Angel's story

“After suffering in silence for a long time, not knowing how to exist with my diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis both physically and mentally, I decided to go along to a coffee morning for people with Colitis.

I’d spent a long time thinking only older people got Inflammatory Bowel Disease – and that I was a rarity to have a diagnosis at 19. So, I was delighted to meet with women and men my age and talk about our disease.

I thank the people I spoke to for being incredibly understanding as they helped bring me out of the lonely, isolated shell I was in.

I was so delighted to talk to them and it was definitely the right decision to visit. Before, I had a mental image that support groups were depressing and lacklustre, but those chats showed me this was definitely not the case.

Afterwards I felt as though a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt I was not alone, and that there was a way to live a happy life with my condition – through the good times and the bad.

Opening up to people – whether they have Crohn’s or Colitis or not – can make you feel a million times better and less alone.

I wish I’d opened up sooner, and I wish somebody would have told me what I am telling you now: you're not alone, a problem shared is a problem halved, and Crohn’s and Colitis are conditions which will not prevent you from living the life you've always dreamed of – even though you may have to make a few changes.”

Angel, living with Ulcerative Colitis