… I sat there, in the unused doctors room, filling in paperwork with a counsellor. I pause before all the sentences, wondering where my stupid emotions fall on the scale of 0 to 5. I think about how bad I feel about who I am, how I behave and wonder if I will ever stop thinking and feeling so utterly negatively about myself. I think about how most of these thoughts have been since I got my crohnie butt out of hospital two years ago and went back into “life”. I think about how unfair this is all has been and how bleak it looks. How bleak it feels inside to not like who you are, to be this consistently unhappy.
… This is feeling far too real yet surreal. It’s as if time hasn’t gotten the memo and I’m reliving and experiencing this all again. I’m more familiar with the processed and the expectations, but these are different problems, they must have a different approach.. I could just bail and not attend and figure this all out for myself. But isn’t that what I had been doing, doing so well until I had a meltdown and smashed things, hurt people, hurt myself, screamed, shouted, cried, threatened. I know I have anger issues and do not deal well with accepting help and relying on people and being able to accept that this is all okay. I have problems with my own expectations and those of others.
Two years ago; in the mist of returning to work, of coming to terms with my “new life”, to trying to find out how to cope best, of how to hide my illness; I sought out counselling. I spent three months speaking to a professional who listened, encouraged me and explained how I was so much more than a diagnosis and how best to cope with the reality of a long-term illness. I came out of the spring of 2012 feeling so much better, proud of my journey and where I was going. I settled into a good period of health and thought nothing more of how bad things could get.
Track forward; to almost a year of being without medication, of slowly retreating into my shell – ME? A SHELL?! I KNOW RIGHT – trying to hide how ill I was from people, even those closest to me, of just getting on with getting sicker so I could get medication again, of getting more and more frustrated with how angry and disappointed I was, of how mad I was at how little I had done, of how I had not moved on at all. I was getting to the end of my Crohnie tether and thought that once I got settled with my Infliximab I would find some peace with my other issues, but they just grew instead.
I started to feel angry with everything. Now that they had me on medication that was doing wonders, I felt well for the first time in almost 18 months. I was happy but inside I knew that was only because I was being given a very expensive drug to keep my condition at bay. I was lazy, I didn’t want to go out and change my life, knowing that in the shortest amount of time, they could take me off it, my life would start to tank again, and I was most certainly did not want that. I started to control more and more of what was already going on in my life, I started to take everything and do it myself, despite the fact I probably needed to rest. And when I got into a fatigue cycle, I would just lash out. Most it wasn’t even due to the fact that I was tired, it was because I knew I had done too much, but everyone else needed to tell me it, out loud. It lead to far too many arguments, some of significance, most of just stupid, silly pettiness.
So, I sit every Monday morning with my new counsellor, who listens to me contradict myself; when I want people to understand me and my condition and to accept me for who and how I am, yet I want some sort of magic, perfect person to be physic and know when I need help. I know that no such person can exist and even if they did, I wouldn’t want them, they would not be my Benny. I’ve been with him for two years and he has yet to see me really sick. And I somehow find that a bad thing; why am I not celebrating the fact that it’s been almost three years without a major hospital stay? That I have remained unwell for long periods of time, but not sick enough to need medical attention? Why am I trying to prepare and forecast a bad spell when we have no control over that?
Anger issues. Control issues. Anxiety and self-esteem issues. Already three weeks in and though its been fruitful, I still wonder if I will or am capable of change; of having a “breakthrough” and relaxing. Of moving on, of keeping to this seemingly short-lived mantra of “forcing” yourself into situations outside of your comfort zone (for me, this has been booking driving lessons and working on the “new job” front) .. it’s all a battle. But one I’ve got to face, accept, learn to love, be proud of.