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If You’re Struggling With IBD, I See You, and I Get It

To my fellow IBD warriors and chronically ill community:

Hi. It’s me, your loyal member. I apologize that I’ve been a bit absent lately. As I’m learning, birthing a small human via C section takes its toll on your body, including your bowels. It actually takes its toll on all the things physically, mentally, emotionally, and I find myself thrust back into those old thoughts surrounding inflammatory bowel disease anxiety. Is this feeling forever? When will I poop again? Is it supposed to look like that? Is that pain concerning? You understand. It’s that never-ending cycle of internal queries that keep us all up at night. Of course, C-section recovery is completely different from managing a chronic illness like IBD, but the thought process is really similar.

Therefore, here I am, writing to my beloved community to say: I hear you if you’re going through it right now. If yesterday was one of those “bathroom days,” where you hardly left the throne, I get it. I’ve been there and back … and there again and back again. You wonder if this is your life for the rest of your life. Logic tells you it will get better, but history tells you that it repeats itself. If this morning was full of exhaustion and a lack of desire to do anything but get out of bed, that’s been me lately. I’m taking care of a small person, but I’m also managing chronic illness on top of recovery on top of motherhood on top of lack of sleep on top of … you get it. So if you’re just not having much energy lately and need to collect some more spoons, consider this letter spoon donation.

If you’re wondering if your friends, family, partner(s), colleagues, classmates, or anyone else will ever fully grasp what you’re dealing with, you’re not alone; I wonder it, too. I talk openly about my ulcerative colitis and have nothing to hide, but are the “you’re so relatable” comments actually compliments, or are they covering up that no one really knows what else to say? I get it. I wonder that, too. The truth is this: They may never fully understand your journey. They aren’t on your journey. But they can respect it and honor your experience. I wish that for you — to have the respect of your support system and the support of your people.

Finally, if you’re just tired of dealing with it all, give yourself a buffer day. I love buffer days. They’re my days to yank on my sweatpants, top-knot my hair, maybe wash my face (maybe not) and just binge watch movies all day. Because honestly? You deserve it. I deserve it. We all deserve it. Simply existing in an able-bodied world requires us to work extra hard to show up every single day as our whole (or half?) selves. Buffer days ensure we can keep doing the showing up. 

Hang in there, friends. You got this. Even if yesterday, today, tomorrow, next week, month, or even this year aren’t the best, you have at least one more person that totally gets it. I’m doing it with you. And by “it,” I mean watching every show on Netflix until my kid wakes up and I feel better. 

I hope this finds you well-ish. 


Your UC buddy

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