With inspiration and adimration from @HurtBlogger writer of http://www.thehurblogger.com a sufferer of Autoimmune Arthritis.
Whilst my Crohn’s symptoms have been kept at bay for almost all of the last month, other things have been reoccurring with abundance. Finding the strength and energy to get through this has been tough. I neglected my blog, neglected to explain my thoughts and feelings to the people who are closest to me, and I neglected to do anything about it. Why?
I lacked the motivation to get my Crohnie ass through it all.
Why? Where had my withdrawal from all the support networks I rely on come from?
I could blame my disease and my struggle to accept it into my life. I keep fighting it. I will it to end some nights, and not because I’m in pain, but because I am sick and tired of being this way: constantly tired from fighting my body. I’ve never had to work this hard to keep something. I never felt this drained from my degree or my previous, often feisty relationships. Mostly because I knew there would be a lull before another battle would commence. I naively thought the same of my Crohn’s Disease.
I could blame my crappy job for making me feel weak and frustrated. It could very well be, but that not only sounds pathetic but it feels like a cop out too. I trundle through my work shifts with the best brave face I can manage, hoping that the hours of busy work will help me forget some of the pain and just ease my weary mind. But it does not.
The ‘problems’ I have snowball my way recently started with spraining my knee. It swelled up and my GP told me to rest it for seven days. I couldn’t really do that whilst working part time, in need of the pay. At the same time my fatigue grew to great proportions; making my energy levels low even when I slowed down. As we know, fatigue has a lovely self fulfilling prophecy, a grand circle of life; of being tired, lack of motivation, lack of energy and an unwillingness to find any happiness. Motivation to get better and be ‘fit for work’ was hard to come by. I laid low and kept quiet about my feelings and frustrations. I started to shut down. I got grumpy and a major pain to please.
I look back at it now and know I should have taken the week off to rest. It would have helped my knee and subsequent joint pains and given my fatigue a couple days to resolve itself. I didn’t though; I went back to work and pushed through the pain. I wanted to prove I was able to do everything else like I used to. It made matters worse. It made me clumsy and ‘accident prone’. I was very unhappy. I still am in some ways, but those things I work through by trying to find the good things in my days, in my life.
How do I do that?
Humour: Finding small things to laugh about helps. Having silly conversations with loved ones make you realise how things have changed, but how much of you is still there. Being honest makes it funny also. Certain situations are just laughable – I know I’ve certainly had times when what is going on is helped by laughter. Even when things go wrong, laughing can help break the tension and create a better environment in which to deal with things. I went through this when I was tested positive for C Diff on two separate hospital admissions. It was just like “Okay, what else can go wrong? Come on, throw some more shit my way..!” I could have just cried – admittedly, eventually I did – but I found some humour in a bad situation.
Inspiring words. “You don’t know how strong a person is, until there are at their weakest”. I am not at my weakest point yet, I am so very far away from how sick I was before. Therefore, where I am now isn’t such a bad place to be. It is manageable. I can get through this.
Exercise. I was apprehensive to start exercising again after so long, along with my anaemia. But swimming – something easy, with low pressure and low weight bearing – has helped alot. It also tires my body out in tune with my mind now. I no longer find myself struggling to fall asleep.
Relaxing. This is the hardest of all. Deep breaths. Knowing that this, what you feel right now, isn’t the lowest point is important. Taking a moment to collect yourself and finding some fight might be the biggest struggle, the hardest thing to find when you just want to give up, but being able to formulate a plan and actual deal with these problems, head on, will help you in the long run.
I’m not saying that I am perfect and adhere to these guidelines all the times when I feel a new pain or even when a new symptom presents itself, but I do always try to find the positive side of what can be a quite horrible, sometimes gross and undignified disease. I hope that if you are trying to find the good in your disease, you attempt to find some happiness for yourself, and do everything you do for yourself, not to please others or it is what is fashionable or what you’re ‘suppose to do’.