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Relationships and IBD: Holiday Edition

Relationships and IBD: Holiday Edition

Holidays can be a complicated time of the year, especially for those of us living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and other chronic conditions. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases largely affect the digestive system, along with many other parts of the body. Of course, this makes things like family dinners, large gatherings, and big events a little awkward at times.

When you hear the word “relationship,” your mind may instantly go to a boyfriend / girlfriend, or a husband / wife. A romantic kind of relationship. But you build relationships with everyone around you.

Relationships and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Holiday Edition

Living with IBD can certainly cause a strain on relationships. Whether it’s with family or friends. It’s a difficult condition to understand. Even for those of us living with the condition, we still can be left in the dark when it comes to treatment options, facts vs. misinformation, and all the ways IBD can impact the body mentally and physically. So, of course, we can’t expect everyone to fully understand the ins and outs of the condition. We can hope. We can try to raise awareness and make our best efforts in spreading accurate information, but ultimately it’s on that person and how receptive they are of the information we’re sharing.

Criticism, anxiety, stress, and fatigue

The holidays can be a very happy time where families come together to share and bond, but for those of us living with IBD, it can also be a time of criticism, anxiety, stress, and fatigue. We don’t need to live with this in silence. There are hundreds and thousands of us living with this condition and trying to navigate life. We should all come together to discuss things like this.

In the past, holidays have brought me a bit of anxiety. I didn’t like taking long road trips to the family dinners because I never knew when I would feel sick or maybe even have an accident. I hated for people to question me on whether or not my food selection was “healthy enough.” We don’t have any doctors in my family, yet every year around holiday time, it seemed like everyone suddenly became one. It took a long time for me to find my voice and speak up for myself. It took a long time for me to stop allowing the opinions of others to influence decisions I made about my life and wellbeing.

It’s hard to navigate chronic illness, it’s hard to navigate life with an autoimmune disease, but you don’t have to do it alone.

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
    8 months ago

    Yes, the Holidays definitely bring on stress and most of the time your health gets brought up. Deep breathes. Just be kind and politely say you don’t want to talk about your health. Good vibes!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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