Ron: One person couldn’t feel all that, they’d explode!
Hermione: Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon..
A classic Potter quote. Very apt.
I wonder sometimes how much I must look like a Crohnie. Then, as soon as the thought has escaped into my consciousness, I laugh. How stupid! I can’t look like something, especially with an invisible condition. And I’ve met and know other Crohnies, we don’t think or look or sound any different to anyone else. I wonder then about my emotional capabilities to deal with my condition. I wonder if it is like a teaspoon or its a whole bloody mixing bowl worth. I’m leaning towards the latter. I think we all have alot of things to deal with, some things we wish to share and explain and get comfort and support for, others that are secret and harbour alot of resentment or grief. To me, my emotional capability to deal with my Crohn’s disease has a grand ebb and flow to it, like the moon pulling the tide; I have little control over it some days. Others, I fight like hell to reign it in.
While I am busy “accepting” my condition, I share. And I share with new people. I share with my friends. I share with people who ask about me, who are curious. I tell them about my life and I explain where I am, despite most of the time not knowing exactly where I sit with everything (thank fucking god for counselling!). I contemplate how far is too far with some people. How big is their emotional capability?
I had a friend, my only male friend, who came to visit me in hospital. I foolishly thought that this action spoke more than anything anyone else had done whilst I was sick. But as the weeks of recovery sailed past and I came out of my room and out of the house into the big bad scary world once more, he got very agitated by my mood swings and my inability to be the same person I was before I got sick. I have never been more flabbergasted in my entire life by someone’s lack of compassion. That friendship had to end. PRONTO. He now hears about my life through other people, and that is the best way. I don’t have the time nor the energy to waste on his stupidity again.
Nowadays, I’ve got different sets of friends. I’ve got four or five very close friends whom I speak freely and honestly about my condition, I try and explain to the best of my ability how emotional and confusing and just plain frustrating I get because of things. They are great because they don’t judge. They just let me get it off my chest and try to help as best they can, when I need it. I have other friends with whom I don’t speak too much about my condition. When I cancel plans I give the standard Crohnie line, and I get the response “Okay, feel better soon Lou x”, exactly what is needed. Then we just carry on, talking, laughing, getting on with stuff. EXCELLENT.
There are other people who I lie to. Who I just tell “I’m fine, thanks!” which most days isn’t true, I might not be sick or ill but I’m not fine. I won’t ever be fine, something will always be on my mind, there will always be something I am struggling with, coming to terms with, contemplating; always something. So lying, it helps there. It stops me from saying words that I’ll regret. It stops me from getting too involved in something else, with someone else, who – lets face it – isn’t a strong enough person to deal with me; the real me. I don’t have time for weak people. I have a system – its like baseball. You get three strikes with me before you are out. I get that what I am and what I have is BIG FRIGGING SHIT (ha) and it takes a while to digest (ha) but you have three chances to prove your worth. And if there is no remorse or regret for how you acted, then GOODBYE, TA TAR, AU REVIOR, LATERS, SEE YA AROUND.
If I can’t have emotionally strong people around me, how am I going to be strong? How can I be strong for myself and everyone else? I sometimes need someone else to be strong for me, for a moment, for a day, for a night, for just some period of time, when I can’t quite get there myself.
Time wasters need not apply.