How Crohn’s Affected My Personality

I’ve been described as “shy”, “reserved”, even “boring”. In college, if you aren’t front and center in all social events, you aren’t important. In this way, college has always been difficult for me.

My anxieties were involved with the idea of talking. It’s the idea of a public bathroom or having stomach pain while out with others. It might have come across that I was uncomfortable in the conversation, but I was actually just uncomfortable in my own skin about how I was feeling. By being in tune with myself, I have failed to be in tune with others. So shy? I guess.

I have gone through a lot over the past few years. It led be to be more reluctant to be open with people. This was partly because I knew my story was a daily struggle, so I was afraid of what people would think of me when I’d open up. I respected the situations that they others were going through, but to me it seemed trivial. Compared to boys and drama, topics I sometimes wanted to discuss were more serious; so rather than opening up, I’d listen and try to help them without necessarily sharing my own worries. I didn’t want to “outshine” them or seem like I didn’t care. In this way, yes, I guess I was reserved.

My priorities were different than others. It’s not just school, friends, and money…. it’s health. When I went to a party and there was alcohol, I didn’t just think about how it would affect me the next day, I’d think about how it was going to affect me for the next few weeks. Crohn’s caused my stomach to be more sensitive (especially to liquor), so that one shot might have led to weeks of agony. I probably did seem to be more responsible, because, honestly, I probably way. So, yes, in that way I was boring.

Now, I say this all in the past tense, because I feel better. I have better energy and almost no pain. I am ready to enjoy my last semester in college. But these traits that have now been ingrained in people’s minds have made it difficult to make friends in this last stretch. Maybe I am STILL more reserved than others, but I am at least willing to enjoy things more in the moment. I just wish others would give me the opportunity to prove that to them.

Just my thoughts for the day…


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