Hide N Seek

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I was talking about Crohn’s with the hubby the other day.  I casually said, “I think my life would be very different if I hadn’t been diagnosed with Crohn’s.” My husband replied, “You’re very different than you used to be.”  I know that statement is factual, but it deflated me.  I had so many goals. I’ve only achieved one of them.  I just don’t think that my very practical and attainable dreams were too much to ask.  I’m just not that person anymore.

When I was first diagnosed, I was in college the second time around. I dropped out after three semesters, but went back when I was 23.  I was DETERMINED. There were days when everything hurt, but I kept going.  I took care of a child by myself, went to classes full time, and worked part time. I accomplished all this while surviving on toast. I wasn’t eating, couldn’t stop using the bathroom, and was filling the bowl full of blood with every bowel movement. I was seriously Super Woman. Now, I’m Sickly Woman at best. There are many days when I wouldn’t get out of bed if I didn’t have a family.  It’s like with every actual cut on my body, every inch of bowel removed, I have had a piece of the essential Me taken away. Sometimes I feel like a shell of my former self.  There are times when I do hear the echoes of what I wanted, but they’re faint and hard to catch.

I hate what this disease has reduced me to. I want to go back to work, just part-time. I need something other than what I’m doing now. I NEED it!! However, it’s been almost 5 years since I’ve worked regularly. I have dwindling job skills and people skills.  I dislike the idea of diagnosing everyone’s mental state, but social situations are very hard for me to handle now.  That comes along with being in the house most days alone with the dog. I could almost wear the title of shut-in if it weren’t for the times I force myself to get out.

The doctors tell their patients about physical limitations when newly diagnosed with a disease, but they rarely discuss social limitations. It’s hard to go places with Crohn’s Disease. So much of our society is centered on eating! I can’t eat like everyone else; if I do, I’m in severe pain, have explosive diarrhea or just become overly miserable. Interaction is so important in our lives, but that skill is lost when not practiced, just like any other skill.  I’ve turned down so many invitations out of fear.  Fear of being sick, judged, or belittled – because yes, the small-minded and black-hearted do make fun of what they don’t understand or care about. It’s hard to live like this.

I would joke about becoming the lonely cat lady, but the sad thing is, it’s not too far off for me. I can see how it can sneak up on a person. Loneliness is not anything to laugh about. Loneliness is in itself a disease of the spirit.

I’m not sure I’ll ever find myself again. I’ll be happy if I can find a way to patch the holes.

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Life Interrupted

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I have Crohn’s Disease and I have found myself in true remission for the first time in a very long time. I’m not taking anything heavy-duty as far as medicine goes, I think I have finally found myself not stressing as much. One change is the lack of frenemies in my life. I can’t believe how important it is to clear out your life, to simplify, to get back to basics. It’s taken me a while, but I’ve learned to let go of what and/or who is NOT important. My health is more important to me and my family than those people who make me have to prove myself ‘worthy’ enough of their friendship.  Those people are not true friends, nor will they ever be.

With Crohn’s, every day is truly a surprise.  I am just thankful to have a string of good days. I still get low energy. I still get aches and pains.  I also still have days with no appetite. However, there hasn’t been any surgeries for a couple of years (knock on wood). I’m not in the bathroom all day long. And I haven’t had to use my heating pad in quite a while. The heating pad is a very important tool for the average Crohnie. Some days, the belly hurts so bad, all you can do is lie in bed with the heating pad warming up your guts.

So, with this remission, I’ve given myself a few goals. I would like to go on a statewide ‘Visitation’ Tour.  There are several friends and family members who live out of town that I just don’t get to see as much as I would like because I’m always scared to leave my house. I like to travel, I just don’t get to much.  I think that seeing some of my favorite folks can only better my life at this point!  A part-time job is also on my list.  Not only could we really use the extra income, but that’s one more step toward normalcy.  I’m also working on playing catch up. Some things I’ve let go because I felt as though I was overwhelmed with just living.  I will make the phone calls, run the errands, and anything else that has been placed on the back burner bc I just didn’t feel like it.  I guess I’m finally learning after 15+ years of this disease to celebrate the good times and to quit moping that I have a chronic disease. Fixation, I’ve come to believe, leads to inevitable depression, which can throw the body right back into a flare.

So, it’s time to celebrate HEALTH! I hope that means that I’ll be a better wife, a better mother, and a better friend.  I just want to be a better PERSON.  At least, these are my goals. I have enjoyed walking through fallen, crispy, pungent  leaves this Fall.  I appreciate the bright, Autumn sunshine that blinds me as I take my boys to school. I also appreciate the cooler weather, warm pajamas, and hot drinks.  I’m just appreciative that I still have my LIFE. Yes, it’s a life interrupted, but it’s LIFE and I’m glad I’m able to enjoy it for a while!

I Have Given Up on the Days

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I’ve been thinking a lot this evening. I feel myself growing distant from almost everyone. A lot of it is my fault. My ‘frenemy’ pointed out that friendship goes both ways, that being social goes both ways.  She just didn’t realize I didn’t try with her because I didn’t want to be her friend any longer.  She took the word ‘friendship’ and twisted it into something ugly and sour.  I’ve pushed a lot of family away. I guess like I feel as though I’m punishing them for not caring about me enough, or not in the way I think I should be treated. And let’s face it, most of us think more about ourselves than anyone else.

It truly hurts when someone who has been in your life for umpteen years fades slowly into the background. I’ve really worked at one particular friendship, more than any other. She’s my best friend, and I always want her to know that I’m thinking about her. I admit that I’ve screwed it up a few times. I’ve been angry over how she lets men treat her.  I’ve gotten angry over how I get pushed away when she’s happy.  I know that’s not always true, but it’s true enough to make it feel absolute. I have been working on it. I have been trying to let her know how I feel more often.  However, it seems the more I try, the cloudier she becomes.

All I can do is make an effort.  I can’t force anyone to feel what they don’t. I don’t know when I became so ugly on the inside. I want to be who I’ve always strove to be: thoughtful, helpful, and kind.  Regretfully, I am bitter that I’ve lost my health.  That bitterness has tainted my soul, I’m afraid.  I’m also afraid that I don’t wear loneliness well, but I’ve been wearing it for some time now.  I’m getting close to breaking it in.

Day ?: I totally lost count

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I just had a feeling that this every day writing was not going to happen.  I really do know myself best.  That’s OK, because I did not put my blog off for months, just days.  Baby steps, right?

It’s a Monday morning and, as per the norm, the boys were dragging their feet, taking forever to get out of the house. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to make an official Mom decree that they go to bed a bit earlier on Sunday nights.  With my hateful-ass attitude in the mornings and their similar attitudes, someone’s going to end up HURT.  At least they get their hatred for mornings honestly. The people who walk around wishing everyone “Good Morning” need slapped upside their heads.  Yes, I woke up.  Yes, the sun may be shining. However, the lure sleep warmth and obliteration of reality is a strong one.

I had a very nice weekend.  On Friday, I finally had my breakdown that I had foreseen months and months ago. I finally told my biggest enemy everything I’ve always wanted to tell her.  She has some good qualities, but so do most people if one wants to look hard enough. If there were NO good qualities present, I would have been done months ago.  My inherent belief that everyone is good is how I’ve found myself in some bad, almost self-abusive relationships because I trick myself into giving them one more chance.  I’ve never known someone who has been so insecure that they feel the need to lie, cheat, and steal to make themselves feel something other than ugly.  Normally, I follow my instincts about those people and stay away from that personality type, but I just didn’t listen. 

That whole relationship was broken from Day 1.  I always felt that she was unbalanced. Is it possible to really like or trust a person who behaves as a chameleon? I have learned that if a person is not secure in their knowledge or beliefs, he or she will take on the characteristics of the person they spend the most time with.  Those characteristics will morph to fit their company.  It’s impossible to truly love someone whose core is a lie.

I’m done with ignoring my feelings.  Never again will I let myself get hurt without saying something. I will not look the other way when another person is doing wrong.  No one will bully me into doing something that I don’t want to do ever again.  Every relationship is gained knowledge for me.  This person has shown me that honesty is always the best policy, that I need to love my kids enough now so they will have extra love in their hearts to share with others, and that appearances are only important to those who have something to hide.

Day 2: I showed up late

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It’s almost the end of the day and I have come in ducking instead of swinging. I’ve forgotten creative writing. All I can think of today is just my daily annoyances.  Wanna hear ’em?  You know you do.

1. Dependency on Cell Phones: For God’s sake, do something independent! You don’t constantly need to check in with everyone else to determine if what you’re doing is socially acceptable. You also can use your brain to make choices. You should have some kind of plan before leaving your house.  You don’t have to call someone to validate your existence. 

2. Selfish people (aka greedy fuckers): I realize we all are entitled to be selfish from time to time. We wouldn’t be human if not.  However, someone who is only focused on what a situation will bring them, is not a normal person. Most people have empathy, sympathy, or compassion which causes them to think of others before acting at times.  If a person lacks those emotions, that person is a greedy fucker.  Those people should be avoided at all costs: they are soul-suckers.

3. Other people’s opinions:  I am in one of those moods today. I don’t care how many times you argue your point to me, I still feel how I feel. Maybe if you would back up your opinions with some hard-core facts, I could relate to you more. Uninformed opinions are like dirty buttholes:  We all have them, but for God’s sake, clean them up!

Rage! I have this gnawing, passive rage today.  It really is better during these times to go into isolation.

Day 1: Skeptical

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I have had approximately 20 people tell me that I need to start a blog. The thing is, it’s been so long since I’ve written anything, it just feels like a very awkward beginning. I guess I’m starting this to discipline myself.  I have been slacking in that department.  I have no inspiration, and the dog won’t share his insights to my every day life. As of right now, I’m just trying to figure out what I’m doing since Crohn’s sort of altered my plan.  You know, THE plan. The ONLY plan.  That alteration has led to NO plan.  I hope this will show me the way to being a productive writer with something in their voice other than skepticism.