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To the One Who Has Caused Me So Much Grief, My Ulcerative Colitis

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To the one who has caused me so much grief, my colitis:

Do you remember when we settled our first fight, and you let me go to the beach? You didn’t bother me with the problems we had in the past, but I still kept the bathroom within reach in case I upset you. But feeling that crisp air on my face, straight from the ocean I hadn’t seen in months, was still one of the greatest gifts you’ve ever given me.

Do you remember when you let me finish that long run before you started a fight? We were training to do something together we’d never done: run a marathon. I was so nervous that we wouldn’t be good training partner. Turns out, we made it work, despite a few post-run arguments that left me curled in a ball on the floor. It was hard to recover from that but harder to imagine not trying again with you.

Do you remember when we went a full day without any quarrels? Yeah, me neither.

It’s so hard to understand why we can’t get along. I try to do so many nice things for you – cook nice meals, limit my alcohol, exercise, sleep to have energy, listen to you when you need a break. I accommodate your schedule before my own, your needs before mine, and you still seem to not care what I have to say, when I have to say it, in the way I need to say it. I give you everything, and you still don’t appreciate my efforts.

Of course, when we do have our good days, they are wonderful. We hardly do fight, and we seem so in sync. Things seem to soothe our relationship, not inflame it, and I don’t even need to take a time out in the bathroom. Life can be good, can’t it? Why can’t it be like that every day?

Now that we are having our biggest fight in nearly 11 years, I’m remembering the old feelings you gave me those many years ago. Doubt, fear, anger, confusion, sadness, depression, anxiety. I feel all of these things again, as you continue to control every second of every day. Every thought I have is about how I am going to piss you off next, sometimes before we’ve even finished our last fight. I can never make you happy, and I don’t know what I did wrong.

I know we will be together forever; there’s no denying that. So I’ve decided to accept the bad with the good, even when the bad makes me cry. I’ve decided that no matter how much we fight, you can’t take away my identity as a strong, fearless, beautiful, capable woman. Yes, sometimes I will pause my life to cater to you, but I will keep moving forward after that, and I will never look back. I will never let a flare-up between us stop me from finding remission with our relationship.

The bathroom will no longer be our bedroom.

I hope you understand,
Your human

Getty Image by bbstudio_aad

Originally published: May 16, 2018
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