Work it, Work it Baby, Own it!

Someone paid me the ultimate compliment after looking at my blog recently. He noted that while I clearly am dealing with aspects of a chronic illness, my posts seem to cover multiple aspects of wellness. I don’t know if he was just being nice, but that really made me smile. Because that’s truly how I want to live.

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I have finally come to terms with the fact that Crohn’s is an aspect of my life that requires certain things: starting with acceptance. The past several months have taught me that not only is it useless to try to reject the diagnosis, it’s also tiring and potentially dangerous. If you know me in real life, you probably know that I have a stubborn streak. Prior to this last flare, I honestly believed that accepting illness (in myself)  was simply UNACCEPTABLE. An admission of defeat. Of defectiveness. And I would’ve rather fought to the death than acknowledge that something was wrong. The last thing I wanted was to be the center of anyone’s attention (even if it was loving, compassionate and supportive). Acknowledging the reality felt like inviting people to sit down and watch the show. Popcorn, anyone? I just wasn’t having it.

In retrospect, I see that I’ve come by this mindset honestly. My grandma is a dainty, sweet little thing but man, does she have grit! I don’t recall ever hearing her complain about her life, despite the fact that she’s had her share of hard knocks. During a bout with cancer several years ago, she said something like this: “Oh, I’m fine. Don’t you worry about me. There are plenty of people out there with real problems to worry about! ” My sweet lil’ grandma  may look fragile, but don’t let her pink fuzzy bathrobe and sweet little smile fool you. That lady is a fighter! And I’ve looked up to her in so many ways throughout my entire life.

What I’ve come to realize though, is that strength comes in many forms. The silent struggle is one way to do it, but I’m not so sure it suits me. Embracing my truth with my chin up, staring challenges in the eye seems (surprisingly) to be more my style.

So, here’s my life: It includes things I’d rather not do (like take medication every day, keep track of lab requisitions, get poked by needles more often than we out for dinner ) but those unwanted necessities allow me to do the things I love, with the people I love. It’s a no-brainer.

To illustrate, I went to the doctor yesterday and I took some pills. But I also went for a walk/run of about 5 miles, and then I went for a dip in the ocean. I played with and loved up the cutest puppy on the planet;  then I did some work at a job I love and went to bed believing I made a difference, that what I did that day actually mattered, and now I’m having fun telling you all about it. A life doesn’t have to be perfect to be well lived and appreciated. Life is GOOD, and I can finally say, that’s good enough!!!

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