We all know that IBD is an ‘invisable’ condition, that no one notices, or even understands.
I spend a considerable time of late on my appearance. I wonder how I look to other people, to strangers who don’t know me from Adam, that have no idea of the torrent of pain I’ve been through, going through, will expect to go through. I put my make up on, fix my clothes, make sure I look as well as possible. I can’t tell you how many times concealer has saved my life on the days when I need to go out of the house and see people. The same with mascara. A little tidying up of my skin works wonders. It hides a multitude of sins. My lack of sleep. My incredibly shit diet. And (sometimes) my excessive drinking.
I do try and act like nothing is wrong with me somedays. That I am not a sufferer from Crohns disease. But each time I open the fridge at home, I see those injection pens and I realise how seriously different my life is. How much expensive, strong medication I give myself. Of how much worse I would be without it. Then I do feel scared. And a little sick. No one knows what I go through. It is personal to me.
I find myself at work, staring into space, burning toast as I do, wondering what on earth is going on. What fresh hell is this? Every day there is something new to contend with. Just as one thing calms down, another things pops up. If its not my guts (love them as I do) it is my joints. Not them? Then its my back. Not that? Then its my mind. If not my stupid brain, it’ll be my deceptively stupid and weak heart. And if, after all that, it is none of those, it’ll be money worries, or my job, or my friends, or my family. Especially the latter two, of late.
Why I do this to myself is beyond my comprehension. But I do think it is because it is a secret, invisible condition. I can’t switch off from it and get some bloody peace. And I wonder how much anyone else worries about me. Do they worry about me, like I worry about them? Do they think about my guts (in a non creepy, intense way) and how crappy my day has been? Do they sit there with their phone, wanting to text me or even call me? Do I cross anyone’s mind?
Without ego, I hope I do. Because when it gets too much to bear, I don’t know where to turn to.
Where do I go when my own mind is full of everything else?