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The Struggle - or what you might not know about me

The past few days have been hard. And I wanted to let you know.

Not because I want to complain publicly.

Not because I need to vent or "let it out" (thank God I have my mom for that - hi mom!).


I wanted to let you know how it is to live with a chronic disease so you can understand why I might not be in the best mood when you meet me. Why I seem distant when you call. Why I take a long time to answer your message or your comment on my IG post. Why I have highly productive periods followed by very quiet and uninspired ones. Why I say no to coffee, cake and pizza. Or bring my own lunch to your party.

Illustration by Mari Andrew

Me and Mr Crohn

A lot of you are aware (and many don't know) that I'm suffering from a chronic illness called Crohn's disease. I was diagnosed back in 1996 and my symptoms were relatively mild in the first 15 years. I didn't have any severe flare-ups. But in 2011, while I was pregnant with my 3rd son, I got so sick that I had to be hospitalized for 10 days and could've lost my baby. I had another major crisis during my 4th pregnancy and after delivery, then again last Fall and I started to get severe inflammation symptoms a few weeks ago. Relapses and flare-ups are more and more frequent and no treatment seems to work. When I start to feel ill again, I get extremely tired and tend to have a really bad mood. Since I'm kinda chained to the toilet, I avoid going out as much as I can and I'm becoming more or less like a zombie, trying to be a good mom and a good wife even when just getting out of bed in the morning takes all the (very little) energy I have.

Trying to heal

So then, the thing that I like to do the most, painting, has to be put aside while I rest. That also impacts my mood, since making art is what keeps me sane and my only me-time.

Now, to add to the challenge, I decided to try yet another thing to heal. I read about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet a few times before but I was scared to do it since it is very restrictive. But other people with conditions similar to mine had highly positive results with it so I'm giving it a try. I committed to do it for 90 days. I'm presently doing the intro diet and it is so difficult. In order to heal my gut and kill the bad guys, I have to cut gluten, dairies, sugar and starches. But I'm willing to do anything to get better. The transition from 'live to eat' to 'eat to live' is very hard though. For someone who never thought that food could cause so much pain, it might be difficult to understand why I would decide to make such a drastic commitment. But I tried everything else. Natural stuff, healers and supplements, drugs and cures, name me anything, I tried it. And I'm not doing any better.

And trying to be brave

So you might wonder why I'm not in the best mood when you meet me. Or you may not even notice. I wish you knew that behind that smile, behind that beautiful, colorful photo or positive post, there is a suffering human being that is trying to be brave, strong and optimist. And I know I'm not alone! So many of us are dealing with different kind of pain, challenges, mental and physical illnesses. Let's not forget that. And let's be supportive and understanding, even when we don't have a clue what's wrong with the person in front of us. Pain is invisible. Let's be more caring and patient. The struggles are real. <3

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