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Accepting Your New You

Oftentimes, people with diseases, such as IBD, feel an urgency to straighten out their lives, examine their purpose, and confront the reality of death. Ironically, in spite of the physical and emotional pain, many of us express gratitude for this opportunity. The encounter with our own mortality changes our priorities in life, our values, and aspirations. For many, it makes us truly cherish life and the ability to give and receive love. These were words from Jeff Seibert.

Acceptance…a word that means so little to someone going through a crisis.

The cycle of grief is the last thing on someone’s mind when they’ve just been thrown a curve ball. A scary diagnosis, a chronic life-long condition thrown in your lap – having this suddenly become your “norm” if far from a quick turnover. Acceptance takes years, and still, after being diagnosed 13 years, I struggle to accept my disease every single day.

I grieve all the time. Who I used to be, who I could or even would be had this disease not repeatedly stolen the things I loved – things like education, relationships, finances. I think it’s fairly normal, when living with any chronic illness, to grieve things, big or small. It’s when grief completely takes over your life that it starts to change you.

Knowing that any chronic disease can be lifelong can really find ways of knocking you down when you least expect it. And when it does, that wave of emotion can sometimes be too much. Being proactive with your mental health is more important than you realize when you are first diagnosed.

There are so many things to accept with a chronic illness:

  • Acceptance that you were once healthy and now you have been labeled with a diagnosis that will last for as long as you live.
  • Acceptance that sometimes you will fail medications and also accepting that it isn’t your fault.
  • Acceptance that remission is real and it’s great.
  • Acceptance that things can fall apart at any minute, even if life was as close to perfect as it could be.
  • Acceptance that this rollercoaster is real and the rug can be swept out from underneath you when you least expect and deserve it.

Most importantly, accept that there are people who want to help.

Caregivers, other patients and especially your health care team want to help. Know that it’s important for every patient – whether mild, moderate or severe – to see a therapist at any point in their lives to see where things are at and what a professional may be able to help with.

Accept that there are resources and accept its okay to use those resources when needed!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    11 months ago

    Acceptance of a chronic illness is so hard. I know I am still working on accepting my Crohn’s diagnosis and it has been over 7 years. Professional help is definitely so important when it comes to the mental aspect of IBD. So glad you are sharing about this.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • Lisa
    2 years ago

    I am currently working on the acceptance of having crohns disease and what it has done to me physically, mentally and emotionally. This is the 2nd time of going through the acceptance phase. I was so ill in 2015, I truly believed I would never get my life back to where it once was. I actually did fight the pain and did everything my Doctors told me to do and I came back a better and much different person. Actually, I was more thankful and realized that I needed to live more and cherish every single day. I did. I had a blast. Now, BAM! Out of no where, I am right where I was in 2015 but it’s worse. So, let the acceptance phase start again. Thanks for listening.

  • SusanHU
    2 years ago

    Thank you for taking the time to share Lisa J – we’re always here to listen! – Susan ( Team Member)

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