B is for Brave

 I don't feel brave.

Not at all.

People are always telling me how brave I am in dealing with all this IBD/Crohn's crap.

It's not that I'm brave, I just don't have a choice.

I am alive and until God decides differently I will push through this misery to be the best I can, to make the most of each day.

By definition, I guess you could use the term brave loosely. I know I face pain and "unpleasant conditions" everyday and this is most likely the outlook for every single day in the near future but I don't feel brave when I get up in the morning.

I feel tired. I feel heavy. I feel determined but not brave. Determined to make it through today. Determined to keep my mind in check. Determined to move forward but not brave.

Mostly I feel afraid. Afraid I won't be able to control the pain. Afraid the meds won't work to control the disease. I feel afraid because there is no cure for Crohn's and so I won't look too far ahead for fear that the future may not be very pretty. This does not fit the definition of brave.

I have a little ritual every morning so that I can face the day: 1 hydrocodone and 1 bentyl to lessen the pain and discomfort of my bowels. Then I fill up my Essential Oils diffuser with a good smelling variety of oils and let it fill the air around me as I drink coffee and wake up. This is often time spent reflecting on the spiritual side of life. I pray a lot, read inspiring things and bible scripture, and of course, Facebook ;).

You might be asking with the roll of you're eyes, Facebook? Really Monnie, Facebook?

Yes, really. Facebook. You can add Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ to that as well. There are even a couple of IBD specific social media sites that I am an active member in too.

I follow several people, groups, organizations, etc... that are all things IBD/Crohn's related. I read their triumphs, discoveries, medical breakthroughs and daily progresses. I also read of their struggles, set backs, failures and frustrations. I watch as they pick themselves up and begin again, as they push through road blocks and follow detours on the way to success. I've even met a few of the people behind the profiles and developed friendships with them. I've bonded cyberly (my own word, thank you) with others through messages and good old fashioned postal mail. With out social media, my fight with this disease would be very, very different and extremely, horribly, frighteningly lonely.

These people who put themselves out there everyday, who publish the highs and the lows of their daily battle, these people are the true definition of brave to me. They fight every single day to hold on to their family, friends and even their jobs because IBD threatens to take it all away. Let's not forget the ones who get up everyday and commute to a job to declare war on the never-ending battle of autoimmune diseases. They may not see any breakthroughs in their career lifetimes but they still strive for new solutions. They are most definitely brave. Add to this, the doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who serve and care and move mountains for their patients. They are warriors too.

I am in awe and inspired. I feel like I'm not alone in this crazy messed up world of bowel disease, I am surrounded by a family of fellow gutsy (pun intended) ninjas. We are all doing the best we can with what life has handed us and because of their bravery, I can find the strength to be brave too.


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