This is going to be one of the more challenging posts I'll be composing. Not only due to the fact that my computer is broken and I am now forced to type on a device that is not even capable of keeping up with the speed of my typing, but also due to the horrible nature in which autocorrect likes to make a right goof ball out of us all. So needless to say I am out of my comfort zone and hoping this does not go drasticly wrong ha. Despite my technical issues I feel compelled to blog about my day.
I recently read a blog post in which it listed the different stages one goes through before coming to terms with a life long illness, these range from denial to despair, sadness, depression, anger and finally acceptance. There may have been a few other stages thrown in but let's remember I can't cross reference anything as it feels like I am in the dark ages typing this post. It's fair to say we have all faced these stages along our journey with Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, IBD or whichever illness you are tackling.
I have done the denial stage, I lived for so long shouting 'Ulcerative Colitis is only a small part of my life' 'IBD does not define me' oh how wrong I was. Over time it starts to take over your life, try though as you might to push it to the back of your mind it's still there lingering. A constant reminder that life is now so much more of an every day battle just for a 'normal' shot at life. IBD does define you, it's shaping you into a completely different person than the one you were before chronic illness took hold; whether you're comfortable accepting that or not is another point entirely.
Sadly I am far too aware that I am not alone. This week I have seen oh so many status' and read peoples blog posts, a word that I have seen more this week than most. What word is it I am speaking of - ANGER.
It does no one any good to hold onto anger but it creeps in regardless of how hard we work at not letting our illnesses get the better of us. I too am firmly in the clutches of anger this past fortnight.
I still grieve for the life I have lost/ left behind. I spent the past 21 years building a life I enjoyed; a life with the freedom of my own, to come and go as I pleased. I was only beginning to enjoy my existence and finding my way in the world up until I got diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis; then the life that I had once known came crashing down around my ears. Imagine it, life as you know it ripped right from under your feet.
You now have a new challenge, one of having all of those past happy memories of a life you were once building whilst trying to carve out a whole new existence from step one.
Now I am a strong willed individual and am usually the first to sprout something motivational like 'come on now, stay strong and keep fighting' or 'you've now been given the opportunity and challenge to touch peoples lives, to make theirs a little more bearable by uniting a strong community' but even I am feeling anger.
I was sat on the floor earlier sorting through my high heels, I swapped my slippers for my favourite pair when I ended up in a puddle of tears as all I could think of was what a waste. All of my beloved possessions are sitting in draws, shoved in wardrobes and on shelves all gathering dust - including me. While I am pretty much house bound due to my Anxiety related to my Ulcerative Colitis life is going on without me.
Instead of being shlumped on the floor, balling my eyes out I should be helping to plan my friends wedding. I should be out dating, making a future for myself. I should be working hard to buy myself all of the things to make life comfortable. I should be dancing professionally, building the career I had always dreampt of as a young girl. Like I had already set out for myself and worked so hard for.
Life with a chronic illness not only chips away at your health but it chips away at your soul. The physical aspects of IBD are hard enough to bare let alone all of the emotional turmoil thrown in on top. Everyone will have their own stories to tell of loss, pain, suffering etc. and above is a snipit into my world. People who struggle with a life long illness draw a strength from somewhere which tells us to carry on, to fight, to become brave. For what other choice do we have?? It is not easy, life as a whole is not easy without the extra fluff on top. People are quick to judge but believe me when I say, those going through an illness have such vast and complex stories that we can't even begin to imagine.
I know some continue on with their lives and refuse to be beaten by their illness. There are those who have carved out a whole new path in life for themselves, illness and all. I am not yet at this stage. I am at the 'stuck in a rut, feeling angry, let down and totally fed up stage!
Why should we have to be forced to live this way, we did nothing to deserve this. More should be done to research and find the cure we all hope and pray for. It's unfair and heart breaking to see young children confined to constant checkups. My heart and well wishes go out to all of you shlumped on the sofa too exhausted to participate in life, to those of you confined to your hospital ward. It should not be like this, more should be done!! People should not have to struggle day in- day out. I feel your pain, I feel your hurt, I feel your anger. For I have been there!
So there's me; well and truly feeling the effects of 'anger'. Let me know in the comments box which stage you're at whether that be denial, despair, sadness, depression, anger or acceptance. Can we truly accept a chronic illness? I hope that in time I will but for now I've still a long way to go.
To those of you who battle on each and every single day you are an inspiration, you are brave, strong, incredible people and you all have my admiration!! X