When it Sucks, Smile

Since being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2009, my life has drastically changed. A sobering wake up call at 17 years old when I had to come to terms with a diagnosis of an incurable, chronic disease that I had never heard of before.

I refused to admit I had a debilitating condition. I tried my best to move forward and ignore my severe symptoms like nothing was wrong. I wanted nothing more than to be considered “normal” like all my friends. I heard about others with illnesses, but it never crossed my mind that it was going to happen to me. I no longer felt young and invincible but rather weak and vulnerable.

My health continued to deteriorate as I pushed through rock bottom trying to figure out how to get my quality of life back. Exhausted, defeated and unsure if I will ever be able to recover, the unknown is the most terrifying part. I was at my lowest point.

After years of refusing to acknowledge my disease, I finally recognized that I wasn’t like everyone else and having a chronic disease made me unique. Knowing how far I’ve come, what it’s like to hit rock bottom and battling my way back to a better version of myself than I was before Crohn’s is what keeps me moving forward. Consistently pushing myself beyond what I thought I was capable of is invigorating for me.

A blessing and a curse, battling Crohn’s Disease has forced me to appreciate every day I do feel good and not take my health for granted. It feels like I’ve found my purpose. Allowing me to share my story and connect with so many others on their own personal journey motivates and inspires me to continue fighting.

Just the experience of living with Crohn’s has felt like I’ve learned a lifetime of knowledge in just 10 years. It has forced me to take a hold of my life and change my perspective on everything. Food, nutrition, lifestyle and exercise has never been more important to me.  Just feeling good has made me immensely more appreciative and gives me motivation to get my health back when I am sick.

My journey is far from over but I’m going to keep feeding my appetite for knowledge and continue working towards complete optimization of my physical and mental health.

When life sucks, smile. There is always something to grateful for.

– Troy

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