Round Trip in a Letter
I know that you feel like your life is over. All your hopes and dreams seem to have flown away with the birds that you watch so often. I can’t begin to tell you how sorry I am for you. It’s not fair to have your childhood robbed from you. I’m also sorry that I have to tell you that it won’t get any easier. In fact, it’s going to get a lot tougher. I know that you feel weak and defeated now but the good news is that all the pain and tribulations that are forced on you will make you stronger.
You’ve had to deal with so much already but at least the doctors have finally figured out what’s wrong. That’s a start! You don’t have to hide your tummy troubles any longer. It’s still embarrassing, I know, but now the doctors can start you on medicines that will hopefully help. Again, I know that you’re young and don’t want the responsibility that Crohn’s Disease carries with it but you have to. This is a serious disease that will bring about a lot of pain and hospital time. Your risk level of other digestive diseases has increased a lot because of your Crohn’s too. So you need to be conscious of that as well. I understand that you don’t have a lot of avenues in the ways of research but try to do as much as you can. As unpredictable as the disease can be, you need to try to be prepared for anything.
You need to take your medications as you should. I understand that it’s hard to remember that many pills that many times a day but, it’s important. Once the damage is done from a flare there’s no real coming back from it. Not to mention, this damage will only cause you more problems in the long run. If you think you’re in pain now, colon cancer is a lot worse. I don’t tell you this to scare you, so much as to make you aware of the consequences of your actions.
You also have to eat right. I know that you already like fruits and vegetables. I bring it up more so because a balanced diet will do wonders for you. As much as it sucks to eat during a flare, living off bread is not helping you. If anything it’s hurting you. One day you’ll really understand the importance of what I just said. But for now, you’ll just have to trust me on that.
As you already know, support and love isn’t shown very well in your family. Some of them may try but ultimately you can only count on yourself. It’s going to be hard to deal with all the emotions that are coming your way. You’re going to feel alone and that no one understands. I’m sorry but this is a fact of life that you are just going to have to come to terms with. You will have times when you feel like giving up and that this life just isn’t worth living. No one should ever have to deal with such horrible thoughts but you can overcome them. Your writing and music will help immensely with this. Whenever you feel down, find a quiet place to scream into your notebook or listen to whatever music makes you feel better. No one can ever take those away from you!
People are going to try to put you down. Take satisfaction in knowing that you are stronger than they are and their words can’t cause you any more pain than you are already in. You will eventually find a select few people who will understand you. They will support you and love you unconditionally. Just be strong until they come into your life. I’m not going to lie. It’s going to be a long wait. However, they are worth it.
Lastly, I understand that being diagnosed with a chronic disease before you even hit puberty is unfair. I wish that you didn’t have to deal with all the complications and struggles that await you but, it is unfortunately your reality now. Just remember to take time to put yourself first. Write in your notebook. Listen to music. Zone out watching the clouds and birds. Do whatever you need to keep your stress level down. This will help you enormously for the rest of your life.
As hard as it is, don’t let others get you down. They aren’t you. Unless they have the disease, no one will ever truly understand you. People will come and go out of your life but remember that you don’t need them. You won’t be the most popular person in the world but, the few that are your true friends will love you for you, problems and all. Quality is far more important than quantity.
Stay strong and we will meet again soon.
♪ Listening to Terry McDermott ♪