The physical pain of Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a big enough load to carry without having to add in mental anguish. Part of your healing journey is finding ways to see the positives in having IBD.
Having IBD is no different from other chronic conditions in that when there is physical pain, mental suffering follows. With IBD, feelings of failure, anger, and isolation are common.
We can feel like our bodies are failing our desires, our career goals, and dreams because we are in pain, and too tired to even climb a flight of stairs.
We can become angry, even enraged that our bodies are not functioning “as they should”. Our rage can be directed at others around us who don’t understand the struggles we go through internally, and towards a medical system that has no easy answers for us.
Even in a room full of people, we can become isolated, withdrawn, and feel impossibly alone as we try to cover up how we are feeling. We don’t want to rain on another person’s happiness, or feel we shame for our “gross” symptoms.
There are times when physical suffering is unavoidable, but I believe we have greater control over our mental suffering. I have found that recognizing my Crohn’s disease isn’t all doom and gloom has been immensely helpful in my healing journey.
Having positive thoughts, about anything can be a big energy boost, and we all know IBD can suck the energy right out of us. Focusing on the positive aspects of IBD can improve our energy and help us make better, healthier decisions in our healing journeys.
Here are a few ways I see IBD has been a positive experience for me.
- It forced me to learn about using safer, cheaper, and sometimes more effective natural alternative treatments for IBD. I now share my knowledge with others.
- I appreciate the simple things in life so much more, because often in a cold bathroom I do not feel the warmth of the sun, see a beautiful smile or hear hearty laughter.
- My bathroom humor is high quality!
- It is easier for me to relate to others who have a chronic condition, not necessarily IBD.
- It’s been a goal of mine to cure myself of Crohn’s disease and as the years pass, my health progressively improves. That has made the difficult journey worth it. The feeling of self-accomplishment has been empowering, life changing because I am no longer a victim of my genetics or a medical system gone wrong.
As horrible having IBD can be, I challenge you to think of how IBD has made a positive difference in your life. Have you adopted a healthstyle (health choices + lifestyle choices), do you appreciate the simple things in life more, have stronger connections to people who understand you?