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How I Learned to Accept My IBD.

How I Learned to Accept My IBD

Inflammatory Bowel Disease can be a difficult diagnosis to accept. Which is why I didn’t. When I was first diagnosed with IBD, you would have thought the doctor told me I had a cold. I didn’t ask any questions. I took my medications and I told no one. My disease didn’t make me feel good. I didn’t feel pretty. I didn’t feel normal at all. Coming to terms with my condition wasn’t easy. It took years to get to where I am today. It took years for me to even say the words “I have IBD” in public. It’s not an easy road, but with time and effort, it does come.

How I Learned to Accept My IBD

Acknowledging it:

I needed to learn to not only acknowledge that I have a condition, but that I have a chronic autoimmune condition that may possibly not have a cure during my lifetime. Acknowledging my reality really helped as the first step to my acceptance.

Acknowledging the pain:

It was hard for me to admit that I felt defeated. It was even harder for me to admit the pain. I wasn’t simply hurting physically from symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, but mentally too. I was depressed. After a while I isolated myself and sheltered myself in an attempt to protect myself and others. I didn’t want people to know about it and / or pity me.

Allowing myself to feel:

Once I was able to acknowledge how hurt I was by being diagnosed, I was also able to appreciate my feelings. By giving myself permission to feel, I allowed myself to react to being diagnosed. Although it was years later, it helped. Sometimes when something completely out of your hands happens, it can help to sit down and just be in the moment. Allow yourself to breathe and really feel.

Embracing my options:

I tried to be open when it came to medications and treatment plans. Sometimes having a positive outlook can make a world of difference.

Making friends:

Making friends who also live with some kind of Inflammatory Bowel Disease has been extremely helpful in learning to accept my condition. Being around people who understand what it’s like and are able to offer information and advice from a first hand perspective is priceless. Having these people around also helped in lifting my spirits on my “down days.”

Talking about it:

Talking about my condition to people who don’t have it has proven to be a very hard task. Not everyone understands IBD and explaining it can be a little difficult. However, I’ve actually found that talking about it can be an excellent way to come to terms with being diagnosed and also helped to normalize the new diagnosis in my mind. The more comfortable I became talking about my condition, the more I began to go into greater details about what it is and how it works. Slowly, I became more and more familiar with my condition and important things I wanted people to know about it.

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


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    11 months ago

    I can so relate to this. When I was first diagnosed, I told no one and I was in total denial for quite some years actually. It wasn’t until recently that I began to be more open about my Crohn’s diagnosis, that I found how therapeutic it was. I wish I didn’t keep it under wraps for as long as I did.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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