A diet that’s restrictive by nature can make you question your relationship with food. I didn’t originally go on a gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free diet to lose weight. I was sick. These foods made me feel worse, so they had to be eliminated.
As time passed, my relationship with food became something that I wasn’t all too proud of. I got to college and immediately started to ruin my body with cheap vodka and sugary chasers and fried food and the worst dining hall bagels ever. I wanted to be normal and eat and drink like everyone else around me. Isn’t that what everyone wants - to feel normal? At the time, I was so stubbornly unable to realize that, hey, I have Crohn’s, and I will never be normal or like everyone else. It’s not something that will just magically ever go away and it sure as hell won’t go away if I’m treating my body poorly.
Listen, I know it's long. But so has been my journey. This is my story. And I'm pretty damn proud of it.
People have always told me that having an almost-photographic memory is a gift. I’m not so sure that’s true. With a photographic memory comes the ability to remember every minute detail of a happier past, like the exact design on the chocolate ice cream cake my parents bought for my 6th birthday. It also means being able to remember every bump, every bruise, and every time I ever got hurt in such a vivid form that it seems as if it’s happening all over again.
One would think that after unmeasurable hours spent in the company of more doctors than any girl should have, the distinct memories of the pain of the past few years would eventually fade into one blurred recollection. Well, thanks to my memory, I remember it all. I remember laying on my bedroom floor in the fetal position, clutching my legs to my chest and crying for help. I remember the first time I showered in a cramped, damp corner of what they called a hospital bathroom, with a plastic zip-lock bag clinging to my arm as to not get my IV tube wet. I remember every time a doctor diverted their glance away from my pale, pleading face and blatantly said to my parents, “There’s nothing else I can do for her.” I remember not even knowing what to tell my best friends because how was I supposed to explain what was happening to me when I hadn’t the slightest clue?