woman looking in mirror

New Years and Reflections with IBD

I always get excited about the new year approaching. I look at it as a new beginning and even though it is only a date in the calendar, I suppose I am always looking for a “fresh start” of some kind. I always hope that the coming year will be filled with more celebrations than hospital visits and surgeries. I am always hopeful that I will be able to really set my short term and long term intentions for the year and have them actually be carried out. The new year signifies so much to me but I often wonder if I set myself up for failure by making these new years resolutions and goals.

I know hope is so crucial for anyone but when you live with a chronic illness like Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis, it can be easy to lose it when things are really tough and you’ve been struggling for so long. It can make it seem like there is no end in sight and it is truly an awful feeling. I think that is why I try my hardest to believe that the coming year will be different than the past. Maybe it is the only way I can survive. Who knows?

The challenge with resolutions

Anyway, I wanted to expand on some of the things mentioned above. I know so many of us have hopes and dreams we want for our life and with all the new year resolutions and people focusing on their goals, it can be awful mentally to know that no matter how much motivation you have, sometimes things are just out of your control.

It can be infuriating for so many reasons. This is the case all year round for most of us but given how much hype goes on around the holiday season, it can often be a time of reflection. Sometimes reflecting can be a positive thing while other times, it can be a reminder of all the things you hoped would happen this past year that, through no fault of your own, did not.

I want you to know I understand how difficult this all is and so do many others - whether they express it or not. Living with any kind of unpredictable disease that has the ability to change things at any moment can cause so much anxiety it is crazy! I never even realized how crippling anxiety was until my IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) diagnosis.

We all want to feel like we have the power to make whatever choices we want for our life. We want to feel like we have the power to design our own life and the only thing getting in the way is maybe lack of motivation. It would be awesome, for me at least, to look back on all my goals I had for this past year and know that I had full control over the majority of them not happening. But, there is nothing I could have done to change the situation.

A new year contains new promise

So now, I look forward to another year and just hope with everything in me that at least something goes my way.

I did get a new planner which helps me focus on fresh starts and new beginnings. It does help me to even write out small goals I want to achieve daily. I never thought unloading the dishwasher would be an awesome achievement on some days but alas, that is my life.

IBD and New Year's hopes

Do you have any suggestions on how to make the holiday season or upcoming New Year's more enjoyable for you or others?

Do you look at it as just another day or try to view it as a fresh start of some kind?

Do you purchase or do anything that gets you in a better mindset?

Have any thoughts or tips that make people feel a bit more hopeful?

Does reflecting back hurt you or have you accepted that certain things did not go the way you hoped for reasons completely outside of your control?

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