Today is an incredibly important day to me. Today, there is a reason to celebrate. Today reminds me that there is hope and goodness and light in this world. Today, I want to talk about my friend Sara Ringer.
Early last year before I had even begun the process of reaching out to the IBD community, I started browsing the internet in my very first attempt to see that I wasn’t alone. I felt so isolated from the world in so many areas of my life but mostly, I began to think that there was something wrong with me for having so many negative feelings about my battle with ulcerative colitis. I had searched the web on and off since I was diagnosed but the things I would find weren’t REAL, for lack of better wording. It was great to see so many blogs and videos on YouTube about how people were overcoming their illness and moving on to climb mountains or just live a seemingly “normal” existence but I couldn’t for the life of me understand why no one seemed to be addressing anything that I was actually going through.
It left me feeling even worse to be honest. It was as if everyone else out there living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis was completely fine with their disease except for me. One day I came across a video about anxiety and how this random girl with Crohn’s disease experienced it quite often and I felt like all of a sudden I wasn’t the only one on the planet who wasn’t 100% OKAY with life as an IBD patient. I then started searching for other videos of hers and the more I watched her talk and clung to her words, I began to feel a tiny bit of relief and hope. I actually got so excited I remember bringing my laptop downstairs so I could watch a few video’s with my dad. We both just nodded along and at one point my dad even said to me “I feel like this is you talking.”
It was as if I found some random person on the internet with IBD who was able to be the voice I so desperately needed. She was able to say the things I so badly wished I could say out loud but hadn’t yet gotten the courage to do so. This girl was the person who opened my eyes to the fact that I was far from alone with my thoughts and feelings about living with inflammatory bowel disease. I may not have been able to be open yet about the emotions I was experiencing, but hearing someone else validate my feelings took a lot of my pain away.
This girl not only was the one to give me the hope I so badly needed at a very tumultuous point in my life, but she end up becoming one of my very best friends. Sara has become my sister.
And today is her birthday.
Today, we celebrate Sara Ringer…my role model, my friend and my sister.
Thank you for being everything you are. I am so grateful to have you in my life- for the countless hours of conversation, for all the laughter, the amazing people you have introduced into my life, the secrets we have shared…
and on behalf of the ENTIRE IBD community WE THANK YOU for everything you have done for us.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SADIE!!!! I love you to the moon and back!