Can You Ever Truly Beat IBD?
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) has one goal: cause destruction. When living with a chronic illness, you often feel like a lone hobbit in a raging battle against the evil forces of Mordor. You look around, searching for hope. Searching for anything that can help get you through it. True, you may have small victories here and there, but most days it feels like all hope is lost. You’re alone, shivering in the dark.
Can you ever truly beat Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis when there is no known cure?
The simple answer is yes, but it will take a lot of effort and determination. When you’re diagnosed with IBD, the sad truth is you are going to be in a battle for the rest of your life. You will have days where you feel like you can’t keep going. You will want to give up. You’ll often ask yourself if you should even keep going. You’ll wonder why you even bother fighting.
You will cry, you will hurt, you will get exhausted, beat down and lose many battles. But losing a battle, doesn’t mean you will lose the war being waged against you. You only lose a war when you choose to give up. I want to encourage you to fight on! Fighting will look different every day of your life from now on. Some days fighting will be learning how to cope with an incurable illness. Some days fighting will be going to the pharmacy and picking up your medications. Other days, fighting is going to work even when most people wouldn’t if they felt as badly as you do. Sometimes fighting will be just waking up and choosing to smile. Some days fighting will be crying out in pain, wondering if there is relief in sight.
Your battle will never look the same as anyone else’s. Therefore, don’t compare your battle to someone else’s. It won’t help you and it won’t get you anywhere. This is your battle and if you’re doing the best you can, you shouldn’t worry about what someone else is doing or what someone else expects you to do. Pain is the best teacher, so learn from it!
Sometimes you will have to make a conscious effort to keep fighting.
You will have to look your disease square in the face and stare it down. You have to look at your disease and refuse to give up. Fight with all your might. Just because there is not a cure for your disease, doesn’t mean you stop seeking the best treatments. When one treatment fails you, look for another. Learn everything you can about your disease and the treatments available to you. You never know what might or might not work until you try!
Learn everything you can about the healthcare system and how it works. Find ways to use the system to help you get the best care you possibly can. Help covering your medications and healthcare is out there, but it’s up to you to find it! Don’t take no for an answer. Where there’s a will, there’s always away. Fight. Learn. Don’t give up.
While living with IBD will bring you a lot of pain, heartache and trials, I have learned that it will also give you strength. IBD will show you what you’re made of. IBD will help you grow. IBD helped me find some of the best friends out there. And on the days I feel I can’t go on, those people help me keep going. They carry me when I’m too weak to take a stand myself.
Can you beat IBD without a cure? Yes, but not in the way you would normally think and it won’t be easy.
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