We have been together through bad days and worse days. Your insidious nature infiltrated my being and my life, affecting those around me. It has taken decades to nurture this relationship we have for the duration. Quite literally a pain in the butt and pain in the gut, I now understand this is your way of communicating our needs. I wasn’t always good at listening and while attempting to ignore you, you became more insistent. This is our dynamic, this is my adventure.
I used you too. There were times the inconveniences of your symptoms provided a convenient excuse. This only made life more difficult for me in the long run. As painful as this is to admit, I suspect you knew all along by the way you reacted. I wasted an enormous amount of time and energy perpetuating this contentious relationship. Giving you attention gained me attention, but that, too, became tiring, culminating in a dysfunctional relationship. I blamed you.
You introduced me to a way of life on the threshold of adulthood that I never imagined nor could have planned. Surrounded by a community of new people, new physiological needs and requirements, having to adjust to a lifestyle I never met. Perhaps that is where the resistance originated. While feeling robbed of my invincible youth and independent freedoms, I remained connected, attached, firmly planted. I wasn’t ready.
I am living a functional life, blessed with all the things we wish for. It is work. All relationships need work and none is more deserving than the relationship we have with ourselves. We cannot live vicariously through others’ experiences, no matter how much more appealing they may seem. This is my life and I wouldn’t introduce you, Crohn’s disease, to anyone; but I accept you for who you are to me. I accept who I am.