Last night, I got to meet Jewel and then watch her perform. If you don't know who Jewel is, you need to learn. She has the most beautiful soul and has gotten me through the last seven years of endo. Not only is she a fantastic singer, but also an artist, a writer, a mother, an advocate, and much more. If you are struggling emotionally, I strongly urge you to go to her website: jewelneverbroken.com. Here, she has a ton of resources for mental health that will help immensely.
When I met her last night, I made a complete fool of myself. I was the first person in line and when Jewel walked out, I instantly started crying and couldn't even contain myself. I THINK I told her that she changed my life, but I am not sure. I don't remember anything except her hugging me while I cried and my mom coming up behind me to explain what I wanted to say, since I could not get any words out. Luckily, I knew this would happen so I wrote her a letter:
I have so much to say to you. When I found out I was going to get the chance to see you, I tried to figure out what to say in that short amount of time but it was nearly impossible. Plus, I’m pretty sure that all my language skills will disappear when I see you. Your music has been one of the only constants in my life the past few years and it has gotten me through so many hard times.
Seven years ago I started having chronic pain in my bones. I thought maybe it was just because I was a middle school athlete. As time went on, the pain got worse. I started missing school… a lot. I was stuck at home in bed for days at a time. Every time I would get my period, I would be unable to move. I did my homework, but after that was done I had nothing to turn to. Late one night when I couldn’t sleep, I was watching random videos. I came across the song “Stay Here Forever” from the movie Valentine’s Day. I had no idea the impact that the song would have on my life.
As I grew older, my music taste got better. I started listening to more of your songs, and I learned to not only appreciate the stories told through songs, but also the uniquely beautiful sounds your voice could make. There were times when listening to your songs would make me cry because they spoke to me so deeply.
I lost a lot of friends since I could not attend school, and my health (mental and physical) were both getting worse as time, and pain, went on. The only thing I knew would be there for me were my family, and your songs. I would listen to them when I was sad, happy, excited, scared, and basically anytime I felt anything. I became so attached to your voice, and before I knew it, you were my favorite singer.
Then I discovered that you write poetry and books. As an avid reader, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on your newest book: “Never Broken.” As I started it, I learned more about your story and related to it on a level that I couldn’t quite understand. I was struggling so much with depression and anxiety. I learned techniques from your book and I box breathe every time I get anxious. My depression and anxiety are both under control and I have you to thank for some of that.
But my love for you didn’t stop there. After I started feeling happier, I wanted to do for someone, what you did for me. I started a blog in hopes that some girl out there would hear my story and know that life gets better, and possibly make them feel a little better. Not only that, but reading about your health issues really inspired me to make healthcare available to people living out of their cars, being turned away from doctors. God put your book in my hands to show me that good things can come out of a bad situation.
I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2014. It may not be fatal, but it ruins your life. Your quality of living is severely compromised and relationships fail when you are unable to get out of bed. However, I am open about my story, not for pity, but to make people aware. My dream in life is to become a pediatric gynecologist so I can help girls like me. I was turned away from doctors because I had an adult problem at a young age. No gynecologist would see me and no pediatrician knew how to help me. I am going to change that. On top of that, I want to do a lot of pro-bono work and help medicate those who otherwise would not have access to proper medicine.
I have four life goals. 1) become a doctor, 2) become a mom, 3) travel to Switzerland, and 4) to see you in concert. On December 9, 2017, number 4 became a reality. My dad drove six hours from Bath, MI to Riverside, IA. I had front row tickets, my jewel t-shirt, and the knowledge of all of the lyrics. It was the best night of my life, and I cried so hard seeing my hero that close. Of course, I’m guessing if you are reading this, then this day was probably better than that one. In the middle of the concert, your dad came out and danced with me… which made my night even better. Thinking back, the night seems like a dream.
I want to say thank you, Jewel. For helping me out of a depression, for telling me stories with songs, for opening my ears to good music, for being there when nobody else was, for helping me find my path in life, and for being such a strong role model for me to have. I think I am so lucky to look up to someone who values love and family and mental health more than being on the cover of tabloids and being the center of gossip, like most girls my age want.
So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
I still cannot comprehend that I met my idol this weekend, and I hope I didn't freak her out too much by sobbing in her face... but next time I meet her I hope I will be able to pull myself together. Once again, if you ever struggle with mental health, please look into Jewel, because not only has she helped me so much, but one of her main goals is to help people become whole again. She has changed my life. Thank you Jewel.
I decided to start a blog because my mental and physical conditions are constantly changing, and I want to help encourage people with similar experiences, and let them know they are not alone.