What You Choose to Focus on Matters

As a self-proclaimed quote hoarder, I have saved so many passages and links and clips from blogs, articles, TV shows, movies, and some of the people who inspire me. I try to keep them organized by topic or feeling, which makes them searchable, accessible, and easy(ish) to share. I have found understanding, inspiration, comfort, and strength through pieces written by others, and many of these have carried me through the harder times in my IBD journey.

One of my favorite writers has shared countless articles and blog posts that have both touched my heart and been archived in the quote bins of my life, but this one, it changed me. It became a part of the fabric of my life.


what you choose

to focus on,



It can seem impossible

I know, more than many, that this can at times seem impossible. That when we are coughing up stomach acid or bleeding rectally or too sore to move or spending our entire night in the fetal position on the floor, that it is HARD to see this. I would NEVER EVER deny that. For months and months and months and months at a time, I didn’t think it was possible to find a balance. To choose where I focus my energy and whatever minimal levels of strength I had. I was angry with and resentful towards those who easily lived within these lines. But in truth, this quote, the moment I came across it, it sort of saved me. It put one tiny ounce of control in my hands. Choosing to focus. Choosing at all.

Anyone with a chronic illness knows this isn’t a word very prevalent in our vocabulary. It’s something we fight desperately for, it’s something we chase after, but in the end, it’s not something that we really get when it comes to our health, our illnesses, our bodies. But our focus. It still can be ours.

I needed that.



I needed to be able to feel control somewhere, over something, even if it was just my thoughts.

I think, living in the world that we do, having both IBD and ambitions, I have learned that it is imperative that we grace ourselves with this secret weapon. Choice. Focus.

There are so many things that at times require our attention, our emotion, our energy or our strength, that it’s easy to feel torn. Sometimes it’s having multiple doctors appointments in a short period of time, or trying a new medication, or experiencing setbacks when our health declines; sometimes, it’s fighting with insurance, or trying to balance work, or trying to care about our family or our friends. No matter how you look at it, it’s a LOT to balance. It’s so easy to feel exhausted, overwhelmed, frustrated or pained by ANY of these things. And that’s when I have to come back to this idea that what I choose to focus on matters.


What I choose to focus on today is simple. I focus on the things that bring me gratitude. The things that bring my heart joy. And during harder moments, during moments that I am challenged by my health, I choose to focus on the future. On what comes next in my journey. I choose to focus on the things that are on my horizon – loving on and continuing to train our 5 month old puppy, starting IVF, and celebrating my first anniversary with my husband.

What do you choose to focus on when times are tough? What about when things are going well?

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


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