Do you ever get the feeling that nobody quite understands you? We’re all unique in our own ways and that’s what makes us special, but what about those who have hidden demons bubbling below the surface? How do they cope? Apologies for the rather dramatic intro there, but I’m going to discuss a subject that’s close to my heart in this post, the debilitating disease that is Crohn’s. I’ll be putting a positive spin on what has over the years been a quite literally a huge pain in my ass.
So, what is Crohn’s? Well I’m glad you asked, I’d describe it as something that’s sole purpose is to bring you down, if let loose it can really wreak havoc. Some of the more commonly known symptoms include chronic fatigue, weight loss and loss of appetite, but in reality it can be crippling stomach cramps and sometimes hospitalisation. Oh, and I also forgot to mention the unusually frequent trips to the toilet, yes that’s right, you and your toilet will become good friends, you’ll be spending much of your time in the bathroom. Of course this does come with the odd perk, I can’t remember the last time I put any weight on, garnering much jealously throughout my work for being the guy that can pretty much eat his own body weight in food without worry. All jokes aside though, Crohn’s is no joke, It’s not something I’d wish on anyone. For those of you out there who are suffering with it, or have similar illnesses like Colitis, I’m going to discuss what I’m doing to turn my negative in a positive.
I will begin with honesty, when I was first diagnosed with crohn’s disease and for many of the years that followed, I was very negative. I’d spend hours at a time thinking why me? What have I done to deserve this? I guess it hit me right at the wrong time, I was 18 years old fresh out of school and on my way to university, put simply it came as a bit of a shock. Jealousy would often get the better of me, I was tall, super skinny and unable to enjoy those adolescent rights of passage. When my friends would be out partying I’d have a convenient excuse ready for why I couldn’t join them, opting more often than not to spend my time alone. Now, looking back I’m actually glad I went through this experience because it’s helped form the person I am today.
As you can imagine my confidence took a big hit from the ages of 18 to 23, I was so embarrassed of who I was, of crohn’s disease, but to the outside world I was probably just a moody individual angry at the world. I’m not ashamed to admit I suffered quite badly with depression, and it was around this point towards the tail end of 2017 that I made big changes in a positive direction. I’d taken a month long trip up to Scotland to visit family, it’s a beautiful country and certainly somewhere for deep thought. I asked myself some serious questions while up there, one in particular had real meaning, why am I letting crohn’s control me? See the silly thing is when you face your fears head on they’re no longer fears, they become a thing you used to fear and that’s something entirely different. I started going out as much as possible, when someone spoke to me I engaged in conversation. I’d had this crazy notion that everyone must think I was weird because of crohn’s, in reality that was utter nonsense. I’m no different to anyone else, yes I’ve got to take good care of my body but I now consider myself lucky, there are people in the world far worse off. I started to chase dreams and got realistic with things, funnily enough my major passion is now reading and writing, I’m currently working away at my own children’s story and if it weren’t for crohn’s I’d probably never have started writing it.
The biggest positive was yet to come however, I opened myself up to others and stopped wallowing in my own self pity, one thing I’d always convinced myself I’d never have was that one person who I could share with, because who would want me right? Well can you believe that when I opened up people actually listened? My confidence rose and I met Chantelle, now the rest is history, we have our beatiful baby boy Ezra and life is good, no in fact life is great. I’d always hoped for a family but never really thought it’d happen, now look at me, Ezra’s not even 6 months old and he’s already got me on my toes.
I’m going to end this post on another positive note and that is that we’re bigger than the problems we might be facing. Throughout my babbles I hope that point has come across, always speak to others but above all else believe in yourself and where you want to get to. Crohn’s was the worst thing to ever happen to me until I gave it a good slap and told it to bugger off. It hasn’t got a hold over me now, every negative it’s brought me can and is turned into a positive.
Thanks as always folks for taking the time to read my post, I really do appreciate it. I promise to make the next one a little more light hearted, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll see you next time.