Living in hope with Colitis

It’s Crohns and Colitis Awareness Week, a time when those in the know about IBD try to educate those who aren’t and encourage them to better understand the condition and the people who live with it.

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Yes it does involve bottoms, bowels and poo but living with it is SO much more than that.

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Fear of the unknown

Despite the many similarities between men and women, and the equal strengths and qualities of both sexes – it would seem that science is highlighting one challenge us girls have yet to overcome…anxiety. Studies show that women are naturally disposed to panic and worry, more so than our male counterparts (on the whole at least). But why?

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When life doesn’t care if ‘it’s not fair’

When I was little and my brother would get away with murder, or my school mates would pick fun at me and bully me, I’d come home and proclaim how unfair and unjust the world was through tear-stained cheeks. Usually all was quickly forgotten after a cuddle and a bit of dinner, and as only a child’s mind can I soon moved on to bigger and better things, without dwelling on the ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’ that come with later years.

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Farting in front of the in-laws, parp with pride!

Farting in public isn’t easy, there’s the ever-present dilemma of ‘will it stink?’ ‘Will everyone know it was me?’, and you can never be sure if it’s going to slip silently into the ether, or announce its arrival with a huge lingering trump.

Most people can come home, slip into those slacks and trump till their heart’s content, but when you’re currently living with your in-laws, and also suffer from an IBD which makes your bowels doubly as active – that becomes a whole new challenge.

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Weekends in Pembrokeshire

Back in the summer we took advantage of a friend’s empty static caravan and escaped the drudgery of work, for a few days of fresh air. Wales isn’t a new holiday destination to me, but Pembrokeshire was, and it was BEAUTIFUL!

My boyfriend and I are currently saving for a deposit on our first house, so there were no foreign holidays on the cards this year (or for the foreseeable). It’s spoilt to say, but I was a bit gutted we weren’t going anywhere after working so hard, so when this opportunity for a cheap little stay-cation came up, I leapt at it.

The icing on the cake was that we had glorious weather for 80% of the trip, and the place itself far exceed my expectations.

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Why I wish I had an illness you’ve actually heard of…

Nobody wants to wish a lifelong illness upon themselves, but I do sometimes wish I could just say I have something like diabetes, celiac or arthritis…not because having those illnesses is easier, but because as soon as I say UC or Ulcerative Colitis, I get this kind of look…

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What does it take to climb the ladder?

It might just be the profession I chose, but after leaving Uni I often felt like the only one who didn’t ‘get it’, didn’t understand how to get where I wanted to be, or impress those I thought (at the time) needed impressing.

At Uni having a difference of opinion was a good thing, sticking your hand up and asking why? Or simply being vocal with your thoughts – it took me a long time to realise that’s not always the case in an office.

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#Talk2Me – I’m scared to ‘unfriend’

“I’d REALLY like to unfriend someone I went to school with on Facebook, because they generally made me feel like crap as a teenager, but I can’t bring myself to pull the trigger. It’s like they’ve still got a hold on me, even after all this time. I want to move on with my life, and get rid of the negative people in it, I just don’t know what the repercussions might be.”

Most of us are guilty of accepting friend requests simply because we don’t want to rock the boat, it’s often easier to say yes, than it is to say no. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it…

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#FridayHero – Heather Grant (amongst others)

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and this week we’re celebrating one girl who recently hit the headlines for her very brave and courageous bikini snaps.

Heather Grant is a 23-year-old girl who also happens to suffer from Chrons – the sister illness of UC (which I have). The sales assistant from Merseyside underwent life changing surgery in order to correct a complication caused by her illness and woke up with a colostomy bag, but instead of waking up and despising this new addition she thanked it for saving her life – and has vowed to display it proudly on the beach this summer.

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Have we lost the ability to holiday?

Once upon a time, if you went on holiday for a fortnight you effectively dropped off the face of the earth as far as friends and family were concerned.

No phones, no social media channels to update..and checking in at the airport genuinely meant checking in. The only sign you’d survived the journey would be a battered postcard, and if your ‘beach bod’ plans didn’t quite come to fruition it didn’t matter because only your loved ones were with you. Am I the only one who thinks these were the golden days of travel?

The first my friends would have heard about any holidays would have been a handful of printed blurry snaps, some fading tan lines and a slighty dodgy braid in my hair.

When did holidaying become less about actually having a holiday, and more about how that holiday looks to everyone else?

I’ve done it myself, posted fairly benign images of toes in the sand, drink in hand and chilling on my beach towel…but even as I’ve done it, a large part of my brain has been asking ‘what was that for? Was it really necessary?’ Am I the only one? Nope….

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