Keep Clam and Carry On

calm

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

batmanshoes

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).

talk

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