Talking about… talking

Sometimes it can feel hard to talk about Crohn’s or Colitis – but no one should suffer in silence. We can’t promise everyone you talk to will understand, but we’ve heard so many inspiring stories of people starting conversations that have changed their lives for the better. Think of it like this – those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind!

Rhiannon Image 2 crop 2

I don’t think I met anyone who wasn’t supportive. I moved in with some of my friends and they saw first-hand how bad it could be, and because they already knew about my condition they were really supportive and looked after me – making sure I had food or a cup of tea or anything when I was ill.

Rhiannon, living with Ulcerative Colitis
Moeed Image

Keeping your condition to yourself is so isolating. Remember, there are always people there to support you. There were times when I was embarrassed to talk about my IBD but sharing my experiences made it easier.

Moeed, living with Crohn's Disease
Lauren Image 2

When I was younger I would try and hide my illness in a bid not to have to talk about it, I would almost ignore it and not medicate myself. With age I’ve realised that talking about it can be therapeutic and why should this invisible illness be disguised anymore.

Lauren, living with Ulcerative Colitis
Jag Image 5

I felt so isolated when I was diagnosed. I didn’t know what it was, who to talk to or where to get information. When I felt pain, I didn’t know if it was normal or if I should ask for help… In the Asian community, people don’t tend to talk about these things. It was only after my stoma that I discovered this disease has been in our family for years. But no one ever spoke about it!

Jag, living with Ulcerative Colitis
Sam Image 4

It’s nothing to be ashamed of and you’ll be surprised at how much people are willing to help and actually how much you’ll find out about yourself if you simply open up.

Four reasons to open up

Not only will it be a massive load off your mind, you could be surprised by the responses you get. Talking about your condition will hopefully lead to...

1. Understanding

If nothing else (and sometimes you don’t need anything else), the person you tell will finally get why you might have to cancel plans, why you get anxious about travelling to certain places or why you can’t eat certain things.

2. Assistance

They’ll help. They’ll want to help. They may not be able to share the pain or fatigue, but they can remove some of the daily obstacles from your path. Whether it’s reminding you to take your meds or just checking in every now and then to make sure you’re doing ok.

3. Affection

It takes a certain level of trust to open up about something like this. So, the fact you’ve chosen them will make them feel pretty special. It may even bring you closer together.

4. Admiration

When you’ve got Crohn’s or Colitis, the humdrum becomes heroic. People will begin to see how much effort it takes just to drag yourself to work every day, and how much courage it takes to talk about what you’re going through. And they’ll think you’re the bee’s knees for it.

Useful information/links