Dark Side – What is Yours?

There’s a place that I know,it’s not pretty there and few have ever gone.  If i show it to you nowwill it make you run away, or will you stay even if it hurts.  Even if I try to push you out will you return?  And remind me who I really am. Please remind me who I really am 

Kelly Clarkson’s songs always seem very personal.  She reaches down into her soul to find lyrics and they come out as great songs.   From the first time I heard the song “Dark Side”  I was hooked on it.  I could hear the pain in her voice and can tell she had real emotions to this song. 
It wasn’t until I heard the song a couple of times that I started thinking about it.  I remember I was on the subway pulling into the Times Square stop when it hit me.  Kelly was talking about not having a boyfriend in the song, but that wasn’t my dark side.  My dark side, like so many other things in my life lately, had to do with my Crohn’s Disease.  I replayed the song on my Ipod and relistened to the words thinking about my dark side.
So much of my disease is kept inside me.  There is so much that I hide away from everyone.  No one in my life, not even my wife, truly knows every feeling I have when it comes to my disease.  Kelly’s words started to ring true to me.  If I tell all to my friends and family…will they just run away?  Or will they stay and remind me who I really am?
Of course that brings on more thoughts….who am I really?  Am I a person with a disease or am I a disease trying to live a life?  I think a lot of people with a chronic illness think and feel this.  Over time the disease starts to take over and forms our lives.  Eventually, we lose sight of who we are and tend to think of ourselves as our disease.  I personally like to think I am more than the disease.  I have a life, am married, and hold a job.  I have been lucky to not let my disease become my life.  For some though this isn’t true though.  I know when I was a teenager, I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life.  I thought, what can I do for a living when I constantly have to run to the bathroom?  No one knew of these thoughts though.  Back then my dark side started to form.  Over time, it grew bigger and bigger.
But….the song does continue…….
like a diamond from black dust, it’s hard to know what can become if you give up.  So don’t give up on me,  please remind me who I really am.

After a diagnosis, we don’t know what we will become…especially when we are diagnosed at a young age.  We think…can I live my life?  Will I have a life?  Will people like and love me?  Will I be able to work or go to school?  And usually, even when we get that diagnosis, we are still sick.  After saying those questions to ourselves we sometimes want to give up.  We are at our most vulnerable. 
I chose not to give up early on.  After battling my disease for a year I decided I was going to take hold of my life.  I wanted to go to college and get a job afterwards.  My family helped me make this decision and showed me who I really am.  I wanted to become a chef and they stood behind me.  They drove me to look at colleges.  They helped me with the applications.  They stood by me every step of the way.    For that I am very thankful. 
So, as I am sitting on my bus heading home…listening to the song a third time, I think about my dark side.  Since my diagnosis as a teenager, I have hidden a lot away.  So many feelings and emotions.  Thoughts and despair .  Some of them I have shown you on here.  Some I still hide away.  I don’t know if I will ever get all my feelings out, mainly I don’t know if I could ever really show that dark side of my life.  I do know, that what I have shown so far had done a lot for me and for some other people with IBD.  My thoughts have made myself and others stronger…but that is another song.