My C’s Do Not Define Me
The Crohn’s, PSC, Celiac, and Colon Cancer are the diseases. I have spent 19 years letting one or all of them dictate what I do and how I act. Yes, they played a major role in making me the person I am today and why I write this blog. Nevertheless, for so long I let them define me. I always wanted to travel but haven’t made it off the east coast. The list of places I want to see seems endless, mainly because I never got started.
When I was a kid, before I first got sick, I’d often watch the birds around my house. I’d watch them peck at the ground. I’d watch them play in the puddles in the driveway after it had rained. I’d watch them preen in the trees. I’d watch them fly away into the blue sky. I often would dream about being a bird, flying away to wherever I pleased. Shortly after being diagnosed, my first of many extended hospital stays occurred. I remember vividly staring out the window watching the birds wishing harder than ever to become one. Birds didn’t have to deal with pain or feeling so alone or trapped. I would imagine how wonderful it must be to be thousands of feet in the air looking down at all the beautiful sights the world has to offer. I knew then that, like my chances of becoming a bird, my chances of ever seeing the world was nonexistent. This was my first major disappointment I accepted for myself.
Through the years, I have made a lot of stupid mistakes that I wish more than anything I could take back. I understand that my choices are my own but I still feel that had I been dealt a better health hand, I wouldn’t have made the majority of them. Most of the decisions continue to follow me to this day. Nothing I seem to do will atone for them. I had to face the hard truth that I most likely never will. Yet another disappointment I had to come to terms with. Nevertheless, no matter how many disappointments I’ve had to address, I am who I am, faults and all. I have learned from my mistakes, however, and have spent a great deal of time becoming a better person. I realize that I will still make mistakes but nothing life altering like before.
I blame my diseases for the choices that I’ve made. I’ve let them control me. They all have a nasty psychological impact on a person. Unfortunately, it is near impossible to explain that to someone who hasn’t experienced it. I’ve lost many important people from my life because they couldn’t understand why I acted the way that I did. Ultimately, I became an introvert. Long gone was the outward personality that was everyone’s friend. I began to internalize everything. I learned to put up an “everything’s great” front and detested confrontation of any kind. As a result, my communication skills are very lacking today. I have to work hard to make a conscious effort to communicate with my husband and my loved ones who I hold close (all two of them).
I suppose though that even with all the negativity I face every day, mostly from myself, I have become a stronger person because of my C’s. I no longer ask “why me”. I no longer dread going to sleep every night in fear of how I’m going to feel when I wake up the next morning. I set goals for myself every night before I drift off and hold myself to them the following day. They’re nothing major, mind you. It’s menial things like getting my family out the door on time each morning or having dinner ready for them each evening or making sure at least one household chore is dealt with each day. By making sure I accomplish these would be small tasks, it gives me a reason to persevere through how bad I may be feeling. I no longer let any of my C’s tell me that I have no purpose in life. The little things I accomplish add up to a happy and smooth running family. As a wife and mother, who could really ask for anything more?
I may have a lot more hospital stays in my future. My diseases may get the best of me one day. I may never get to travel the world. I may never be a bird. I will however, continue evolving into a better person and living the life I have to the best of my ability.
My C’s do not define me!
**Listening to OneRepublic**