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Teenager Me with Crohn’s

I’ve always been an old soul. It’s always been easy for me to mentally justify things in my mind. Those many sleepless nights gave me the opportunity for the good and the bad to run through my mind at all hours of the night.

Having that ability didn’t mean I had the maturity to go with it. I was mature for my age but most kids who have suffered trauma as a child or are going through tough times are able to find a sugar coat to get through the day. It’s what keeps us keeping on.

I was diagnosed just before my 15th birthday. I was homeless and scared but somehow I managed through alone. It was tough. It had been years of tough nights.

So many years I laid awake, taking care of myself, alone, in pain and frightened for what the future was going to be like for me. Wishing that I had someone who would come and rescue me and take care of me.

I had a motto. I had to have a motto. Sleep.

I knew there had to be a resolution or a medication that would eventually work for me, right? I just had to get through each day. I knew if I could just sleep a bit more then I’d be closer to another day.

Sleep was my savour but it also made me feel like I was living in another planet, maybe a 3D one. It was a weird way of functioning.

I was put on Prednisone for 18 months and it was hell. Some people it works for but for me, nothing could quite get my disease under control. What it did do was blow me up like a puffer fish and added a ridiculous amount of hair…

Of course the bullies didn’t fail to notice these things. I sat once eating an ice-cream (first one in ages due to the lactose intolerance) and a kid from high school told me I was a fat whale and should lay off the ice-cream.

It wasn’t a huge amount of bullying, but oh my gosh did it stay with me. I’m 34 now and it’s still fresh in my mind.

15 year old me was so self-conscious of her weight, face and extreme hair growth!

What 15 year old wouldn’t be?! I wish so much I had a mother around to have helped me during those times!

The mother in me would have loved, supported, encouraged and showed her how to dress and put make up on and… maybe a wax!

The mother in me says to all those teens who are struggling with all these unfortunate changes and feel like this power struggle will never end; it will. For all those children who are frightened; you are not alone and you are loved. For all those teens using this disease as an eating disorder; don’t – you are better than that. For all the parents feeling helpless; don’t, your child is a mighty Warrior!

The best kind of people have been tested and come out the most amazing humans. The most resilient and the most kindhearted.

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.