Give Yourself Permission To Feel
I was recently watching an episode of Ted Talks. If you're not familiar with Ted Talks, it's basically a "nonprofit dedicated to ideas worth spreading" - Defined by their Facebook page. I love watching Ted Talks because the video series on YouTube actually shares very valuable information that I think anyone can benefit from hearing. They even feature amazing people with chronic conditions doing amazing things like traveling the world or organizing their own business.
Recently I watched a short clip shared on Facebook. The clip talked about "Embracing Negative Thoughts." - While the title may sound depressing, it actually confirmed every opinion I've ever had on dealing with chronic illness, breakups and honestly any other bad events in life. For a long time "appreciation" was the thing. If you weren't happy and embracing every situation in (your) life, you were unappreciative. If I shared something that was bothering me, elders in my family would say "you should be grateful." For a while I welcomed this outlook. And while it is helpful to count your blessings when going through hard times, it's not the only way of dealing with frustrations.
Give yourself permission to be sad
Just because you're going through a hard time with your condition or with life in general, in no way means you're ungrateful. Having a positive outlook on life is important, but not always necessary. There isn't a person in this world who can remain upbeat and happy at all time. This in no way makes them any less of a person. It's important to be open to not only the thoughts and feelings of others, but yourself as well. Give yourself permission to be sad. There's a lot to be sad about in life in general, but especially living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Give yourself permission to grieve. It's a loss. Allow yourself to go through the emotions without punishment.
I am grateful
I am so grateful for every opportunity I've been awarded in life. I am so grateful for the amazing people I've met because of Ulcerative Colitis. I am so grateful for an amazing healthcare team. I realize there are so many people around the world that would do anything to live a day in my life. I don't take my life for granted. With that being said, I also understand that I am human and hold myself to standards as such. Humans are emotional beings. There is nothing wrong with that. In the same way you embrace joy, love and happiness, you should also welcome frustration, aggravation and anger. Knowing how to deal with your emotions can be very helpful considering symptoms of IBD can actually be exacerbated by stress. Feel the emotions. Breathe. Release negative thoughts. Do whatever it is you need to do to actually face your problems head on instead of avoiding them with this widespread misconception that you need to be "positive and appreciative" at all times. Positivity does not equate to appreciative, just like frustration doesn't equate to ungratefulness. - Each emotion is it's own and should be addressed as so.
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