As I have been dating this past year, its making me think about my past relationships and how at times, it was so hard for the other to understand what I dealt with on a daily basis with my Crohn's. You can describe to them all you want how it feels, yet no one will understand what its like, but us. I do not like sympathy whatsoever, but at times you do need that reassurance from your loved one, saying its ok and not to be embarrassed. Crohn's is a very embarrassing disease to deal with, especially within a new relationship. When is the right time to tell them? Do you hold out as long as you can or tell them right away? There is never a right answer for that. Its all about the right timing and when it feels comfortable for YOU. Sometimes I want to tell them right away and say "Hey, this is me. If you don't like it, leave now!" One of the most hurtful comments I ever heard regarding my health came from my ex when he moved out on me. He said he didn't want to be with a sick person for the next 30 years of his life. Wow. That stung.
Guess what though? It made me stronger. It made me realize that Crohn's does not define who I am. Yes, I have my bad days. Everyone does. I can still walk, I still work, I see beautiful things with my eyes, my mind works just fine, I have a strong heart, a strong roof over my head, and I have a loving family...and the best cat in the world. What else is there? A loving man would be nice. He needs to accept me for everything, when I have good days and bad. Be there for me when I am sick and enjoy the good days to the fullest. I have a lot of love to give to the right person but he will need to love me fully and not even blink twice on the day I decide to tell him I have Crohn's.
This is how I look at it. Intestines are the best organ to have a disease in! We have so much of it....right? (I've had two big sections taken out and I'm still going strong!) You only have one heart. Pretty hard to replace. I'd pick Crohn's over heart disease any-day. Crohn's has made me a very strong person and has taught me many lessons. When I never know what tomorrow will bring, it makes me enjoy living in the moment and taking nothing for granted. It took me a long time to make peace with myself the fact I am different, but I know in my heart of hearts that I will find someone that will not see me any different nor allow me to be embarrassed, shameful or afraid to be myself. I am truly looking forward to that day.
...and remain strong! xoxo