Self-esteem and IBD

I’ve been through a lot of embarrassing moments because of my IBD.

So many that I sometimes even wonder what kind of person I’d be without my condition. I wonder this simply because all of those embarrassing moments impacted me so much that it’s ultimately changed me in one way or another. While some experiences have changed me for the better, I certainly can’t say that for all of them.

I’d be lying if I told you that I had high self-esteem.

Sure, I can fake it. Just about any girl can fake it. I honestly don’t think IBD stole my self-esteem because it was never sky-rocket or anything. – IBD can’t steal something I never had. Well, let’s say never had much of. Instead I feel as if it just kinda killed it. There have been so many times in my life when I actually felt good about myself. Whether it was a day I actually felt good enough to do my makeup, or simply a random glow that decided to grace me with it’s presence on a random day. There have been times. These one offs are amazing when you’re sick because they give you just the confidence booster you needed. Unfortunately for me, these amazing days never lasted long.

Take my sister’s graduation party for example. I was young. In my early 20s. I was excited for the party because it was the first event I’d ever planned for her and I honestly thought it turned out pretty nicely. I didn’t eat much at the restaurant. This was before I had my colon removed and that thing was always upset! Somehow, for some reason I ended up getting lost on my way home. #NewDriver. Even though I hadn’t eaten much, of course my body decides this is the perfect time. I won’t go into great detail because I’m sure we all can guess how this story ends (or at least have a good enough idea).

That day was a day that I woke up feeling decent. That was a day I dressed up, did my hair, maybe even my nails. That was a good day, until it wasn’t. It’s hard to have confidence in yourself when you can’t even have confidence in your body. It’s hard to feel beautiful living with such an ugly disease. But I try to remind myself that that’s just it. It wasn’t me that was ugly, it was my dreaded colon. Now that I’m older and wiser it’s easier to accept.

For anyone who is also struggling with this issue I want you to know that you are not alone at all.

Take the experiences as lessons. Be grateful for what you do have. Let your condition mold you into a better you. But don’t allow the bad to shape you into something you’re not. “It’s hard to be confident in yourself when you can’t have confidence in your own body.” But it’s not impossible. Remind yourself that you are beautiful in your own way and on your worst days you can even try listing what it is that makes you beautiful. Being different is only a bad thing if you allow it to be.

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

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