How I Learned to Accept My Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosis as a Young Woman

How we see the world shapes who we choose to be — and sharing compelling experiences can frame the way we treat each other, for the better. This is a powerful perspective.

“The girl with the sensitive stomach.” That’s what I had been labeled.

For years, I was just a girl with a sensitive stomach who had to lie down after meals, skip out on social plans, and leave class early. The girl who could be out with her friends one night, and the next barely be able to leave her bed. These ups and downs became my way of life.

But then, on Aug. 4, 2017, I went from the girl with the sensitive stomach to the girl with a chronic illness. The girl with an autoimmune disease. The girl with ulcerative colitis.

It took me almost 2 years before I heard the magic words, “You have ulcerative colitis,” and was ushered out of the gastroenterology center with a pamphlet and a diagnosis. Two years of pain and tears and confusion. Two years of clutching to my identity as the girl with the sensitive stomach because I was scared to be the girl with something more serious.

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