Why I feel people need to stop defining themselves by their illness

Truthfully, I don’t quite know where to begin.

Personally I would rather not use my name due to the backlash that I will more than likely face because of my writing, it doesn’t stem from cowardice but rather the fact that it is quite irritating when people will harass you because of you have an opposing point of view. Which unfortunately, there are far better things for me to deal with.

As of late, I have found myself growing very frustrated with a lot of things revolving around Inflammatory bowel disease, to such an extent that it is time to speak out. It seems as though there is a constant stream of hopelessness projected from the seemingly endless barrage of articles that do nothing but list things such as ‘Things you should never say to someone with IBD’. There are several others but this particular one I see the most and to me is absolutely nothing but garbage.

Maybe there is something that I am missing, maybe the things said or asked are supposed to upset me? Maybe I am defective emotionally as an IBD patient of 13 years but people in the comment sections of these articles would surely love for you to believe so because of the fact that you ask ‘Why?’ or state an opposing point of view on the subject.

It is absolutely ridiculous and the fact that people cling so dearly to these articles or get so offended by such stupid questions or statements only goes to show the unfortunate truth that there are many people who are defined by their disease and it’s as though they want nothing more than to romance the misery that comes with.

Most of all it’s as though you aren’t allowed to be anything more than your disease to these people.

It’s as though you’re not allowed to be anything but miserable all of the time. You pretty much get treated as though you aren’t ‘colitis-y’ enough for the colitis club, they even attempt to define you by your illness because they allow themselves to be defined in such a manner then attempt to project their misery on to you and everything that they touch.

It is absolutely ridiculous and I don’t understand what is so empowering about someone writing an open letter on Facebook about how someone questioned them being sick. Are you upset that someone didn’t view you as your illness? Despite having had Ulcerative colitis for as long as I have, there are a lot of things that I fail to understand.

However what I do know from personal experience is that I didn’t fight for so long, take an excess of medication, spend so much time hooked to IVs, and overall survive to spend my time offended by such trivial things. I did it and still continue to do so because there are so many amazing people in the world that I have yet to meet and so many more adventures to be had.

Everyone handles it differently but when there is such an overwhelming amount of negativity that it does nothing but bring about even more negativity and pessimism.

You are not defined by your condition, you are not define by the idiocy of others, there are no stigmas attached to you except for the ones that you allow and once you start allowing yourself to be defined by your condition, the idiocy, the stigmas, all you lose is yourself. So stop being offended by stupid things.

Possibly the most interesting thing about this I’m sure is.

2 thoughts

  1. I don’t have IBD, I was born with an ARM, and definitely have the belief that the condition/ illness isn’t me. Yes it impacted me and shaped me, but it isn’t me. People aren’t the IBD or other, they are people. Brilliant piece.


    1. Thank you!
      You most certainly have the correct mentality, I implore that you do not allow others, not even those with whatever condition to make you feel as though you are less or that your input matters less because you aren’t “sick enough” to understand or whatever nonsensical reason.


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