“There are no accidents”

“There are no accidents”

This seems very cut and dry doesn’t it?

That the control you have over your life is everything in the world, no one else controls the destiny of your life but YOU.

Many will look at that and think “why, yes, I agree” and most of the time I am with them, nodding in agreement. Until it comes to my Crohn’s.

If you apply this to discovering you have a chronic illness like Crohn’s or UC you cant help but sometimes go to your dark place and contemplate the reasons as to why you’ve got this disease. Of why all of a sudden you’re a different person and you had nothing to do with that change. Of all the things you’ve put up with and why they won’t go away.

Phrases like “you’ll be fine” or “I know what you must be going through” are overused examples of uneducated lies people fed Crohnies and chronic illness sufferers alike. I am still taken aback by the lazy attitude people have towards such an illness, because unlike curable conditions, Crohn’s has no cure. This makes the debate – or at least tortured thought pattern – even more confusing and prolonged. There is nothing I can do about this “fate” of mine. There is no blame when it comes to Crohn’s disease.

“There are no accidents”; people usually apply this to romance, love and relationships, as a reason to why things don’t work out or why when things do finally do. It might be cynical but its overuse is exactly why it doesn’t apply to anything but that. Accidents imply there was a time when you did something wrong and something bad happened, its gone, you’ve learnt from it, you move on. That isn’t so simple when it comes to health and medical conditions. You can’t just get over or get rid of something like Crohn’s, you have to manage your life, your lifestyle and change aspects of your life.

Anger takes a hold and you find yourself more angry with an invisible disease that should be acceptable. You have nights when you curse the days when you are in pain, you spend a countless amount of time wishing this wasn’t happening. You spent time in hospital wondering why this is happening now of all times and why it is happening to you. It hurts. I’ve been there, I’ve had those sleepless nights of hoping and praying for a flare, so  bad that they can cut me open and get rid of this thing that is controlling my life, to get some relief from the tight grip it has around my neck. But it does no good. If it is not accidental, I caused this, I brought it upon myself. And we all know that that is not true.

If it is not true, then what caused all of this? Why did it come to me? It struck me when I was 24 and finally at a good place in my life, with both what I was doing and who I was. I was finally finding some peace. And the last 12 months have changed all that, I’ve had to rediscover who I am. I’ve had to find strength I never knew I had, I’ve learnt things I never dreamed I’d have to know or go through, or even contemplate. I was so innocent and naive before, living just in a little bubble. Crohn’s changed all that, changed all of me; parts of me that I never knew I had, parts of me that didn’t exist in my consciousness, parts of me I didn’t want to change, ever.

“There are no accidents” comes from a very early episode of ER, uttered by the one and only George Clooney. ER has seemed to find an attachment to my life and mentality in this last year, and I’m wistful to think or assume that it is all medical related. The challenges are similar to my struggles and I’m sure they are telling of what is to come also. I never expected to be “one of those sick people” but in a way I can’t quite describe or feel completely comfortable with, I’m glad I am.

If I can ever find out how to explain that, I will do. Until then, I will continue to find meaning or at least solace in the “non accidental” nature of my Crohn’s.

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