"But everything is fine... why are you so anxious?"
How many times have you heard someone ask you this......
I’m definitely an anxiety prone person. Always have been since I was a child. It’s no secret that as my Crohn’s journey escalated, so did my anxiety. It sucks and really messes with your head when you KNOW something is wrong and nobody can figure out what it is or what to do about it.
Now that I’ve learned to live with my symptoms and gotten things way more under control, my anxiety still hangs over me. Now that things are going, dare I say well, I am constantly worried that it’s all going to come crashing down. I remember how bad things were before and how little control I had over the situation. I’m truly so scared of going back to that. What scares me is that no matter how you treat your body, sometimes it is out of your control. Chronic illnesses are crazy like that.
Over the past few months I’ve been trying to work through my anxiety and the fear I have of the unknown. It’s hard. And honestly I thought when I started physically feeling better and functioning well, all would be fixed. I never thought the emotional impacts of my Crohn’s journey would change me the way they have. I would love to report back saying I’ve had a breakthrough and decided to embrace ‘trusting the universe’. Well, I haven’t! I’m a work in progress and I don’t know if I’m the person who will ever get to that point.
The takeaway from me sharing this isn’t that I have the answers to remedy the emotional impacts of this disease. I surely do not. What I do want to be a takeaway is that it’s normal that this disease impacts you mentally. There are probably things you didn’t even know are related to being sick that have been messing with your head. It’s worth taking the time to commit to yourself to sort through your thoughts and feelings so that you can better enjoy when you physically are feeling good! I resisted going to therapy for so long because I thought I’d fought through so much already, I could fight through my anxiety too. That wasn’t the case. Opening up about my struggles ended up being on of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Looking back, I was brave enough to share my physical impacts of Crohn’s and lean on others in the community. Why was I so reluctant to accept help from the emotional side of it? I think mental health is seriously one of the most under addressed issues relating to chronic illness. So let’s do it together and lean on each other. Let’s reinforce that it’s OKAY to need to prioritize your mental health just as much as your physical health. Let’s do this together.
Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.
Blonde babe. Maryland native. Crohn's crushing puppy mother to two sweet rescues.
Welcome to my unfiltered commentary on crushing chronic illness in your 20's and everything that goes along with that.