Finding Strength in Vulnerability

The physical and emotional toll of CF can sometimes make me feel isolated from my peers. But I’ve learned being vulnerable about my struggles can create stronger relationships that make me feel supported and loved.

March 14, 2024 | 4 min read
A headshot of Carter Jones
Carter Jones
Carter Jones wearing a black suit and smiling outside

Two days after I was born, the doctors noticed something was wrong and my family became concerned. With the tears at the understanding of the diagnosis, my family knew my life was going to be different. My childhood was punctuated with hospital visits, treatments, and a constant awareness of my health that most kids my age could not fathom. This journey has been an immense challenge, a profound learning journey, and an unexpected joy.

Living with cystic fibrosis means dealing with chronic illness and the toll it takes not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. The endless cycle of medication, therapy, and doctor's appointments can feel like a full-time job that isolates me from my peers. There were days when the weight of my condition felt unbearable, days when I envied the carefree lives of my friends. The constant reminder of my fragility was a heavy burden, casting a shadow over even the happiest moments. This battle is not just against a physical ailment, but against the loneliness and isolation it brings. Just remember there is a difference between being alone and feeling lonely — it took me the longest time to understand the difference.

CF has also profoundly impacted my relationships. It has been a litmus test for true friendship and love, revealing the depth of my connection with those who have stood by me through the toughest times. My condition has forced me to be vulnerable, to share my fears, and to accept help — something I once struggled with. It has taught me the value of communication and honesty in building strong, lasting relationships. My journey with CF has not been an easy one, but it has brought incredible people into my life — people who see beyond the illness to the person I am.

One of the most significant lessons CF has taught me is that there is strength in vulnerability. Opening up about my struggles, fears, and the realities of living with a chronic illness has not only helped me process my emotions, but it has also allowed others to understand and support me better.

It has fostered a sense of community and connection that I never expected. Sharing my story has been therapeutic — a way to turn my battle with CF into something that can inspire and support others facing similar challenges.

My journey with cystic fibrosis is ongoing — a path that I navigate daily with determination and hope. It has shaped me into who I am today: a fighter, a survivor, and an advocate for mental health awareness in the chronic illness community. CF may be a part of my life, but it does not define me. Instead, it has given me the tools to appreciate life in a way I might never have, so I can cherish every moment, every breath.

Our mindset controls our lives, so make sure you always strive to remain positive in every situation. Do not let an illness stop you from achieving your goals or slowing you down. I live by the following quote: “Keep striving, for God gives His hardest battles to His strongest warriors!”

To those on a similar path, know that you are not alone. Our struggles with our health can take a toll on our mental well-being, but they also bring out a resilience and strength we may not have known we possess. Keep pushing, remain strong, even when it's tough to show strength, and be resilient. Let’s continue to support one another, share our stories, and find strength in our collective vulnerability.

Interested in sharing your story? The CF Community Blog wants to hear from you.

This site contains general information about cystic fibrosis, as well as personal insight from the CF community. Opinions and experiences shared by members of our community, including but not limited to people with CF and their families, belong solely to the blog post author and do not represent those of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, unless explicitly stated. In addition, the site is not intended as a substitute for treatment advice from a medical professional. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your treatment.

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A headshot of Carter Jones

Carter is a 22-year-old entrepreneur and small business owner. He runs a landscaping business and has also dived into the financial industry. He is working to becoming a content creator/influencer in the social media world, creating motivational videos and reels. Carter is involved in a few organizations including the young adults group at his church and multiple networking groups. He lives in Harrison, Ohio and is frequently in the greater Cincinnati area. You can connect with Carter by email or on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok

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