From "Woe is Me" to "Whoa, It’s Me!"

I did a thing today called putting up a boundary and standing up for what is right. That may or may not sound like a huge feat, but for me, it most certainly is! I’m feeling really proud of myself today and it has put me in a state of reflection. To put it simply, I’m just not the same person I was a few short years ago.

Brave and confident

I’m no longer afraid and frail, no longer a victim of the privations of life. This new me is brave and confident. I’m now certain of who I am and what I believe in. No more feeling sorry for myself. No more woe is me.

I am no longer a woman losing her vision, I’m a woman with a vision of a better life. It’s undeniable that this change has occurred because of the hardships I’ve faced in life, including my macular degeneration diagnosis.

Celebrating two years of advocacy

It’s hard to believe it’s already been almost two years since I started advocating and writing articles for Our site launched in March of 2019 and though it was slightly out of my comfort zone, I jumped at the opportunity to help others through this devastating disease.

In the last two years, we have all been through so much. I don’t know what the future holds for all of us, but I do know that our community is resilient. Even though life keeps trying to knock us down, we are all here fighting for ourselves and for each other, refusing to fall. Here, we support and educate each other about macular degeneration and extreme vision loss, and that is a gift. Let’s celebrate!

Surviving to thriving

It's been an honor. I know that without my macular degeneration diagnosis and without our community, I would still be suffering a life in survival mode.

I want to celebrate this amazing journey and, more importantly, our amazing community by modeling the idea that disease really can be the catalyst for living our best lives!

When I first started advocating for our community, I knew I might be able to help someone through the difficulties of all of this with support and knowledge.

I wouldn’t be who I am today without our community

I had no idea just how much my own life would change in the process. It has been a magical, life-altering experience, and I’m honored that you all are interested in what I have to say.

Thank you for trusting my guidance and knowledge. Thank you for being vulnerable with me and allowing me to listen to your experiences. Thank you for being a part of my team and putting in all the hard work that it takes to battle this disease.

I’ve learned so much

I used to pity myself, lacking the confidence to stand my ground. I can’t say exactly when that changed for me, but I know it has a lot to do with realizing a few really important things about life that I’d love to share with all of you.

Life is short, accept the things you cannot change

We only get this one life, friends. And it seems to pass by with the blink of an eye. I’m determined not to spend my one life stewing in worry and anger.

Controlling everything in life may sound appealing, but the reality of it all is that isn’t possible. We cannot stop certain hardships from invading our lives. We can only control how we handle them and try our hardest to learn from them.
We may not always understand why certain things happen the way they do. But, at the risk of sounding cliche, everything really does happen for a reason.

You are not alone

Being diagnosed with macular degeneration can oftentimes feel extremely isolating. Even when we have a good support system at home, there’s just something to be said about being part of a community of people that are going through similar experiences. I now know that there is help out there and we are never alone.

Standing up for what's right

I’d like to leave you with a quote that I stumbled across today as I gallantly stood up for what was right while admiring this huge change I noticed in myself:

"Take chances. Take a lot of them. No matter where you end up and with whom, it ends up the way it should be. Your mistakes make you who you are and you find your inner power when you own them. Learn and level up with every choice. It’s all worth it. Say what you feel. Stand up for what is right when the world wants you to sit down because it’s convenient. Be you. Fully you. Unapologetically you. And be proud of it." -Anonymous

Whoa, it’s me! Whoa, it’s you!

Andrea Junge

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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