About 4 years ago, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. The GI doctor believes that I also have Crohn’s… but we’ll leave that aside for now.
For the longest time I didn’t want to talk about it. Talking about it would make it “real”, I felt. But it was all too real anyway. I was also ashamed. But why should I be? I didn’t choose this!
Working so hard to overcome ulcerative colitis
What is ulcerative colitis?
It’s an autoimmune disease which affects the large intestine, causing inflammation of the inner intestinal lining. The symptoms act up during “flares”, and die down when you are in “remission”. Flares can happen at any time, and last for days, weeks, months, or years.
Other than noticing weight-loss and fatigue, you can’t tell from the outside that someone is battling the ulcerative colitis monster.
What does it involve?
Without going into any detail, I’ll just mention the 5 main components that affected me:
- pain (sometimes as intense as labour pains)
- bathroom urgency (enough to disrupt ANYTHING I was doing)
- food intolerance and or sensitivities (on the worst days to everything, including water)
- fatigue (like I wanted to lie down and sink into the ground at the thought of having to do anything at all)
What the doctors say:
- there’s no cure
- they don’t know what causes it (but they know some factors such as stress, and over-use of antibiotics)
- you have to take medication for the rest of your life
- go to work and function like a regular human being (except that’s impossible)
- if the medication doesn’t work, they can just remove part of, or your whole colon
How I felt:
- like the shell of a human, empty inside
- so depleted of energy, feeling unable to do even the most basic tasks
- in so much pain that it numbed my mind, I couldn’t really think straight anymore
- that I couldn’t connect with anyone anymore, I didn’t feel like I had anything to talk about anymore
- hopeful whenever I found something new to try to heal myself, and so utterly disappointed when it didn’t work
- in the worst moments, I felt like giving up… but I didn’t!
A disease like ulcerative colitis can easily ruin someone’s life. It robs you of the joy of eating. It stops you from doing activities you enjoy, because you never know when you need to make a run for it. And you hope to God that you’ll make it!
UC sucks the life out of you, the nasty vampire. But it doesn’t have to win!
After experimenting with all kinds of diet adaptations, supplements, meditations and changes in my mental perspectives, I found something that worked for me.
I am currently in remission due to a clean diet, a number of Reiki healing sessions, and a thorough self-rediscovery.
What I learned from my battle with the UC monster:
- Enjoying life to the fullest when I’m feeling well, means that I have to do the things that I want to do.
- I will need to keep a clean diet forever, but that’s really a great thing!
- Energy healing with Reiki jump-started my healing process. I needed a boost to get me out of the darkness.
- I wouldn’t have healed if I didn’t clean up my mind and change my perspective. Positive thinking doesn’t work, if your underlying thoughts are still negative. This is easier for some than others, but the process is worth all of the effort.
- Working through stored up emotions that I had suppressed for years was a key part of my healing. Ignoring them does not make them go away, so I had to revisit and relive these emotions to be able to let them go. Not easy, not pleasant.
- I have to speak my truth from now on, and not keep things in. I was groomed to present myself in a certain way; let’s face it, being honest doesn’t always come across as “professional” or “proper”.
- The source of my illness was mainly psychological/emotional. It’s not that I caused my illness per say, but in many ways I was not living the way I should have been. And my body responded with symptoms.
- I have to live my truth too. I was always a spiritual person, but I had also suppressed that part of me. Letting that part of me out, felt like half of my soul came back to me. Thanks to my Reiki experience, I got back in touch with abilities and interests that feel more natural to me than almost anything else.
- Finding myself and healing went hand in hand. Beginning the journey of getting my inner self where it wants to go, is so fulfilling.
- Healing is an ongoing process, probably a life-long journey.
- I had to become as sick as I was in order to wake up and change my life path and how I was living. There’s nothing like a life-altering illness to kick your butt to get in shape!
- I want to help/teach others on their healing journeys.
- All the pain and challenges I faced forced me to grow, and to understand who and what I was supposed to become. I am meant to be a healer!
Out of this whole situation I realized that we, as a society, are utterly unhappy. Think f all the illnesses in the world. Part of us already knows that. What we don’t know however, is how to change it. Where do we even start? What tools are available to us?
We should start by realizing that we want to change in the first place, and be willing to do the work for it. It will all be worth it in the end! As for the tools, we already have them inside of us. It’s just a matter of opening up to them.
Here’s to healing,