person flexing their arm with tattoos of unhealthy food

When you purposely eat bad to feel in control of your Crohn’s

Going through a severe Crohn’s flare, no matter how long you have been accustomed to the disease, is always exasperating. You truly never get used to it in any way. Yes, we are all so strong and mentally can push through so much turmoil due to our circumstances, but regardless, a flare is hard every time.

Flares can last a couple of days or a couple of months or even an entire year. They plague you with horrific pain and ongoing symptoms that leave you out of breath, exhausted and just plain tired of dealing with the horrific chronic disease.

And amidst it all, we feel out of control. Our bodies are not functioning normally and the frustration of that is taxing on our mental health. So I’m just going to be honest and say, sometimes we can do stupid things to feel somewhat in control again.

Reaching for foods I can't tolerate during a flare

As for me, I reach for the foods that I used to enjoy prior to my diagnosis. I know it’s bad for me. I know I will most likely get sick soon after and regret my rebellious choice, but in a way, it’s almost something I have to do for my mental health.

After being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, I was advised to cut all grains, dairy, and processed sugars from my diet. Just awesome! Yea, tell the girl who adores her bread, pasta, pizza, milk, cookies, etc., to suddenly never eat those things ever again.

In the beginning, I was so disciplined. I had no issue sticking to the new way of eating, of course, I had my moments where I would crave these foods but for the most part, I would get through it and not give in.

Frustrated by repeated flares

But! After years of being relatively disciplined and still experiencing flares, a girl gets frustrated. Or perhaps a better word is hangry. Knowing that I’m doing my best to control symptoms and working hard to resist cravings yet still experience awful symptoms just gets me plain mad.

So as a sort of “screw you, Crohn’s,” I indulge. Yes, in the middle of a flare, sometimes I can get so hungry because I am surviving off of bone broth, cooked veggies and a potato or two, that I say “just forget it, I’m going to Chick-fil-a.” 

For those of you who don’t live in the U.S., Chick-fil-a is an extremely popular fast food joint with amazing chicken and fries. Am I guilty of driving up to the drive-through while I’m enduring a flare and ordering myself a meal? 100% I am.

Doing what I need to for my mental health

Sadly, can I tell you that it is the best feeling in the world to eat an entire meal and enjoy every bite? And that even knowing what I am doing is “wrong” can make it feel so right? It’s just plain sad but it’s the reality. This disease is so tricky and you know what, sometimes to keep my sanity, making “bad” choices and rebelling with food is sometimes just what I need at the moment.

Am I the only one that rebels with food? What are your rebellious choices? Share below.

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