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When I'm Having 'One of Those' Crohn's Disease Days

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It’s one of those days again.

I woke up in pain, exhausted from the night before when I was unable to fall asleep due to pain…and then waking up with it again.

Yesterday I was able to push through my symptoms, which with Crohn’s, depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) means a combination of wearing depends under my dress to work, running to the bathroom at least six times while there, ignoring the voices in my head telling me I am not worthy of having a job, while trying not to be distracted by my coworker’s radio.

Or the fact my cell service wasn’t working the best so I could not listen to music.

I was able to manage and tolerate my pain better with a combination of Tylenol and meditation.

Today I couldn’t.

Today I am at home curled up. Too in pain and too exhausted to take a shower (it has been a week now),or find the heating pad that I have to have at the highest setting to help ease the pain to make it more manageable.

Frankly, today sucks.

But, over the past few years, working a corporate job and averaging one hospital stay a year for the past five years – I have learned, through the help of counselors and meditation, that it’s OK to have days like this.

That it’s OK to do what you need to in order to take care of yourself.

I’m not gonna lie – every time I have to call in due to my Crohn’s, I usually end up crying for a few minutes after I hang up. This is not what I intended my life to be…not what I dreamed of it being.

Through the different treatments, through both working and not working, through my friends, though the judgement and through the pain – there is one thing I have finally started to grasp.

It’s OK to not be OK.

I don’t mean giving up, or neglecting myself. I mean, actually the opposite. By knowing I am not OK and by being OK with it, I have been able to give myself the love and understanding that others cannot always provide.

I have been able to stand up for myself and show compassion for others.

I have been able to come back time and time again, treatment after treatment, hospital visit after hospital visit, conversation after conversation – and I’ve come back stronger. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually.

So on days like today, I give myself some time to grieve the life I had to give up to survive and get frustrated at my current situation. Time to feel guilty for having an unreliable body. Or treatment.

And then, after a few minutes, I stop, update my doctors and finally give myself the permission to rest.

Because even if tomorrow is another day like today, or even a worse day and I end up in the hospital – that time of grieving, that time of frustration and guilt will become shorter. Maybe by a second or two…but it will become shorter.

And the next time will be shorter after that.

Even if my body gets weaker, my soul and my willpower will become stronger and I will be able to be there for myself, and for others when no one else can.

Yeah…It’s one of those days again.

One of those days that I become stronger.

Getty Image by nd3000

Originally published: May 3, 2018
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