I like to think that life throws you only what you can handle.
That we get given things that will test us but will not break us. Sure, they push us to breaking point but we never break.
I’ve dealt with a lot of things in the last six years, especially in the months following surgery. I like to believe that those months in post op recovery is where I got my resolve and resolution from. It is also where I learnt who I am. It shaped me in a big way; I overcame obstacles, I push myself, I found out my own limits and settled down into my new lifestyle.
When that lifestyle gets challenged though, that’s where the push toward breaking point comes. Being adaptable is something that you have to be aware of and manage like a reflex when you have IBD or a stoma. Having both, double whammy. Having both go berserk at the same time takes a calm head; something that I thought I was good at after the stress and anxiety of last summer. It turns out, no, I’m not.
The thing is, I shouldn’t be ashamed of my disease. I shouldn’t be ashamed of the fact that my face of being ‘okay’ and ‘being well’ has failed. It will fall and I need to be okay with that.
I know my disease is unpredictable and complicated. I know it tends to just have a mind of its own – see the fact that my biological treatments eventually fail, that my body does not like being without medication, the fact that one scan and six weeks later I am flaring up – and that whilst disappointed by that fact when it happens, I need to fight. I need to fight to believe in that brighter days are coming. But that it’s okay to be frustrated that it takes a while to get and feel better.
Simply put, I need to be better to myself.
I should be caring towards myself not my own harshest critic. I need to be gentle.
So whilst I am pushing through all the emotions at the moment – queue the little explanation: had an anxiety attack, got prescribed antidepressants and signed off work for a while – I know I need to be gentle. I need to be calm, I need to take time and process. I need to figure out my shit. Being gentle and kind to myself right now, is priority number uno.
And it wasn’t until I have come back to Peterborough the middle of this week, did I feel comfortable and ready to do that. Maybe its the combination of being away from it all, knowing I need to face my fears and troubles instead of running away, and that I’ve been on my ADs for a little while now and the numb drunk feeling is becoming less and less… but it feels right.
And when something feels right, I feel good. I feel primed and ready to delve in. I don’t feel afraid of what I’ll discover about my mind and my psyche.
My disease has taught me a lot. It continues to teach me and I need to listen.