Sunday, 9 March 2014

Signed, Sealed, Diseased (I'm Yours)

Dear Crohn's, 

Firstly before we begin, I'd like to remind you that under no that uncertain terms, you are the biggest, and most relentless interference in my life. You are the single most infuriating thing I've ever experienced, (at least since my corner-shop stopped stocking the big jars of Nutella anyway).
I'd love to be able to say I was fine before you came along but I suppose I really wasn't. I was all askew and I suppose I always felt my body wasn't quite like other bodies. Something's just didn't seem to make sense. I don't mean to blow my own trumpet, but I had a decent figure, was fit and active and occasionally could look at myself in the mirror for more than 60 seconds without wincing. I took endless photos of myself and my loved ones and had lots of fun in amongst all the hard work. 
After you came into my life the photos dried up. The mirror and I became distant, and the fun was swiftly replaced with completing endless crosswords in-between all the vomiting, wrapped up tightly in NHS sheets.

I hated the sight of myself with you. You destroyed my body and mind. For a while at least. You left me with scars and unrepairable damage. You caused me so much stress that I suffered constant pain and continuous pounding headaches. The medication you insisted I take made my hair fall out, gave me ulcers, made me pile on pounds or shed weight almost overnight. In the moments I watched these parts of me drift away I felt less of Me. Somehow less of a woman. 
You were the worst relationship I ever had. 

But we must persevere. It took me a long time to face the fact that I was never getting rid of you, but when that finally sunk in my attitude towards you changed almost overnight. 
I realised I had to accept you as a part of my life and begin to let us try and live in harmony, rather than trying to fight you constantly. It all became just too tiring. I didn't like the idea of you taking away my independence, so I eventually resolved that I didn't have to let you. I had to take a bit of the control back. I'd let you have the upper hand for too long. There was no equal footing in our relationship because you held all the aces. You would decide what we did when we did it, whether or not I went to work and you hospitalised me at the drop of a hat. You were toxic for me. 

Now I know you are with me for life it's a little easier. I treat my body with the respect it deserves. At least until the cravings for mashed potato hit, then all bets are off. I realise I'm only punishing myself in the process of trying to fight with you. I have to take care of myself because you won't. I have to ensure I do my utmost to keep myself as well as possible and for the most part I do. Life gets in the way though and it's a struggle juggling you and work/a social life/home life. You still interfere a LOT of the time, but when I can continue to be the 'old me' even with you tagging along, I absolutely relish it. 
I love and enjoy my life DESPITE you. Now who has the last laugh? 

Yours always, in Nutella, 

Kathleen x

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