I love to hate you

IMG_8423Some things I hate:

  1. That wee curly bit of hair in my fringe that NEVER sits right no matter what I use on it.
  2. Rudeness and/or lack of manners.
  3. Racism, Sexism, (any ‘ism basically).
  4. Having Crohn’s Disease.

Some things I love:

  1. Cats.
  2. Nutella.
  3. Listening to the same song over and over and over until I hate it.
  4. Having Crohn’s Disease.

I’m a bit of a conundrum aren’t I? Like most people, there are many things in my life I love and hate all at the same time. For example I love Nutella, however I hate how small and awkward they make those jars – it’s almost like they are forcing you to buy more…

I also hate having a chronic and increasingly debilitating illness. However in it’s coming into my life it has also brought experiences and moments of happiness I had never thought possible.

On the whole I try not to view my illness as massively negative. It is; but I don’t have to see it that way. Having Crohn’s Disease has forced me to have parts of my body removed. It has left my body a shell of its former self. It has humiliated me, and left me feeling worthless and pitiful. It has nearly killed me. But yet I still try to see the good in it.

Yes, I’m well aware the above sentence may sound akin to the musings of a woman stuck in a toxic and seemingly inescapable relationship, and maybe I am. But I have come to realise that I don’t have to give over all of myself to this particular ‘relationship’ I have with my disease.

It doesn’t always have to be in control.

If my disease had its way I would be in bed, in hospital, or worse, in the morgue. It wants to strip away all the goodness I have and leave me looking a stick insect all to regain control. It would have me tearing my hair out and writhing in agony, suffering and ruing the day I was born.

The main difference between suffering from Crohn’s Disease and feeling trapped in an unhealthy relationship is that I didn’t choose to have this illness. In much the same way it can take a terrified woman/man to leave a partner, it can take a similar length of time to accept you are still in control of your own life (if perhaps not your body). In no way do I garner that it is in anyway easy to make these changes, but you have to begin inside your own head. Change your way of thinking then it will become easier to take divisive action. Train yourself to see the positive when you are well enough to do so, and allow yourself only the smallest amount of wallowing when you aren’t.

Crohn’s Disease has changed my life in immeasurable ways. But not all of them bad. Having this illness has forced me to open up and allow other people in. It’s cemented my relationships with the best and most treasured people in my life, and reminded me how lucky I am and how much I am loved. Anything that has the power to feel that over agonising pain can’t be all bad. It is within you to maintain ‘you’. No one can cure you and no one can tell you how to feel. It’s up to you to decide if you want to lie down and be beaten or get up and embrace the good stuff.

Written by Kathleen Nicholls from Crohnological Order. Visit her site for more personal stories about her life with Crohn’s Disease.