Having Crohn’s has taught me what matters most in life. It’s taught me how to connect with my inner strength. It’s taught me how to sacrifice what I want now for what I want more in the future. It’s taught me how to accept what was, what is and what is to come. It’s taught me how to be grateful for the life I’ve lived and how to look forward to the journey ahead. Most importantly, it’s taught me how to prioritize myself.
This experience has negatively impacted every aspect of my life. My physical and mental health have suffered. I felt (and still feel) traumatized and furious that this happened to me.
The first lines of this book resonated with me so much! When I read, “The first time I made love, I recall being overwhelmed with disappointment, especially since I had waited for love and made it a special occasion. I asked myself, ‘Is this what all the fuss was about? Surely there must be more to it?’ ” …
Tara claims, “Radical Acceptance is the willingness to experience ourselves and our life as it is.” I became willing to experience it all fully without the façade and that’s when my life really began to change for the better.
I was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s at eight years old. Getting through each day was such a struggle but over time I learned how to better prepare myself for being out in the world. I had to plan ahead for any possibility every time I left the house. Eventually that turned into carrying a giant purse with literally everything but the bathroom sink. Here is a list of the basics I made sure to never leave home without.
It was an incredibly lonely time in a life full of loneliness but it’s also when things really started to turn around for me.
“Expression is the opposite of depression,” Dr. Eger claims. As depression rates continue to climb, we need to put an emphasis on expression. Too many people suffer in silence, slowly being eaten away by the past.
Dr. van der Kolk stated, “The bodies of child-abuse victims are tense and defensive until they find a way to relax and feel safe.” When I started trying to take better care of myself, I decided to get a massage. The first time, and several after to be honest, were not very pleasant or relaxing. I would often still feel just as tense or even more so when it was over. The masseuse would keep saying, “You can relax now,” and I would be so confused because I thought I was relaxed.
The more I called bullshit on negative thought patterns, the more my health improved. The more I started consciously deciding what to think, the more my life improved.
“Don’t stop when you are tired. Stop when you are done.” This is one of the execution steps David Goggins includes in his Warning Order at the beginning of the book. These two simple sentences are not only great advice but they also sum up this book well. Pain and exhaustion are just steps on the road to self mastery. If you let them stop you, you will never realize your true potential.