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Living with Colitis Daily

Shawn from Living with Colitis Daily has a great story to tell and a beautiful smile. Here is my interview with her.
How old were you when you were diagnosed?
Although I had been dealing with my symptoms for many years before, I diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at 17 years old.

How many surgeries have you had?
So far I have had 5 surgical procedures. (She just had her 2nd of 3 surgeries for her j-pouch.)

You always seem to be positive and smiling, how do you do it? How do you stay upbeat when this disease is anything but?
Well first, Aww thank you! 
I try not to allow myself to get upset about things I have no control over. I think acceptance is the key. Whether it's a bad flare up or just a routine GI visit, it goes by a lot faster with a smile or laugh. I love to have fun and be goofy! My illness has made me so strong and taught me so many life lessons, however, it does not define, nor does it control me. My mission is to help. I hope someone will see my story and my huge goofy smile, and view their own in a new light. Embrace their struggle. I want to show the world that you can have a chronic illness and still enjoy and appreciate everyday of your life. You can fight with a smile. We are not victims we are victors!

Do you ever have days where you feel sorry for yourself and feel like you don't have the strength to continue?
By far my favorite question! - Yes! I definitely consider myself to be a tough cookie with everything I've been through, from crazy symptoms, to crazy childhood and even a crazy ...let's call it "misdiagnosis" ... Dealing with so much, especially with it starting at such a young age can definitely get depressing and a pity-party is almost inevitable. I actually some-what support them! Taking time out for yourself and allowing yourself to just release your feelings: anger, frustration, sadness. - Ultimately just having time to reflect is good for you. Always trying to hide your frustration and letting it build up is when things get messy. The trick to it is - You cannot stay "at the pity-party" .. Give yourself some time to relax and let go... Then.. Let go! If you dwell on the bad you won't be open to, or even recognize, the good. When I don't feel like I can do much more I remember there are people out there who's story is worse than mine, who's fight is a lot harder or who may not have been as blessed as I am to be here today. Being a "Spoonie" is no easy job but I do believe everything happens for a reason and better days are coming. *Insert corny smile here* haha!

How do you cope with "bad" days?
 On days when my symptoms are really active I try to fit in a few "favorites." A random flare up is the best excuse to spoil yourself! Sometimes it's my favorite movie 3 times in a row.. Maybe some online shopping, mixed with a lot of water and resting on the couch. - Add a few video games and that's what I like to call a Good-Bad Day! 

Contact her on Twitter: @_forevershawn
Contact her on Instagram: @_forevershawn
Contact her on Facebook: Shawn Bethea
Visit her Blog:
Check her out on YouTube: LivingWith ColitisDaily

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