Finding an Actual Happy Place with IBD

We all know about the intangible happy place. While it’s generally thought of as a mental state or a figurative place to go to zone out, change moods, or let it all go, there’s the potential for it to mean something even more – something real. Is there an actual happy place that can make you feel better?

Not long ago, my girlfriend and I went traveled to Montreal to get away for a few days. For her birthday I got her Michael Buble (her favorite musician) concert tickets. It was an amazing time – Montreal is breathtaking and the culture is simply amazing. It was a weekend to envy, though at some times, it was a battle just to walk around.

Lisa and I WhitefaceOne night we found a unique, amazing restaurant that had a jazz band playing. It was set in a courtyard that was decorated to have a “Garden of Eden” feel. The food was wonderful, the scenery was stunning, and, yes, we enjoyed our time there. Still there was small dark cloud that remained that we both had to deal with – my Crohn’s disease and the pain it caused. It was frequently difficult to sit still or find a comfortable position, which put a slight damper on the evening. Nonetheless, we made it through it the evening with smiles and she was amazing about it as usual.

As the trip ended, I began to feel a little better during the drive home, thought still not great. Our route took us by Lake Placid, one of my favorite areas in the Northeast. Upon leaving, we made a plan to stop so I could share the area I love with her. Even though it would be a short stop, I was excited to spend any time there. As we got closer, the pain didn’t go away. I got nervous that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy myself there – the thought of which was deflating.

When we were close, I told her about all the activities to do and things to see in Lake Placid and we decided we would drive to the top of Whiteface Mountain (where the 1980 Olympic events were held). I felt slightly better and as we got further up the mountain road, I could feel a change happening. We reached the end of the road, which doesn’t hit the peak, and we had to decide: take the elevator up or go on a short hike to the top?

Instantly, everything felt different. The mountain, the fresh area, the views, and the great town we were in – they all made me feel better. My mind let me escape from the pain, nausea, and fatigue in a magical sort of way. We spent about an hour on the summit, headed into town, and had a great dinner at a restaurant on the lake. I continued to feel much better and I realized that it’s possible we truly do have happy places that can energize us to a point that makes our IBD symptoms float away. Even though it was only for only a short while, I’m grateful for the recharge that came from being in a place of such peace and comfort.

So I ask you: where is your happy place? How often do you get there?

Maybe we should spend a little more time surrounded by the things that have the ability to transform the way we feel and make our IBD a second thought. The feeling of being refreshed is worth it.

We Will Beat IBD!



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