Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot

Nothing is going to get better, it’s not

Every day I make it a personal target of mine to help as much as physically possible. I do this for a number of reasons; to educate, to show the benefits of doing things a different way, and sometimes just to show off. But the most important reason I can think of is that It makes me feel like I’ve made a positive difference to someone’s day. I have no idea what’s going on in that person’s head, I don’t know what their family life is like, I don’t know how they’re feeling inside, but I do know I can help with a problem of theirs, so why wouldn’t I give it?

From a young age, I’ve always been a helpful person, but it’s only in the last few years that I’ve become far more empathetic since my girlfriend Becca was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Ulcerative Colitis. It’s an invisible lifelong disease that mainly affects inflammation of the colon, but can also cause symptoms of extreme fatigue, joint pain, fever-like symptoms, and in some cases mental health issues.

As this is an invisible illness, it's extremely hard to understand how much pain and suffering she goes through daily. I admit that at the beginning I was massively unprepared for what “Ulcerative Colitis” truly meant, thinking that she just had to take more trips to the toilet, and take a few meds to sort her out, I was wrong. In all honesty, I don’t know how she does it; constant trips to the toilet, constantly feeling worn out and constantly stressing about simple things like going out for a meal with friends. It’s exhausting, and yet she does it all with a smile on her face.

She doesn’t like to show the world that she’s anything less than 100%, even if she’s running at a low 10. And that was my eureka moment, it helped me understand that on the face of it everyone shows the smiles, the laughter, and the happiness they think they’re supposed to, but in private they could be battling some major inner demons, and just barely keeping it together.

We don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors, so when someone asks for help, why not do the right thing and give it?

Eric Wansell