I don’t complain very much when it comes to my C&C. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even talk about it until the end of last year. I, like many of you chose to keep it to myself….didn’t want to be a bother….didn’t want pity….I hid it. My husband and my best friends knew, and of course every doctor. What’s there to talk about anyway? If all is well, nothing. But when you’re in a full flare yet look normal on the outside, it’s pretty hard, even for people who care about you to “get it”.
“What is Crohn’s?” they ask. (blank stare when you answer)
“What does it do? What happens?” (wincing and grimacing with that answer)
Most of the time we can still perform daily functions, drink, even work out, and that confuses people. “You can’t be that sick if you can do so much!” That has always been a challenge for me. I not only have a high tolerance for pain, I also like to be in control. I do not wait for people to get moving and do what I ask or need–even on the rough days. So what does this say? The people around you don’t think you’re that bad or quite honestly, they don’t even think of your condition. Seeing is believing! And quite honestly, everybody’s got their own drama with a different script.
It’s soooo FRUSTRATING!! For me, I want to be “normal” (my definition of normal is healthy and strong, although I realize this is not actually the norm amongst most people!). What is frustrating is the feelings experienced: wanting to be understood, empathized not pitied, embarrassed when you are JUST TOO TIRED or JUST TOO WEAK to perform whatever it is you do, embarrassed from having to explain what the problem is all the time, and anger, at super-complainers who have nothing to complain about. Get in line!
I will say this, if you want your friend/husband/sister/parent to know how you feel or what you’re thinking, TELL THEM. I’ve made this mistake a million times with my husband. I expected him to know how bad I was, which was ridiculous because I went about my day like all was well! I knew I needed help, but took on everything myself like Superwoman. No one can read your mind and we don’t always look as sick as we feel. Do yourself a favor and check one more thing off the stress list.