Silver Linings of Crohn’s Disease

Being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease is devastating. No one is thrilled to hear that they have an autoimmune condition. It may be relieving to finally know why you are feeling ill, but overall, it’s a kick in the pants to learn you have an ailment.

But, since I always try my best to look at the brighter side in life. I figure I try and find the silver linings in dealing with a Crohn’s diagnosis. So here are some things I came up with:

1. Mentally and emotionally strong because of Crohn's

Crohn’s makes you mentally and emotionally stronger. Period. Anyone who deals with this illness can attest to that.  Suddenly what used to stress you out before your diagnosis, seems like child’s play now.

Little insignificant hiccups in life are no bother. You tend to have a much wiser perspective on life. You appreciate the small things more.

You are thankful for the good days and take advantage of every moment you are pain-free and able to function. Your stamina in dealing with pain and real physical and emotional struggle is herculean.

2. More grateful since my diagnosis

I don’t know about you, but ever since I was diagnosed, I have become more grateful. I am thankful for any moment that I am pain-free. I am thankful for my job that is flexible — I know I am so blessed in having it.

I am honored to be able to attend an event and really enjoy my time while I’m there. Overall, I guess I just know how to live in the moment because I know tomorrow, or heck, even the next hour can change for me.

3. More flexibility about plans

You have to cancel plans? No biggie. I am so flexible nowadays, it’s amazing.

If anyone has a last-minute cancellation, or they are running late, it is of no bother to me. I constantly have to fly by the seat of my pants with this diagnosis, so my understanding when others’ are having to change or cancel events is met with nothing but empathy.

4. More compassionate and open with others

I was a bit closed-off emotionally before my diagnosis. I didn’t really like to show feelings. Now? Heck, I’m an open book and I also feel intense compassion for others—especially the sick! Oh man, whenever I see someone in a wheelchair or talk to someone dealing with cancer, or of course, meeting another fellow IBDer, my heart explodes. Why? 

Because I know what it’s like to suffer first hand. I know what it’s like to be ill, weak, and depressed. So I now have this deep love and compassion towards others experiencing the same. It’s a beautiful thing and probably one of the silver linings I appreciate the most.

5. The ability to know where bathrooms are

Yup. I just had to throw this one in here. My ability to find bathrooms in public spaces is really something to take note of. I am a bathroom guru. 

I know where all the good places to use a restroom are, and I am a beast at getting access to washrooms that are for employees, or customers only.

Throughout my 9 years of dealing with this diagnosis, I have only flat out been denied a restroom once, and even so, I still pushed forward and used it. Ladies and gents, if you need help finding a washroom, come hither!

6. A better perspective

Lastly, I think just overall, getting diagnosed with an unfortunate diagnosis like CD, just turns your world upside down. Your perspective on life completely changes.

You see life more clearly, more simply. What once was a foggy mirror, is now crystal clear.

You get it. Life is short. Nothing in life is promised. You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. You don’t know what will happen in 30 minutes. 

So be grateful for everything you have. Laugh when you can laugh. Cry when you can cry. Live, enjoy and focus on the good. Yes, I believe my diagnosis has made me wiser and with that, I can say I live my life in a way that not many people my age do.

How about you? What are some silver linings you have noticed from your diagnosis? Share below!

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