For the month of October, I've been participating in a series of challenges aimed at getting rid of bullying and spreading kindness and friendship around the world. Each day +Bystander Revolution issues a challenge thought up by a celebrity. There have been challenges from Michael J. Fox, Lily Collins and Olivia Wilde to name a few that have been revealed so far. Today's challenge came from Shonda Rhimes, and it was to do something that is outside your comfort zone. It's perfect for the day that I am having.
Today was the first time in A YEAR that I've been back to school. Looking at this picture you wouldn't know it, but I was pretty nervous and scared. It's hard being away from the other kids for so long and then just to try to come back as though you'd never been away in the first place. At least in grade 4 and 5, I was showing up more regularly so it makes it easier to fit back in, but now that it's been a year... I was scared that I wouldn't belong. When I woke up this morning I just wanted to close my eyes and go back to bed that way I wouldn't have to risk anything. It's a risk coming to school, to wonder how others will treat you when you're appearance is "different". I was worried that the other kids might pick on me for my weight gain again, or that my feeding tube would make others stay away from me. I was terrified that I would never fit in again with my classmates. I guess in a way it was like starting a new school, but having stories of you going around the new school before you even start (so that everyone knows your name).
It turns out, my worries were pointless. I came, I saw, I conquered. I made it through my entire day without incident - although to be fair, it was only 1.5 hours. And you know what? The class was really excited to have me back! The teacher even made a special announcement to the class welcoming me back into the school. Kind of embarrassing, but kind of sweet too. I even made a new friend in my class, Griffin. I'm not allowed out for recess because the teachers might not know that I need medical attention if something does happen, but I had some friends stick around inside to play a quick game of Monopoly. As scared as I was, coming out of my shell and taking the chance that other people will still like me for who I am, had huge pay-offs. I came out of the day with a smile on my face :)
Having a serious chronic illness like Crohn's is difficult enough, but to be a kid living with it can be brutal at times. Staying hopeful, inspired, determined and connected to others is so important to coping with the emotional consequences of life with a chronic illness. These values are what Jacob's Healing Rooms hopes to be able to encourage in other children receiving outpatient medical IV treatments. By creating child-friendly treatment rooms, other sick kids can be helped to make their journey with chronic illness a bit brighter. Please support Jacob's Healing Rooms and make my wish to help other sick kids come true.
*To DONATE to JACOB'S HEALING ROOMS please click HERE*