Cleaning Out My Room

I finally cleaned out my room last week. It was something that I had been putting off for a long time because I knew that going through all of my old things would remind me of a life I wanted to pretend never existed. I actually was amazed at how much I forgot. I also realize how much I clung to writing, even before I ever started blogging, as a way to expunge everything I was dealing with.

I have so many clothes in various shapes and sizes depending on my weight and the type of surgery I had. I must have had 30 pairs of jeans stacked in the corner of my room because I never wanted to throw anything away.  My appearance seemed to change on a weekly basis and I always wanted to make sure I had something to wear. It was one of the hardest things about having ulcerative colitis as a teenager. I never felt or looked like me. I didn’t even know what that meant anymore. Looking in the mirror was so difficult for me because the person starring back at me was someone I could barely recognize.


One day I had a moon face, and was trying to hide the acne that was caused by being on mega doses of prednisone. The next I was pale and emaciated. Then I was “healthy” but would lose 10pounds because I was away and scared to eat. Then I would be home for a month, and feel the need to eat everything in sight since my body had been starved for so long. That, coupled with the fact that I had different clothing for when I had an ostomy as a teenager, then a Kpouch for years which allowed me to wear tighter clothing, made it so going through my clothes was the last thing I ever wanted to do.

I also came across so many old journals. It made me realize how much I actually went through on a day to day basis when I was so young. I would write constantly, almost non stop from the time I got home from school some days until I went to sleep. I pretty much documented entire days. It was nice to read in a way but mostly it was just upsetting that I felt the need to do so because my head and heart were enduring so much.


I also found a contract I wrote to my surgeon before my 7th major operation. I was astounded at the detail I went into; although not surprised. The terribleness of the hospital was one of the major things I think I had to block out because it was by far the worst part of having IBD for me. The feeling of helplessness and utter agony you feel as a patient was truly the most unbearable experience of my life. I think writing out my list of “demands”  to my doctor before I stepped foot in that place made me feel like I had at least some control over what was going to happen.

It made me realize that I can write all I want about the hospital now, commiserate with close friends about the experience, but I don’t feel it anymore. I buried the trauma of it. Seeing the contract I wrote to my surgeon (and would revise it before every operation) made me realize why I eat the way I do and why I am as cautious with my body as I am.

I have a lot more to share on this topic. Cleaning out my room was cathartic to some degree but really did stir up a lot of my past; something I tried to forget existed. But I know rationally that no one can escape who they used to be. A lot of old pictures made me remember situations where I can’t believe I allowed certain things to happen or continue the way they did. Hindsight is of course 20/20 as they say but it still made me see that I am who I am because of everything I have been through.

  • Jodi

    Cleaning out your room and cleaning out your past. Look how far you have come. Think of this as a fresh, clean start on many levels. Your courage and bravery astound me.
    love, you.

    • Marisa Lauren

      That’s exactly how I am trying to look at it – fresh start :) thanks Jodi.

  • Stephanie Hughes

    I can definitely relate. I have clothes that remind me of certain things from the past. I actually have a pair of jeans that I bought right after my hospitalization my freshman year of college because I had lost so much weight that my normal clothes wouldn’t fit me. Since I knew I’d eventually gain the weight back, I didn’t want to spend money on a lot of new clothes, so I wore these jeans almost every day. I’ve worn them out so much that they are loose enough to fit me even now and have natural holes all throughout them. Unfortunately, there’s a big hole on the backside now so I can’t wear them any more, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to throw them away.

    • Marisa Lauren

      I completely understand what you mean. Those items remind us of these huge parts of our lives. And it’s hard to throw them away for lots of reasons.

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