The Emotional Crohn’s

If I could point to one thing that is gasoline to the flame that is my Crohn’s disease, it would be emotional stress. I have always internalized my feelings even though some would argue that I’m more outspoken than most. [Exhibit A: Blog named “The Diarrhea Diaries”.]

When I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease I had a severe problem within my family where one member needed my help but I wasn’t sure how to help them. Instead of talking to a professional about what was happening and how to handle it, I internalized my sadness and I believe that grief, confusion, and fear flared the disease that had, until then, only lurked quietly in the background. I tried to help that family member every day through their darkest hours in any way I could. I took what that family member was feeling and stored it somewhere inside of myself. I’m sure I made a lot of mistakes while trying to help–to my health and to theirs–but I’m proud of myself for not giving up and for stumbling through a hard situation the best way I knew how. I’m happy to report that my family member is on solid ground, but I, unfortunately, am not.

There are inescapable moments that occur in my daily/weekly/monthly life that remind me of those hard years and I’m finding them harder to bounce back from. It’s almost as if I am a bottle of soda that is shaken a few times a month until the carbonation has built up into a bubbling mass of depression that is ready to explode. I wish I could form a wall around myself, but even then, I know that this isn’t the answer–not for myself or my family. But proper counseling is.

Even though I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution in over a dozen years, I am making one now. I am going to make an appointment to see a professional to work through what happened all of those years ago. And I’m going to find a way to deal with the moments when someone shakes my bottle whether they know they’re shaking it or not. Maybe if I can put to rest some of my more painful swirling emotions, I can find a way to prevent the days when my Crohn’s disease tells me what I’m feeling before the first sad thought has had a chance to enter my head.

Waiting to fill in the colors in 2013.

Waiting to fill in the colors in 2013.

Please feel free to comment, share your own story, or leave tips or ideas. Thanks for reading!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s