Hi! My name is Emily, and I have complex regional pain syndrome. I've battled this condition for nearly three years now. Sure, I've had my ups and my downs, like many of you, but my spirit to thrive and courage still remained with me. I'm your average thirteen year old girl, at least, that's what most people think. Nobody sees the real me; the me that sits on the floor crying hysterically because I'm in pain, or the me that takes a handful of pills everyday just to keep myself upright. Because of my illness, I was inpatient for nearly one month and it was the hardest three and a half weeks of my life. I had to learn strategies to keep my pain under control and I had to learn to walk again. I had to learn who I really was, and I had to learn how to help myself. One of my favorite quotes is: "Your illness does not define you, but your strength and courage does" I hope you all think about this quote, because it gave me a new outlook on both life and my illness.