As I have mentioned before, I am not at the point where I can make the statement “I am so glad I got sick because it made me the person I am today” but what I can say honestly right now is that it definitely taught me many worthwhile lessons that I most likely would not have known so early on in life. The main thing I want to talk about is support. Support can come in unexpected ways and from people whom you never would have thought would be there for you in times of hardship. And of course the opposite is true – there are many people who I just assumed would always be there for me no matter how bad things got and I was wrong.
Going through such difficult times at a young age has really allowed me to see who is there for me no matter what, and who is only around when things are good. I have received so much support from people I knew for a day and also, from those who were in my life that I thought would never really stay. The reality is that you can never actually know who is going to end up being your rock and who is going to leave you behind when things get too tough. You never know who is going to come along in your life, or what opportunities and situations will come up unexpectedly that will change your life forever.
Until about a year ago, I had a pretty steady group of friends that I would hang out with at least once a week. And then as I didn’t have enough energy to be fake anymore and saw how most of the people I was hanging out with didn’t really reach out when they should have, I began to get rid of the dead weight in my life. I don’t mean this to sound harsh because I give people more chances and make more excuses than anyone ever should. Being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 13 caused my self esteem to go way down and because over the years this has played a part in the friendships and relationships I have been in, I am now really starting to see what I actually deserve from the people in my life. I have come to see who is really there for the good times and the bad… and even though I have a shining example in my head, I am trying to be general enough and point out that you never really know the character of a person until things go wrong. It is easy to be a good friend, a good boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, etc when things are good and life is just moving along smoothly. You see who people really are when times are tough.
Support can come from unexpected people and situations in life and being diagnosed with UC and dealing with all of the challenges that I have, has really led me to see at end of the day who is really worth holding onto.