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Learning to Be Honest About My Ulcerative Colitis

Since I was a young child, I’ve always loved traveling. However, after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2013, the thought of traveling brought on more anxiety than I had ever experienced. From the ride to the airport, to being on the airplane and knowing I couldn’t technically use the restroom during take off and landing, my jet-setting ways no longer felt carefree.

The urgency

When I was finally at my destination, I felt embarrassed when I had to urgently find a bathroom in the middle of exploring a city. I used to say “I’m going to be sick.” I would then run off looking for the closest spot (which I had already scoped out as I am constantly keeping an eye out for restrooms nearby – even in my own city). I kind of felt subconscious about that and wondered what people thought of me having to run to the bathroom all the time.

So I finally decided to open up and be honest about my UC and why I had the urgency or why I’d disappear for 30-45 minutes. Once I actually told people I was traveling with about my disease, I found myself feeling more at ease. On top of my actual symptoms, I no longer felt added stress for holding them up in the middle of our day.

I feel more at ease

When I needed to jump out of a cab on the way to an event, it made it easier knowing my friends knew why I had to stop. When I was speed walking home to the bathroom, my friends understood it wasn’t because I was being rude and didn’t want to walk with them. Finally, when I ask to pull the car over on a road trip, no one questions me or makes me feel bad about going outside – I can practically laugh about it now with those friends.

Even though I can’t control my symptoms all the time, I’ve learned I’ve been able to control the narrative by being honest – and no one has ever made me feel bad about my ulcerative colitis since.

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
    5 months ago

    This is so wonderful to hear! I too wish I was more open about my diagnosis from the start. It really is amazing to see the support many offer you and it makes things less stressful.

    I hope you are doing well these days and are finding relief.

    Thanks for sharing your story and for being a part of our community.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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