Finally, the winter is over!  Even though it wasn’t particularly bad weather-wise, everybody looks forward to Spring.  It stays lighter out later into the night, the warm sunshine brings happiness, even when things can get stressful.  This last month has been a very busy month for me.  For my job, I have had to do a ton of paperwork, and I find myself never getting a minute to breath.  I know with my Crohn’s, the more stressed I get, the more my stomach bothers me.  I also know that stress will wear down my already immune-suppressed body.  So I have to be careful.

My girlfriend has a green thumb when it comes to gardening.  I never really got into the hobby, but I admire her dedication to it.  Recently we started preparing her balcony for the season.  We cleaned, wiped, and polished up.  We also pulled the dead weeds out of her planter.  We bought fresh mulch and seeds to plant.   I really enjoyed the weather and being outside working on the planter.

It allowed me to really put things into perspective.

As I was helping to plant her garden, I started to think how these seeds were going to grow into flowers, and vegetables.  I strongly believe that the “growing” relates to me, because I have grown as a Crohn’s patient.  Once I was a scared boy, clueless of this disease.  I was scared to go out, scared to try new foods, and scared to be in a relationship.  I have “grown” to a man who controls the Crohn’s.  I will not, and do not allow it to control me.  I have “grown” to accept that I have this disease and these are the cards I was dealt with.  I’ve “grown” to understand that I am a big helper to the Inflammatory Bowel community.  I really enjoy when people ask me general questions, or they want to hear my story.

What am I saying?

Take this season and really make a change for yourself.

Do something you wouldn’t usually do.  As Spring is a season to start growing plants outside, use the analogy for yourself.  I think finding something new helps with calming your stomach down.  It helped with mine.  If nothing else, take a step outside every once in a while.  Take a deep breathe in and out.  If your having a bad day with your stomach, just be happy to have the chance to get outside.  I remember the days when I couldn’t go outside for an entire year!  Grow with the disease.  Follow it’s road.  There may be bumps, but know you have a whole community behind you.

I look at “Spring Cleaning,” as an internal clean of our bodies.  I decided to “grow” even more just like we do in the season.  Clean out the “cobwebs,” and get outside.  Therapeutically speaking, gardening is a great way to focus, and concentrate on something else.  Weeks ago, I never would have thought I would enjoy it, but now I can’t wait to get gardening again!

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