Days 6 and 7 Prompt: What does it mean to you to FIGHT IBD? Do you feel that fighting to defy IBD places a lot of pressure on you? Do you feel the idea that IBD shouldn’t stop you from doing anything is offensive in any way? How would you characterize your own experience with IBD and do you think you’ve gained some good qualities or aspects in your life BECAUSE you have it? (See Charis’ blog for more on the inspiration for this prompt.)
I’ve now had IBD for half of my life. I spent all of my teenage years and beyond dealing with what comes along with that diagnosis. I’m at the point now where I don’t know who I am without it. Since I spent so much of my true growing-up years with this, it’s shaped so much of who I am now. For those who were diagnosed in their twenties or later, I’m sure they can remember what it was like before IBD. I don’t remember life without it and I can never know what kind of person I would have become without it.
So for me, “fighting” means living the best life I can live. Doing the things that I believe I can do and not letting a diagnosis hold me back. I can see how it would be difficult for someone who remembers life pre-IBD to feel that they can live the same way they did before.
As I wrote yesterday, fighting is in my nature and I’ll never give up the fight. But I also know when to be realistic and when I have to slow-down or ask for help (well… sometimes). The pressure I put on myself is my own. I have others who’ve encouraged me to keep fighting, and while sometimes I just want to shake my head and say, “you just don’t understand,” I know they only want what’s best for me and to provide encouragement.
I’ve been asked before if I could go back and change the fact that I had IBD, would I? But at this point in my life, there’s no way I can say “yes.” As I said before, so much of who I am is a direct result of that diagnosis. I would be a completely different person without it, and in all honesty, I’m happy with where I am and who I’ve become.