Me, myself and Crohn’s Disease
Its been over ten years now since I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and it has been a hard journey indeed. So many ups and downs, which of course over the course of a lifetime all of us will have.
For me Crohn’s disease has brought with it many issues beside the chronic abdominal pain and constant treatments/surgery. To begin with I dropped out of education entirely during A-Levels. That was before I was diagnosed. Having managed to get into work after 18 months I haven’t at all progressed as I should have and nearly 10 years later I’m no closer to finding a way past this. Socially I’ve lost a lot of friends of whom I no longer speak to due to their very obvious lack of understanding and disregard for my situation.
It’s a severe knock to your confidence and self esteem so affects your love life as well in a major way. I was lucky enough to meet my girlfriend through work and there’s no way I’d have met someone otherwise.
Over the years I’ve found that being a sufferer of this illness has created a sort of alter ego of myself. There’s me, the happy ambitious person who is caring and always looking out for others. Then there’s myself, the severely depressed, introverted man who just wants to lock himself away and have nothing to do with the world. This side of me has only appeared due to the illness.
As time has gone by 'myself' has appeared more and more often, making dealing with daily life extremely difficult. The girlfriend has helped me through these tricky times and still does. I’m lucky to have someone who is so understanding and amazing when not everyone is so fortunate.
Crohn’s disease is a terrible affliction. It’s an invisible illness that people don’t understand and seem determined to ignore. I however will keep writing these articles to try and spread some awareness as well as helping me and myself deal with the condition.
This is just a summary essentially of what I’ve gone through and still going through to this day. No doubt long into the future as well. There are many more details I’ve not spoken about yet but I will address some of these in the future articles that I mentioned.
I’d love to hear from others who suffer with IBD and to help wherever I can.