I haven’t been writing nearly as much as I used to or want to, and I’m kicking myself for that. Writing is an outlet for me and it was the best discovery I could have ever made during my ulcerative colitis (UC) recovery journey. I am better able to express my thoughts and feelings when I write them out. Once on paper, it’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I no longer have to hold and accumulate the burden of those thoughts – either positive or negative – in my head.
I am finally in a place where I feel comfortable and confident with being vulnerable about my UC. I won’t lie – being vulnerable hurts sometimes. You don’t always get the response you want. You get judged for not looking sick on the outside. But honestly, the support I’ve received through this blog and from friends and family has been overwhelming. I know I made the right decision in sharing my story with the world – no matter how scary it was at the time – because I’m helping others through the same thing. Being vulnerable is one of the most rewarding gifts.
Right now, I am in such a good place with my health, career, school and personal life. I backed off my ulcerative colitis medications a few months ago (Humira from weekly to bi-weekly, and cutting my mesalamine dosage in half) and thankfully I haven’t noticed any negative effects. I am so grateful to be healthy enough to be in a position to back off medication, because I never thought I would get to that point. After confirming I was in endoscopic remission in February, I have been able to sustain it and I hope that continues for many years to come – hopefully to where I don’t have to take any medication at all!
While I still feel like UC plays a large role in my life, I don’t feel like it needs to take a huge chunk of my life away anymore. There was a time where I let it dominate, but there’s no need for that anymore. I feel like I can finally be my true self as someone with a chronic illness and share that with others in confidence. I have to admit, it’s a really good place to be in.
I truly believe that my diagnosis has allowed me to change my perspective on life. Each day that I feel good and healthy, I look at as a blessing now. I approach situations in my work and personal life with more resiliency, vulnerability, and confidence. I have never felt more confident in the skills and abilities that I bring to the table, especially my ability to push through trials and tribulations with strength and patience.
So while being vulnerable can hurt sometimes, it can also bring about growth in ways unimaginable. My goal now that I have been in remission for a few months is to push myself to write even when nothing hurts. Some days it’s easy for me to forget that I have UC when it’s not physically ailing me, but it’s not something I want to necessarily forget. I have so much to write about when in a flare, but now I am relearning who I am as someone in remission. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come, but the work doesn’t end here.
I challenge you to be vulnerable this week and observe the outcome, was it positive or negative?