“I Found Myself:” A Song of Self-Love for the IBD Community
Published: October 7, 2021
In the Falkenstein family, no one struggles alone. In fact, their support for one another led to the writing and recording of an anthem for self-love, “I Found Myself.” This song of perseverance, self-confidence, and hope is written by David Falkenstein, an ulcerative colitis patient and father on a mission to support the causes of finding cures for IBD and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.
Though the song was originally inspired by his wife Ruth’s and daughter Emily’s battles with eating disorders and body image, David feels that the message behind “I Found Myself” transcends their personal journey and is relatable to anyone struggling with their confidence, depression, self-worth, and other mental health illness, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So many folks that have IBD suffer from depression and related mental illness, and really the song is a broad-based message to those who are suffering, many times in silence and isolation,” David said.
The Falkenstein family has been involved with the Foundation since the 1970s, when Ruth’s brother, Morris Benatar, was diagnosed with what was then called ileitis (he was later diagnosed with Crohn’s disease). In 2016, Morris died from complications due to his IBD. Leah, Morris’ daughter and David and Ruth’s niece, also has Crohn’s disease.
Ruth’s parents, Louise and Leo Benatar, were among the founding members of the Foundation’s Georgia Chapter in 1987. “There were no resources, so they along with a couple of other people founded the chapter in Atlanta, and my parents taught us to give back in any way we can,” Ruth said. Since becoming involved over 30 years ago, Ruth’s family has raised over $2 million.
Every time someone streams or downloads “I Found Myself,” all the proceeds are donated to the Foundation as well as two organizations that provide support to people with depression and other mental illnesses. Through their involvement with the Foundation, Ruth and David Falkenstein hope to “find a cure so that other patients don’t have to struggle, and families don’t have to suffer... it would mean everything to our family,” Ruth said.
As of early September 2021, I Found Myself has raised approximately $80,000 for the three beneficiary organizations, including the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. They hope that as more people become aware of the song and appreciate its message, this number will continue to grow.
With lyrics like “I found myself, I see tomorrow / I found myself, through pain and sorrow / When I found myself, didn’t too look to far / When you fall in love with who you are / Then life has meaning, you find the truth,” the song has clear themes of overcoming adversity and self-love.
As Mental Health Awareness Week (October 3 – 9, 2021) directly follows World Ostomy Day (October 2, 2021) this year, the themes found in “I Found Myself” are especially relevant for the IBD community. Click here for more information about how mental health and IBD.
“I Found Myself” is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. The music video is available on YouTube here.
Michelle Lampariello is the social media and content manager for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation.