If I’m gonna be doling out IBD-related information, I figured I ought to share my own story with the infamous disease. I’ll be honest, it’s still hard for me to think about those early days – my life is pretty great right now, despite lingering symptoms, and I have great optimism for my future, but it’s uncomfortable recalling such dark times.
But I want to preface this post by saying that I’m incredibly grateful for all of it. Even the surgery – I would have chosen differently if I’d had more information, but I don’t regret it.
When I started this journey, I was smart, hardworking, and good-natured, but rigid and perfectionistic – I had no give to me. When things went wrong, I didn’t bend; I broke. I was so caught up in oughts I couldn’t see how things actually are (much less enjoy them), I became angered and impatient easily, and I took everything so very seriously. A good quality when things are serious, certainly – but not conducive to a happy life.
Perhaps from the outside, the change wasn’t so dramatic, but to myself, I’m almost unrecognizable now.
The girl who so identified with her beliefs (food, religious, or otherwise) that she would feel threatened by those who believed differently – she’s gone now. The girl who thought exclusively in black and white now delights in the whole spectrum of gray.
I’ve learned that good and done is better than perfect in my head, and that there’s no award for trying the hardest or suffering the most – in a fight with reality, reality always wins.
I’ve also gained access to the eternal playground of ideas and discoveries that is human health, and the endless wonder and fascination that affords. And much to my previous dismay and current elation, health is indeed so much more than the state of our physical bodies.
But enough of my philosophizing. Please enjoy the chronicles of Alyssa and her colon.[Read more…] about My IBD Story: Ulcerative Colitis, Restrictive Diets, Surgery, and Ongoing Exploration