person imagining all the scenarios they are missing out on

Missing Out On Opportunities

FOMO is a popular acronym on social media for a reason. No one likes to feel they are missing out. Social Media seems to exacerbate this sense that we are never in enough places at once. It also can make us feel like we could be accomplishing more. It’s true in a way. We could be in more places. We could be accomplishing more. But that doesn’t mean our lives would necessarily be better.

Limitations from living with Crohn's or UC

Of course, there is another element that exacerbates FOMO. I am speaking, of course, of IBD. Digestive diseases really do limit our experiences. They can also keep us from various accomplishments. In other words, in many cases, FOMO is magnified, is exacerbated, by having an auto-immune condition like Crohn’s disease.

None of this is our fault. But it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier. There may be times, for example, where, instead of advancing our careers, we end up advancing our drug-inducing regiment. Or, to take another example, instead of romantic escapades, we might have very unromantic escapades to a local public toilet.

Would life be different if I wasn't diagnosed with Crohn's?

Needless to say, none of this would exactly make our friends jealous on Instagram. I doubt if we posted about our trip to the Porta-Potty, our friends would be sitting there thinking, “man, I really need to get IBD!” Nor are they going to be impressed by the new drug our gastroenterologist recently called into Duane Reade.

In sum, then, owing to Crohn’s disease, FOMO can be a real problem. Admittedly, with me, at times, I’ve had a bit of FOMO. I see a post of a fellow comedian, whom I started with at open mic night, performing at Madison Square Garden, and I can’t help but feel a bit envious. Your mind starts to whirl. Might I be in his situation had I not had Crohn’s disease? Could I be touring in theaters? Might I have a bit part in a blockbuster movie? In my case, owing to getting hit by a car, in a construction zone, more than three years ago, my problems are even more magnified.

Keeping hope with Crohn's disease

That said, it’s important to keep your spirit up. To not get defeatist. To remember what you do have.

Out of that darkness, that sense of hopelessness, sometimes, at least, there are insights. One I have had is that, while certain paths have become too difficult to pursue, others have opened up for me instead.

For example, in my case, I’ve focused more on writing. I’ve started blogging on this site as a way to express my creativity, and ideally, at least, help others. I also just published a humor book, “Do Not Feed The Clown,” that was a terrific creative outlet and a way to fight back against this illness. If I didn’t have my current set of obstacles, I might not have done all that, might not, for example, have focused my efforts and completed this humor book.

In other words, Crohn’s disease—and the injuries I sustained from the auto accident—have forced me to use my comedy and artistic background in new, exciting ways. Hence, when I get FOMO, I focus on the fact that, without having had these struggles, I wouldn’t be the person I am today (yes, to some I may be a bit of a bastard, but that’s another story). My point being, focus, stay disciplined and fight back against the devastation this illness can cause.

Thanks for reading, and, as always, I look forward to your responses in the comment section!

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