Ana Sofia, Portugal

I asked a few people to say a couple of words that define me, and they came up with:

Determination | Fighting Spirit | Resilience | Cheerfulness

You know what?

These are the masks I wear.

I am DETERMINED not to let my chronic illness stop me from doing what I enjoy the most – whether it is work or leisure! I may have to adjust my routine when my Crohn’s flares up, but I keep moving forward. 

I FIGHT every day against feeling inadequate and stressed when I can’t get the job done if I’m feeling down, if I feel so tired that I have to lie down after lunch or fall asleep on the couch at the end of the day.

I am STRONG enough to push through a flare, but I also know when I have to slow down and ask for help when I need to talk about what I’m feeling. 

I ENJOY my life and try to take everything in stride by LAUGHING at my episodes, which sometimes occur at unexpected and most inconvenient times. But I still get angry and anxious about them.