What I have learned from having an IBD

Growth comes when you least expect it! I truly believe that! I have become stronger, more compassionate and more understanding. Living with an invisible disease, I learned you cannot judge a book by its cover.

Being diagnosed with Crohn's changed the way I live my life. In the past year, I have grown and learned so much. I am so proud of the way that I have handled everything thrown at me and the way I choose to continue living my life.

Here is what I have learned..

You are your own best advocate. No one cares about you, like you. Take care of yourself. Speak up when you know something is not right. And go with your gut. Listen to your body. Our body is always telling us how it feels. Whether it's fatigue, stomach cramps, acne or headaches, this is your body telling you it needs more care. Slow down, and take the time to properly care for yourself! Don't compare yourself to others. This one is big for me. I am always tired, like seriously, I nap almost every day. And it is hard to not compare myself to people who are always busy and can be out all day and night and not be exhausted. I just can't do that and I am learning that is okay! I need to be able to give myself breaks in between to rest and that does not make me weak. Don't feel bad for your dietary restrictions. I would love to be out and not worry about what I am eating, but I don't have that pleasure. I know what foods are not compatible with my body and I try my best to avoid them or to save them for special occasions, because yeah those foods are yummy! But in the long run, I rather feel good and skip the bread basket than splurge and feel unwell the rest of the evening.

Some people, even friends won't understand or be compassionate towards what you are going through. And you know what, it is okay. You cannot change people who are not willing to listen. To the best of your ability, remove or keep those people at arm's length. Surround yourself with a loving and supportive circle!

The Crohn's Community is amazing. Go on Facebook and join some groups or find people through Instagram hashtags. You will be amazed to see how welcoming we all are and how we really look out for each other! It is nice to have a community who understands you!