible, but obviously the bandage is. And other women who have a port for antibiotics, chemo, or whatever reason will be able to easily recognize it. But that’s something I actually want to happen. I want them to be able to stop feeling self-conscious about it. I want them to realize it’s not ugly, and they don’t have to hide it if they don’t want to. To any women reading this who may have some kind of illness, that doesn’t make you less beautiful. It doesn’t make you less worthy of love or of anything you want out of life. If an illness can steal our dreams, we can still make new ones. They might be smaller or simpler dreams, but we can still achieve them. If I can inspire even just one woman with this blog post or one of my photos, I’ll have achieved the dream that this Self Love Experience gave me. I’m still learning to love myself, it’s a process, but this is exactly the jump-start I needed. I think it’s kind of funny now that when I first had my port placed, I chose to have it in my arm instead of my chest in order to better hide it. But this summer I’m going to wear short-sleeved shirts with pride. I’ll try not to hide so much. And whenever I feel like my disease makes me a burden, I’m going to look at my Self Love photo album and smile. I’ll forever use it to remind myself that I’m powerful in my own way, just as powerful as a healthy woman.” ~ Ms. C

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