Amelia B.

@ameliab | contributor
20 Year Old with Crohn's Disease//Hippophile//Writer// Photographer//Feminist//Fangirl
Amelia B.
Amelia B. @ameliab
contributor

Trying to Accept My 'New Normal' With Crohn's Disease

Dear Crohn’s disease, I know we have history and mine is hating you — hating you for ruining my life by changing it forever. You have thrown me for a loop these past eight years. You nearly destroyed my body twice. You made me more self-conscious than I already was. My lips will never be the same. But, I am no better. I resented you and tried to make you disappear by acting like you did not exist. I blamed you for all the bad in my life, though a lot of it is your fault. I saw you as an abusive relationship. However, you are not a human and I cannot get rid of you completely. You will always be a part of me. So, I am no longer going to see you as an enemy. When I break you down, you are just my immune system getting confused. It is still bad, but you are the result of an accident. I cannot really get mad at that logic. I am not angry anymore. I am offering a truce. We have a confusing relationship and that is OK. I cannot fight anymore but I am not giving up. We should be partners, not enemies. I am not suggesting we be friends; I just do not want to fight you as I have been for almost a decade. I am finally making peace with my new “normal.” I am accepting the fact I cannot eat as I used to and I will be OK with it. I know I cannot do everything the way I want to and I am fine with that. Nothing will ever be the same as before. That’s why it is called a “new normal.” I hope you can forgive me for resenting you for so long. I know this is unexpected but it is also long overdue. Let me be clear: I will never love you. Just because I am dropping my weapons does not mean we can be best friends forever. I am aware you are unpredictable, like a hurricane, and could try to destroy me at any minute. I just want to stop the battle for now. I am not giving up or giving in. I just need to stop pretending I can get rid of you completely. I cannot. We share the same body and I am now accepting that. However, it was mine first, so I will do everything I need to do to protect it. I will stick to my diet and take my medications and vitamins with diligence. I will rest when I need to and stop pushing myself so hard. I am only a human being. Sometimes, human bodies break and malfunction. That is just life and biology. Nothing in this world is perfect. No one is at fault for causing you. It happens and that is OK. Also, I am no longer that scared 11-year-old girl. I am a lot more mature and confident now. I have been through so much and have learned something every minute. I cannot ask anything of you. You live on your own terms. I promise I will hold my end of the bargain, though. So, now the ball is in your court. Can we make peace? Love,Amelia

Paige Wyant

10-Year-Old Dies by Suicide After Being Bullied for Bowel Condition

When most of the people around you are generally healthy, having a chronic illness can be tough. It may often feel lonely, like no one really understands what you’re going through. But when you’re a kid with chronic illness, these differences are often magnified. Seven Bridges, a 10-year-old boy from Kentucky, died by suicide on Jan. 19 after reportedly being bullied for a chronic bowel condition. Bridges’ mother, Tami Charles, said he struggled with bullies on the bus ride to school, who teased him about the smell from his condition, news station WDRB reported. The 10-year-old was born with an unspecified bowel condition, requiring him to undergo more than 26 surgeries and use a colostomy bag. A colostomy is a surgical procedure that creates an opening for the colon, or large intestine, in the abdominal wall. Colostomies may be performed for a number of different reasons, such as infection, disease or injury, and can be either temporary or permanent. In Bridges’ case, he used a colostomy bag as a means to collect waste, but it was removed as he got older. The site continued to leak waste, however, resulting in the bullying. “Twenty-six surgeries from the day my son was born. Twenty-six surgeries. He just wanted to be normal, that’s all,” Bridges’ mother told WHAS11. Mighty contributor Amelia B. knows how tough it can be to grow up with a bowel condition. In her essay, “Why It Was Difficult Growing Up With Crohn’s Disease,” she writes: School, especially middle school, can be brutal. Kids can be mean if you’re even a tiny bit ‘different.’ Judgment is high, and no one gives you a break. Everyone wants to fit in, which is impossible. What’s ‘cool’ is always changing. It’s very easy to be teased for something that shouldn’t be made fun of in the first place.I just wanted to be ‘normal.’ To not have to go to a million doctor appointments. To be able to eat cold cut sandwiches and chips. To not be self-conscious about going to the bathroom.But, I had to add the pressures of having a chronic illness into the mix. Kids already have all that stress – now imagine having to deal with something you don’t completely understand yourself. It shouldn’t happen. No one should bear the weight of chronic illness, especially kids. Tami Charles and Donni Bridges, Seven’s parents, said they plan to take legal action against Jefferson County Public Schools, believing the school could have done more to help their son. While the bullying and medical challenges Seven faced seem to have played a big role in his suicide, it’s important to remember that suicide is complex. “So often with bullying being involved in suicide, we tend to oversimplify it and create a simple cause and effect scenario, but it’s always a combination of factors that lead to a suicide death,” Megan Barnett, chair of the Kentucky chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, explained. “Children who are involved in bullying, whether they are being bullied or bullying others, are at an increased risk of suicide, and we need to get that population connected with mental health services.” A GoFundMe has been created in Seven’s honor with the goal of raising $60,000 to help his family with funeral expenses, lost wages and legal aid.

Community Voices

Meteorite #MightyPoets

Wrote this one years ago around the same time as reasons. I'm honestly not a big poetry writer at all, but there are a few I've written that I love and this is one of them.

This is Meteorite.  


Hot tears roll down my face

I don't even know why

Half the time because I really do try 

To be happy but it always fails

It's like I smile all day

Until something hits me in the face

And I'm stuck trying to get myself to say

It's okay


Destroy everything

Every opportunity

Every chance to start over

Empty promises and disappointments

That's all I can give

Cause I will never figure out

What it means to really live


You can't recover

The damage I've done

It's all on me 

I've done it to myself 

Try to fix it but it's not meant to be

I hope you just leave me alone 

Before I destroy you too


Maybe this isn't me

Maybe I can be set free

Or I could sit here and mull over

All of the things I have done wrong

I think that will be better

Than doing anything else

They tell me I'm a shining star

But I'm really just a meteorite


Maybe I am a star

A shooting star

That crashes into earth


#SocialAnxiety #Depression #Anxiety #MightyPoets

2 people are talking about this
Amelia B.
Amelia B. @ameliab
contributor

Why It's Difficult Growing Up With Crohn's Disease

When I was 11 years old, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Although it was nice to receive an answer as to why my lips were swollen, it had been such a long, confusing journey to get to that point. One year felt like five. Not to mention that was all coupled with the worst year of bullying I had ever received. I entered middle school with new school supplies and a diagnosis for an illness I would have for the rest of my life. I felt alone and isolated. All pre-teens and teenagers are self-conscious, but it was a whole different level for me. I didn’t understand what Crohn’s was and I was terrified of what people would think of me if they knew I had it. So, I trucked through middle school holding my Crohn’s as a secret that couldn’t be told, just like Hannah Montana. I went to school during the day and went to the doctor after. I pretended I ate healthy because that was just my normal diet. I developed social anxiety hiding myself from people. Life didn’t get better in high school. Although my classmates were a lot nicer and generally had a more balanced diet, I couldn’t bring myself to be open about my Crohn’s. I was still deeply ashamed of it. Then came my first big flare and I felt even worse. I was absolutely miserable physically and mentally. It was as if I was losing control of my body. I was scared, and depression took over my mind. Being a kid these days can be hard. Sure, they don’t have to worry about having a job and paying off student loans, but there is so much pressure to fit a mold that doesn’t actually exist. Social media doesn’t help, either, which more and more kids have with the popularity of smart phones. School, especially middle school, can be brutal. Kids can be mean if you’re even a tiny bit “different.” Judgment is high, and no one gives you a break. Everyone wants to fit in, which is impossible. What’s “cool” is always changing. It’s very easy to be teased for something that shouldn’t be made fun of in the first place. That’s what made my first three years of having Crohn’s so difficult. Everyone’s changing mentally and physically. There is so much pressure to “fit in” and everyone responds to that in different ways. Some people are nice, and others are just downright mean. Kids in middle school can also be incredibly judgmental. I just wanted to be “normal.” To not have to go to a million doctor appointments. To be able to eat cold cut sandwiches and chips. To not be self-conscious about going to the bathroom. But, I had to add the pressures of having a chronic illness into the mix. Kids already have all that stress – now imagine having to deal with something you don’t completely understand yourself. It shouldn’t happen. No one should bear the weight of chronic illness, especially kids. But, it happens. Chronic illnesses don’t care your age. Your body can malfunction at any time. It just happened to me before I reached puberty. I just hope all kids with chronic illnesses know they are warriors and they deserve to live a full, happy life just as much as everyone else.

Community Voices

Superhero

I posted a poem a couple weeks ago from when I was going through a really rough time in my life and I thought I would post one from when I got to the "other side". This is Superhero ☺️

One day I decided to be silent

Maybe it’s better to be quiet

I hated and blamed myself

For things, I couldn’t control

I made myself into something

That couldn’t be loved


They say the key is to love yourself

Then you can be happy

It’s not that easy

When you're broken beyond repair

But I’m not


I may not be the smartest

I may not be the most athletic

I may not be the funniest

I may be covered in scars you can’t see

But maybe that’s what makes me special 


My illness once took me over

My mind once controlled me

But not anymore

I’m breaking free of these chains

I have never been myself until now

And I’m so ready to meet her


I may not fall on the spectrum

I may not love the way others do

I may not be in perfect health

I may have spent too many nights crying

But maybe that’s what makes me strong 


I could be bitter

I could make bad decisions

I could tear people apart

But I choose kindness 

Because rainbows light the darkest skies

And the sun still shines behind the clouds


I’ve been through hell and back

I’m a fighter and I don’t give up

Every failure is a lesson 

And every success is because I fell once

Call me stubborn

Call me relentless

I call myself a superhero

So watch me fly over the colors

Cause you can’t stop me 

Despite these scars and bruises

I’m my own superhero

#CrohnsDisease #Anxiety #Hope #strength #perseverance #SocialAnxiety #Depression

2 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Reasons

My wrists are tied

My hands are clenched

There's tape over my mouth

My heart’s out of my chest

The dread is weighing me down

Choking on my words

No air in my lungs

I’m drowning on the phrases

That will be left unsaid


I’m not okay, I never was

It’s so complicated, living this life

Storing everything away

Protecting people is worth the silence

But there’s danger in every war

And no amount of armor could save me

From the shots my mind fires at my heart

It hurts when you put me off

It hurts when you say it'll be easy

It hurts when you don’t try to understand

I can’t explain without breaking down

Trying to find the bravery that’s non-existent

I can’t explain the pain

And that’s why I need you now

Give me the reasons you love me


Because I need you now

There are reasons why I should stay 

There are reasons I should fall apart

But tell me the reasons you love me

And help me win this battle


#Poetry #MightyPoets #CrohnsDisease #ChronicIllness #SocialAnxiety #Depression

12 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Reasons

My wrists are tied

My hands are clenched

There's tape over my mouth

My heart’s out of my chest

The dread is weighing me down

Choking on my words

No air in my lungs

I’m drowning on the phrases

That will be left unsaid


I’m not okay, I never was

It’s so complicated, living this life

Storing everything away

Protecting people is worth the silence

But there’s danger in every war

And no amount of armor could save me

From the shots my mind fires at my heart

It hurts when you put me off

It hurts when you say it'll be easy

It hurts when you don’t try to understand

I can’t explain without breaking down

Trying to find the bravery that’s non-existent

I can’t explain the pain

And that’s why I need you now

Give me the reasons you love me


Because I need you now

There are reasons why I should stay 

There are reasons I should fall apart

But tell me the reasons you love me

And help me win this battle


#Poetry #MightyPoets #CrohnsDisease #ChronicIllness #SocialAnxiety #Depression

12 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Reasons

My wrists are tied

My hands are clenched

There's tape over my mouth

My heart’s out of my chest

The dread is weighing me down

Choking on my words

No air in my lungs

I’m drowning on the phrases

That will be left unsaid


I’m not okay, I never was

It’s so complicated, living this life

Storing everything away

Protecting people is worth the silence

But there’s danger in every war

And no amount of armor could save me

From the shots my mind fires at my heart

It hurts when you put me off

It hurts when you say it'll be easy

It hurts when you don’t try to understand

I can’t explain without breaking down

Trying to find the bravery that’s non-existent

I can’t explain the pain

And that’s why I need you now

Give me the reasons you love me


Because I need you now

There are reasons why I should stay 

There are reasons I should fall apart

But tell me the reasons you love me

And help me win this battle


#Poetry #MightyPoets #CrohnsDisease #ChronicIllness #SocialAnxiety #Depression

12 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Reasons

My wrists are tied

My hands are clenched

There's tape over my mouth

My heart’s out of my chest

The dread is weighing me down

Choking on my words

No air in my lungs

I’m drowning on the phrases

That will be left unsaid


I’m not okay, I never was

It’s so complicated, living this life

Storing everything away

Protecting people is worth the silence

But there’s danger in every war

And no amount of armor could save me

From the shots my mind fires at my heart

It hurts when you put me off

It hurts when you say it'll be easy

It hurts when you don’t try to understand

I can’t explain without breaking down

Trying to find the bravery that’s non-existent

I can’t explain the pain

And that’s why I need you now

Give me the reasons you love me


Because I need you now

There are reasons why I should stay 

There are reasons I should fall apart

But tell me the reasons you love me

And help me win this battle


#Poetry #MightyPoets #CrohnsDisease #ChronicIllness #SocialAnxiety #Depression

12 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Reasons

My wrists are tied

My hands are clenched

There's tape over my mouth

My heart’s out of my chest

The dread is weighing me down

Choking on my words

No air in my lungs

I’m drowning on the phrases

That will be left unsaid


I’m not okay, I never was

It’s so complicated, living this life

Storing everything away

Protecting people is worth the silence

But there’s danger in every war

And no amount of armor could save me

From the shots my mind fires at my heart

It hurts when you put me off

It hurts when you say it'll be easy

It hurts when you don’t try to understand

I can’t explain without breaking down

Trying to find the bravery that’s non-existent

I can’t explain the pain

And that’s why I need you now

Give me the reasons you love me


Because I need you now

There are reasons why I should stay 

There are reasons I should fall apart

But tell me the reasons you love me

And help me win this battle


#Poetry #MightyPoets #CrohnsDisease #ChronicIllness #SocialAnxiety #Depression

12 people are talking about this