training the past few months has really allowed me to do some reflection on my life (i mean what else is there to do besides sing and talk to yourself on a long run?) the past few days ive been fixated on the thought of what it would be like to not have crohns. physically speaking, i know ive always had it, but it wasn’t diagnosed until years of suffering from symptoms. i know what life is after diagnosis, but also know what it is to live without it…. but i dont.
im usually very open about my diagnosis & answer most questions people ask, but in the 10 years of learning to live with it, ive never responded: how does it feel to not have crohns? now, this is not meant to be a sarcastic question. to be honest, the thought never even crossed my mind until this week! i will be the first to admit i have selfish “why me?” days. if i didn’t, id be lying to us both. as strong as i can be most days, its important to be true to yourself, even if it means dealing with emotions you’d rather not. it’s taken me 10 years to realize this and i still learn things about myself every day.
i can imagine its probably strange to imagine yourself with the disease because youre not able to physically or emotionally experience how uncomfortable it is to have your insides and immune system attacking you. though there may be days i am envious and jealous of you and your normal set of bowels, my crohns is a large part of who i am! it certainly doesn’t define me, but it has definitely made me a stronger person.
so lets play a game. lets say i didn’t have crohns. would i live in wisconsin? would i be a socialite with no anxiety issues? would i be a marathon runner? would i be married already? but seriously, if i didnt have crohns, would I enjoy life better?
i can’t honestly say i think my life would be a whole lot different if i didn’t have crohns or colitis. most days, i feel pretty blessed to be alive. life has dealt me some difficult hands, but reflecting on the person i was at diagnosis and then 10 years later really puts things into perspective. adjusting to this type of lifestyle has certainly given me (and tested) my patience. being raised in a home full of faith and understanding has made my diagnosis, along with its many complications a lot easier to accept. i do believe my journey was given to me because im tough (and stubborn) enough to fight it. God gave me this body and i will fight like hell to keep it until my last breath.
it’s easy for me to answer the question “what is it like to have crohns?” I live in this body every day and I know exactly what it’s capable of, especially when it’s angry. maybe because so much of my time lately has been occupied by the thoughts of not feeling well and the physical cycle of what it is to have crohns, but i can’t help but find myself stumped. what is it like NOT to have crohns?