Today, May 19th, is World IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) Day. For my celebration I am, appropriately, at home and not at work because I’ve been up since 3 am with my usual flare symptoms, mixed in with some additional fun nausea! This is the down side to traveling, I guess. We got to have a nice break from home and puppies and work, but deviating from my schedule and routines often has a huge impact on my IBD.
So for World IBD day, I’m writing two letters to my IBD. The first is a rant, or a hate letter. And the second is a Love Letter. Check ’em out below and stay tuned for my new Website coming later this month!
I hate you. You’ve ruined so much of my life for so long, staying hidden behind other guises. You have stolen my body from my soul. You’ve made me lethargic when my heart is bursting with energy; you’ve made me sick and kept me in bed when I wanted to be with my students or my friends. You make me leave parties early and stay home while others rejoice in their youth and vitality. You make me feel like a sick person, when I should be a vibrant person because I am otherwise so happy and healthy. and WTF, I can’t enjoy OREOS!!?? I can’t get a sandwich or a slice of pizza on a whim. I can’t eat at a fancy french restaurant, and delight in copious amounts of butter or rich cuisine. I can’t enjoy pasta with Matt when he finally gets to see the Italy that I love. I can’t forget to take my pills EVER: probiotics, vitamins, fish oils, anti-inflammatories, daily. Everyone knows that I work out and eat like a saint, but my belly still bloats like I’m 4 months pregnant or just inhaled a burrito–a burrito, what’s that? I have eczema from stress and food allergies. I’m anemic. I am always late to work because I LITERALLY go to the bathroom at least 7 times in the morning. And I hate that Matt has to see me like this. I hate that I was a hurting, embarrassed child because I didn’t understand my body and how I was different. I SERIOUSLY LOATHE that I have pooped my pants TWICE as adult– yeah, I said it. In short, you suck IBD! And when I lay back and close my eyes, I envision you sinking to the bottom of the dark, cold sea, where you will be alone. Where you can’t hurt anyone. And I am free.
Thank you. Life can be so small for so many people, but you have expanded mine. I will never be the same, in large part due to you. I like myself more than I ever have since you were given a name and burst into my life. I am becoming who I was destined to be. I am learning that sometimes routine and habits are good and that I can still be my impulsive, adventurous self with all your boundaries and requirements. This makes me better, smarter, and stronger. Learning to be your most authentic self in the face of adversity and struggle is healing. I am finding things that had been missing in my life, and feeling more fulfilled than ever. I go to acupuncture, use medicinal herbs, have an awesome relationship with my incredible physician, and live (and blog about) a paleo lifestyle that I love and truly believe in. I feel purpose in encouraging others, and relaxation in the kitchen, creating new recipes and testing out old ones. I have fewer friendships now, but they are deep ones because my friends have seen me change and encouraged me along my journey. I love myself in a new, more profound way. And I know this to be the purest truth because I fight for myself every day. With every choice and every step forward, I fight visibly and inwardly for health, quality of life, vibrancy, authenticity, and balance. And I won’t give up. I will be healthier and stronger because of this set back. In my twenties, I have learned that my body is a precious vessel for everything I am, and I protect it and treat it gently, kindly. Because of you, IBD, and the awareness you have given me, I know I will live in this amazing world a little longer.