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If you can't say something nice...

There are a lot of nasty people out there. People who say and do a lot of hurtful, hateful and rude things. A lot of times, it is because of a lack of understanding or knowledge.

People do not understand IBD or the pain and suffering it causes other people. They say mean things and attack those who attempt to raise awareness about invisible diseases. How does one go about handling situations like these?

I will tell you that it isn't easy not to be offended, get mad and fight back with equally mean words. But I believe that we should be kind and respectful no matter what people say to or about us. There's really no need to get nasty.

I am beginning a campaign in October that addresses this very issue called the #ShowMeTheMummy campaign. I won't get too deep into it now, but it really concerns me when people do not see how these "misunderstandings" and words of hate can be turned into opportunities to educate others about our diseases.

I'm not saying we need to lie down and let other people step all over us. You can (and MUST) defend yourselves, but don't get hateful. Get frustrated and acknowledge that these words hurt you. Get mad, but don't get even. Use these times as an opportunity to educate others in a kind and respectful way.

I would also suggest cooling off before trying to educate others. Once you get angry during a discussion, you've lost control of the conversation and no one will listen to anything you have to say at that point.

There will be times, unfortunately, that you will come across people who are just there to troll the internet. There are very unhappy people out there who are just looking for a fight. In the wise words of Alfred Pennyworth (The Dark Knight), "Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn." That's exactly what these people want. They want to put people down and try to make others feel insignificant and small.

Don't let people control you and get to you like that. Life is too short to get and stay offended all the time. These people should be pitied. One day they, too, may have some very hard and trying times. They may one day end up with a vicious disease or find themselves in situations where no one understands them. They will end up all alone.

Forgive them and move on. Who are these people, really? What are their words?

Take care my wonderful IBD family! And keep your eyes peeled for my #ShowMeTheMummy campaign coming in October!!!

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