A hand pulling the lever of a time travel machine to the past.

Crohn's Disease is Not Your Fault

Do you ever think to yourself, what did I do to bring this upon myself?  Maybe if I would have eaten better I wouldn’t have been diagnosed?  Maybe if I had a better routine, worked out often, got sunshine daily and had lower stress levels I wouldn’t have been diagnosed?  Or maybe if I didn’t take so many antibiotics or other medications things would be different?

Not your fault

Just thinking out loud here.  I know I am not the only one that has these thoughts.  It typically comes in the height of a flare—when you are curled up in the fetal position with a heating pad moaning from the pain and thinking how did this happen?  How did I get to this point?  Was it something I did?

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Have you ever blamed yourself for Crohn's?

I’m here to tell you to stop blaming yourself.  Stop shaming yourself.  Crohn’s disease is not your fault.  It is a complicated autoimmune disease, and I don’t think just eating better would have prevented anything.  Genetics have a play, environment, trauma and the list goes on.  I don’t think anyone who gets cancer or multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s is ever to blame.

What can we control?

Disease and sickness is an unfortunate part of this broken world we live in.  Disease has been present since the beginning of time.  And sadly some are diagnosed and it is simply a reality of this world.  How many of us personally know the healthiest, strongest people who suddenly get diagnosed with cancer or some other horrid diagnosis?  I sure do.  My uncle passed away from lung cancer.  Never smoked a day in his life.  Was extremely fit and ate well, until one day he got diagnosed and passed away soon after.

In life, sometimes we just have to understand that there can be no explanation to certain things.  All we can do is control how we react to these unfortunate events and have the wisdom not to blame or shame.  There are things in life that are simply out of our control, all we can control is our reactions.

Focus on the future

Being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease was crushing for me.  I was an athlete and never sick a day in my life.  I used to go back and think to myself, what was it?  What could I have done different?  The answer is: nothing.

You can’t go back and change anything, and it is useless to sit in the past and think about all the what if’s.  What we CAN do is focus how we go forward with this diagnosis. 

What research can be done to better ourselves?  How can we learn about foods to improve our diet?  What supplements can we take to better enhance our nutrition intake or to help heal our intestinal linings?  How can we lower stress?  What medical professionals can we reach out to, to enhance our knowledge of this disease?  What can we do spiritually and mentally to strengthen our outlook on this diagnosis?  The list is endless.

Don’t let this diagnosis cripple you.  I know what it is like to feel helpless and hopeless with this disease.  Mentally we must remain focused on the promise that there can always be improvement and healing.  So no, it isn’t your fault and yes it is unfair.  But it is up to you how you fight and decide to manage this diagnosis.  Will you be proactive?  Will you be hopeful?  Will you fight?

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