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Don’t Lose Yourself To IBD

I took a poll on my Instagram account to see if my followers wanted to read a Mental Health or IBD post this week. Surprisingly, the results showed more people wanted to see IBD. While the Mental Health category is not far behind, I can totally understand why you would crave more IBD. After all, I’ve been kind of lacking in that department. – For that I apologize.

As I was thinking of topics I could write about a huge question popped in my head: Why is it that I have such a hard time coming up with IBD topics? Well, one reason being because of the content I publish for CrohnsDisease.com. – CD is a wonderful site and most of my IBD creativity is there. If you would like to see more posts from me related to IBD, that’s certainly a place to go. You can also Click Here for featured posts. Anyway. Another huge reason is because I truly feel as though my life is moving in the direction it was meant to move. For a loooooooonnnngggg time I allowed Ulcerative Colitis to run my life. My condition was behind every single decision I made. So much so that I can 100% say that at 25, although I am very grateful for everything I’ve been blessed with in this life, I have not truly lived.

Here’s a backstory: I spent my 25th birthday with ImproveCareNow. I’ve done a lot of work with them and I always enjoy the company of other advocates. For my birthday some of the other advocates decided to throw myself and Bianca (another amazing advocate and friend) a birthday party. We sat around eating vanilla cupcakes (my favorite BTW!), telling stories and laughing uncontrollably. It was amazing. After we blew out the candles one patient asked “What advice would you give us?” – This advice I will publish in another post, another time. – So if you’re interested be sure to Subscribe Here for more.

Don’t Lose Yourself To IBD

Losing Yourself To IBD

Although I’m not throwing out the little tidbits of advice just yet, I can tell you this: As I reflected on my life and things I would change, if I could, it actually saddened me. At 25-years-old I hadn’t lived at all. I allowed my condition to take just about everything I loved away from me. Good friendships began to fade due to my lack of communication. Relationships failed due to my fear of sharing and judgement. Plans were thrown out the window until soon, I became the person I never imagined: safe.

It’s okay to rest. It’s okay to listen to your body. If you’re too sick, you’re just too sick. – For me, for a while I was too sick. It just wasn’t physically possible for me to do a lot of things others my age were doing. – But it’s still hard for me. While you may not be able to do exactly what you want in exactly the way you imagined yourself doing it, still try. If you want to get your degree, but you’re too sick to go in-person, sign up for school online. Don’t give up. If you need to take a semester or two off to heal then do it. – But don’t lose your hopes and dreams because of IBD. If you want to learn another language, do it. You might not be well enough to go to France right now, but maybe you will be someday! For now? Watch YouTube videos! Download free apps. Invest in yourself, even if the investment is only paid in time (ie: monetarily free). I don’t wish this life on anyone (a life of regret). – This applies to any illness. – 

I know, I know, you may be thinking: “she’s young; she still has time.” – This is true, but time is not guaranteed. I regret living life as if tomorrow is promised. I regret pushing off my dreams. It’s 2018. A time when anything is possible. I encourage you to think about what it is that you want out of life. What it is you truly love(?) – And just…. DO IT!

Comments

  1. great post! i definitely agree that while when you’re too poorly you’re allowed to be poorly, but it’s also important to take responsibility and not let your illness control you or lose your whole self to it. i know i sometimes still feel too ill and sorry for myself instead of doing things, but it’s important to strive to do better! xx

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What They're Saying

"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy."

Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017
2017-09-08T14:16:02+00:00
"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy." Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017

"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."

 

Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017
2017-09-08T14:21:19+00:00
"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."   Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017

"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes."

Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017
2017-09-08T14:26:29+00:00
"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes." Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017

" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."

 

Sara R, Sep. 12 2017
2017-09-12T22:05:16+00:00
" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."   Sara R, Sep. 12 2017

Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.

 

Collin, Jan. 9, 2019
2019-01-09T22:11:58+00:00
Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.   Collin, Jan. 9, 2019