vs Being taken care of.
When I was first diagnosed I was pretty sick. I depends on my family for pretty much everything at that point. They would visit me every day and bring me everything and anything I needed. They were always a phone call away. I would call my dad at work after having scans and tests done, to share news or just to have someone close to me to talk to. I would even text my brother whilst he was at work too – he is pretty hard to get hold of some days, even though we live in the same house. My mom would call when she got home from work and pick up new clothes, dvds, books, snacks, things I needed. She would come over to my isolation room on the Gastro ward and just talk to me about her day. Anything to distract me.
When I got out of the hospital for the final time, I was still very dependent on them. I had to have someone help me get changed and showered and do my hair and clean my face. I was thin and pale and weak. I was better – no longer inflamed and sick – but I was not myself. I could not take care of myself. I was a little ashamed that it got to that point. It was my lowest of low. It was the start my depression. But it was the beginning of the end for me being ‘sick with Crohns’.
The Humira treatment helped. Going back to work help. Going out and meeting friends, new people; just being out helped. I started to take care of myself. I still needed help getting to the hospital for appointments and tests. It was a struggle. When my bouncy personality and my appetite and desire to get outside came back, so did my strength. It was a frustrating time; I had grew so in need of my parents help, that suddenly, I didn’t need it anymore. I was doing things for myself. Taking medication. Getting up in the morning. Get changed. Writing. It was hard to walk away from them, to know that despite how sick I got, they would always be there for me.
I liked being taken care of. But I also love being able to take care of myself too.
When I first went out, my mom would only let me go with one certain person – my best friend Gemma. She was responsible. Didn’t drink too much, was concerned about me, visited me in hospital, knew my condition very well. She was – is – great. Now? I go out. It doesn’t matter so much. It’s caused so much tension at home – some fights, alot of yelling and door slamming, so many frustrated tears on my part – because I would try and push my limit. I did. I was lucky, I had a great friend to tell me to stop it and be sensible. That is my now boyfriend.
I can take care of myself, but I worry that I will be left alone to deal with Crohn’s alone when it flares up and takes me back to Good Hope. I don’t want to dependent on anyone, least of all a man to make me safe. I can be good all on my own. It is my incurable disease, I manage it all on my own; I always will have to.
But some way down the line, I need to let him in. And help me.
And I don’t want that to be a test; I don’t want it to be when I next get sick and am rushed back to the hospital. I want to be in control of letting him in and taking care of me. But being vulnerable, and giving someone all of you, falling in love with them, is hard. And difficult. And so so easy.