Keep Clam and Carry On


This iconic World War II poster produced by the British government in 1939 has been adopted by everyone from Batman fans to shoes lovers.


I think that it has resinated with so many because there is merit to the original poster; we need to be able to roll with what life throws at us. I consider myself to have a fairly easy going and positive personality, but there are times when it is appropriate to get rattled and express negative emotions.

When I was diagnosed with UC I was not exactly calm. In fact, I was an emotional wreck! My Gastroenterologist addressed my physical symptoms, but did nothing for the emotional aspect of the disease. As my mom puts it- I was struck down in the prime of my life. I went from life as a collegiate athlete to life as a couch potato, and not by choice. I loved running (I know that not many people do, but it was a major aspect of my life throughout high school and I had goals for the future). I lost 30 pounds and all my energy. Running was out of the question. To top it off the steroids I was taking to control the inflammation in my colon violated NCAA rules, so even as I started to feel better I knew that my college running career was over. This loss caused me to go through a grieving period. I shed a lot of tears and was angry. Still my doctors never really addressed it.

I want others to know that it is okay to feel sad and angry. There is such an emphasis on the physical symptoms and the mental/emotional aspects are ignored. I turned to music and art to lift my spirits. I also talked to a counselor. While it is appropriate to be upset and angry, I did not want it to consume my life. I found that I needed to let my negative emotions out so that I can move on. I cry for a few minutes and then I do what I can to make things better. Allow yourself to grieve, but talk to someone (counselor, mental health professional, best friend, parent, sibling, you get the idea).