7. You do learn to be gentle with yourself. This one’s a toughie – it’s something I work on literally every single day. As a runner, I feel I’m automatically harder on myself than other people are on themselves. I always want something more, something faster, something stronger. So when my gut sidelines me even for a few hours, I beat myself into the ground about it. But over time, you do learn to adapt and to listen to what’s happening inside of you. Colitis afforded me the gift of patience and acceptance – two things I probably would never have considered necessary otherwise. Be gentle with yourself, your body is doing the best it can with what it’s got.
8. You will talk openly about probably the most embarrassing thing there is to talk about in a social setting. Whether it be work, out with friends, at a party, with family or wherever, talking about bathrooms and poop and everything in between will, over time, probably become commonplace in your world. Why is this a positive? Imagine someone sitting across from you, visibly uncomfortable because of some digestive distress, too mortified to say anything. Seeing how open you are will create a safe place for them to voice how they feel, and suddenly you’re a confidant.