A lot of people have shared kind words with regards to my positive attitude and outlook on life on discovering I have Crohn’s, more so after reading my blog introducing the surgery. I have been asked a few times how I remain so positive with this going on. I usually put it down to a couple of reasons, which I will share here.
The first thing I state with this question is that there is very little I can do to change things. Other than living a healthy lifestyle, eating decent meals when the stomach allows, things are pretty much out of my control. I have been lucky recently in that I haven’t had any problems in a while, which has allowed me to make more of an effort with regards to healthy living. So, in my mind: if there is virtually nothing I can do, what is the point in worrying about it? Worrying and fretting about the bad things that could possibly happen is far from constructive on any level, and in fact will only prove to stress me out, potentially worsening symptoms. So the first big reason and piece of advice is to not worry about stuff you can’t change.
When my stomach is giving me a rough time, it has almost become a reflex to block everything and everyone else out and concentrate on me. I know that sounds really really selfish, but if I have that sort of thing going on then I am of little use to help anyone else out, or to achieve anything. So the best possible thing I can do when I am in that state is to drop everything else, and put all of my energy into getting myself back to normal. The sooner I do that, the sooner I can get back to normal, and open my concentration up to other people and other things.
Another attribute that I am lucky to have, and that I have made the most of is my close group of family and friends. They’ll know who they are when they read this, and they really have made a massive difference especially in the hard times. They are always there and are always understanding; I don’t know what I’d do without them. And I tell them this, its important that they know how much they mean to me. Not over the top. Just a reminder now and again.
Laughter is another massive area in my life. I always enjoy a laugh and a joke with people who appreciate my sense of humor. One of the themes is actually toilet humor when things are bad, rather fitting I find! If I don’t have a laugh at these things then I’m only going to sulk about them, so I go for the first option.
Something that I am trying to do more of is spend more time on me. Its easy to get wrapped up and put a disproportionate amount of time and effort into areas of your life such as work. Don’t get me wrong – work is important, but its more important to strike the balance between working enough on your career and spending time enjoying your life. I know I’m guilty of working very long hours and I know my close friends will point this out when they read this bit. I’m slowly starting to properly realise this, so I guess thats an important step: spotting and understanding that something needs to change. Now I can do the next part and do something about it.
Having read this back, it sounds more like one of these motivational articles for the better you! One way or another I hope this little article has been useful. Thanks for reading!