I really do try to keep things positive and share how you can live a great and happy life even with a chronic illness. I have however found that over recent weeks I’ve been suffering physically and in my personal life and mentally it’s getting to me. I’ve always been independent, stubborn and can push through almost anything that comes my way but at the moment it’s proving difficult.
To start with how I’m feeling physically with Crohn’s and endometriosis. My symptoms have improved but I’m stuck in a limbo where I’m not really getting any better now, I’m still getting daily pain, I’m tired all of the time and suffer with nausea almost constantly. I think that I expected I’d carry on just feeling better and go into remission for Crohn’s, the endometriosis I’m not sure what I thought would happen. The optimist in me just kept me feeling positive and hoping for the best but in reality I’m just a bit stuck in not ill enough that I can’t live my life but find it difficult when I actually do. It’s draining me mentally as I can go out and have a good time to a certain extent but then I hit a wall of either pain, nausea or fatigue and have to retreat either to bed or the sofa.
The above has made me realise that my diseases are permanent and this has hit me hard. Of course I know that their permanent but it’s really sunk in over the last few weeks, the usual me would have a plan of attack to fix the problem but I’m at the hands of seeing whether medications work and waiting on more tests to try different ones so it feels very out of my control.
Mentally I feel a bit all over the place, I think the prednisolone gives me a wave of energy and feeling happy on some days but the rest of the time I just feel a bit lost, like I’m drifting along not quite living my life. I’ve been through some pretty life changing shit in my personal life recently and I was involved in some pretty heavy decision making and reassuring someone I’ve know for a long time that it was the right thing to do. I was so impressed with how well I handled myself and kept myself together despite the fact that my life was going to be completely changed and there would be a lot of uncertainty in my future because of it, I was calm, collected and positive where I needed to be.
That’s when things really took a turn for the worse, whilst I thought I was handling it so well I think I was really just holding it all in and compressing it down into the back of my brain. What this has now resulted in is I now keep waking up at about 3am panicked, crying and feeling completely terrified. The last few days have been really bad with this and it’s now coming into the days as well, I’m waking up feeling drained, miserable and wishing I could just hide in bed all day.
Normally getting into this sort of funk as I would call it, I’d go full force into holistic ways to feel better, meditation, yoga and writing down my feelings. I have done some of this but this time it’s not working and I have concerns that my mental health could affect my physical health. I’ve noticed the pain is worse on the days I feel more down and don’t want this to become a bigger issue.
I’m not afraid to say that I went to see my Dr and I have asked for help, I’ve fought the idea of medical intervention to treat mental health for a long time. I firmly believe or believed I could overcome it myself but with the year I’ve had it’s not a fight I want to do alone. My Dr assured me that it’s really common for people with Crohn’s to suffer with bouts of feeling depressed and it’s completely normal especially after being diagnosed to feel the way that I do. I have been given the details to get some therapy and learn how to deal with these emotions in a better way and I’ve also been given some medication. I’m still on the fence about whether I will start taking the medication just because I’m already taking so much already and I’m a bit worried about the side effects and what it might do to my personality. I’ll let you know what I decide on that when I make up my mind.
I’ve also realised that the front or holding in of emotions that I thought I dealt with so well recently is not a new achievement but a coping mechanism I’ve been using for years. I’ve been so busy at work and in life that I’ve been fighting everything that gets in the way, pushing my feelings to the back in the hope they’ll go away. Just smile and fake it to you make it but now I have half the energy I used to and the feelings aren’t going away their getting worse…
The main thing I want anyone reading this and on a more positive note is that it’s ok to ask for help, dealing with a chronic illness is hard enough as it is so feeling better mentally is so important. It’s no longer taboo to speak up about mental health issues and you have to remember that if you don’t tell anyone you’re having issues then they won’t know. Sometimes life doesn’t go the way you expect it to and that is all part of being human, talking to someone and asking for help doesn’t make you weak it makes you strong because you know what you need and how to get it.
If anyone has any questions about anything in this blog article or just wants someone to talk to please reach out to me.
Thanks for reading!