After a lot of tests, doctors appointments, symptoms and my first colonoscopies and flare ups, I finally got diagnosed after a year with Ulcerative Colitis this summer.
Navigating through medication, a lot of pills each with their side effects, steroids and immunosuppressants I felt like I had no idea what to expect with this new thing in my life and alone in my diagnosis. Not only that but the roller coaster of emotions and impact on my mental health already dealing with anxiety before all this, had me overwhelmed. So I did what nearly everyone does these days and took to social media searching for support groups in the area, hashtags, looking through tons of scary information and stories… then I found Girls with Guts. Seeing a positive community of women, information and positive posts made me feel like I wasn’t alone.
I am originally from Spain but I’m half British and married to a US navy sailor and we live overseas in Spain for the moment althought that might change this year taking us to the US. There are no support groups where I live so the internet is my only resource.
I’ve always felt like support while you’re dealing with something is essential especially with those who are or have been in the same situation and understand what you’re going through. Helping others also helps yourself and to be honest we need supportive and caring people in this world.
I like helping others when I can, it’s who I am. I don’t mean to sound big headed but if I can help someone with the experiences I’ve been through in my life, I think it’s as simple as that.
When I was feeling really low a couple months ago I saw a post on your social media about nominating yourself or someone who was going through a hard time to receive support. I thought it was just going to be a message on Instagram or an email, and for the first time I was like, you know what I feel pretty sad right now with everything going on and I would really like someone to just tell me they get it. And they did, I got emails from women telling me I wasn’t alone and giving me courage. And then I got actual physical cards with supportive words and even stickers. That was it, I cried with happiness because women who didn’t know me had taken their time and effort to send me a message, something to hold and tell me it was okay. I want to give that feeling back to those who need it. You’re not alone.
Well anxiety and UC have really impacted what I do with my free time. I can’t currently work but I’m finishing my thesis as a Primary School teacher. I spend time with my husband and my one year old puppy. I started teaching myself to crochet in a flare up and continue to do so, I’m learning to do embroidery and like to do crafts. I also draw and paint, I used to do illustrations with watercolors and then started using Procreate on the IPAD. I upload some of my work on social media and sell some of my pieces.