Sitting here, reminiscing on my journey with Crohn’s so far, I tend to concentrate on the negative impact it has on my life, but never the positives. Some days, its easy to deal with the fact this thing has decided to take over my body.
Today is not so easy.
Today, all I can think about is how exhausted I am from always being ill. How fed up I am of always having to see doctors about one thing or another. Annoyed at how my treatment is supposed to help me, but instead leaves me feeling dizzy and sick.
So, here are 10 things that living with Crohn’s Disease has taught me;
- It has taught me how strong I really am. Those 10 years without a diagnosis, going through everyday in agonising pain not knowing what was causing it. When having a flare up, not being able to control the pain without going to A&E. Dealing with the loneliness IBD gives you, regardless of who says they understand, no one ever can.
- How I can get through anything. Id never had a ‘life altering moment‘ until I was given my diagnosis. If I can get through that, I can certainly face anything that comes my way.
- How to appreciate the little things in life. A day without pain, enjoying food without suffering for it, even getting dressed!
- It has taught me how to be more empathetic with other people. Before my diagnosis, I was never fully aware of what people may be going through, but being on the other side of this, it has taught me to relate to other people through the tough times.
- Everything happens for a reason. Every hardship, trial and tribulation I’ve gone through was meant to happen, which has made me into the person I am today.
- Stress is the worst thing. I noticed the more frequent and stressed I got, the more flares I would have. When working in the care industry, its high impact every hour you are at work, other people depending on you. I took that away, and the stress has significantly reduced.
- I’ve learnt to laugh at myself. When something embarrassing, or awkward happens, it’s easier to laugh it off rather than hiding away.
- Living for the moment. Whilst I’m not in pain, I’m going to make the most of it. Have that pizza, drink that extra caffeinated drink I’m not meant to but do it anyway. Enjoying the small things as and when I can.
- Everyday life requires a lot of planning. What I need to take out, what medication I may need. Are there toilets where we are going? Do I have my can’t wait card?
- I have learnt that my voice can be other peoples therapy. Hence this blog. I may be able to help someone else who is struggling with a new diagnosis who have never come across IBD before.
So, there we are. 10 things IBD has taught me. Mind you, regardless of all the positive things I have learned, I still hate this motherfucking disease.
Words by Jack Sawyer