Readers might ask, what's the bright side of Crohn's? A strange name for a blog, I'm sure, and if anyone knows the real answer, I'm all ears. No... it's not about some wry attempt at making light of Crohn's -- "The weight-loss program that works!" ba dum ching! -- no, it's about the general philosophy I try to live by. I always try to look for the positives in my life. Count my blessings. It sounds trite, but it works.
Ok, if you, dear reader are suffering from Crohn's, some other illness, or just dealing with one of the many possible sources of suffering in our lives, I have a project for you. Go grab a piece of paper and a pen. Yes, real paper, don't use your computer- having a physical result helps. Now, at the top write a title like "My Blessings", or "Good Things In My Life". Next, write the numbers 1 to 20 down the margin. Now, I want you to fill that list with all the bright sides in your life. Your blessings. I know you have at least 20. If you fill 20, add 5 more. Keep doing that till you just can't rack your brain for more. Fold up the list and carry it with you, it might take a few days to complete it, and it will change with time. The items can be big and serious, or small and light-hearted. To help you out, here are a few random items from my list of over 50:
- Parents that love and support me.
- An amazing super-hero, dragon-slaying husband.
- My beautiful baby boy.
- The most awesome group of friends.
- A close relationship with my siblings.
- Finally getting a diagnosis, and starting treatment.
- A country that is free, and has free health care.
- My intelligence and love of learning.
- My Xbox360. Who needs mobility to have fun! :)
- Being able to work from home as needed.
You get the idea. Now you can jazz up your list with some coloured pens, and keep it with you. When things get bad, and the weight of your illness feels like it's tainting your soul... whip out that list, and remind yourself that it's not ALL bad. In fact, there's a lot to be thankful for.
Now, I'm not saying to just count your blessings and it will ease your suffering; there's nothing I hate more than the "Don't worry, be happy" advice (which I get from a surprising number of people). But I do believe that we sometimes lose ourselves mentally in our symptoms, and we can add to the suffering of our illness. There are so many positive things in my life to think about.
I hope this helps at least one person. Then I could count that as a Bright Side of this blog! Post some of your own blessings in the comments below!