As I cupped my diverse medications and supplements this morning, my husband asked if I was okay because I looked sad. I told him that nothing was wrong, but it was a complete lie… last night as I was in bed tossing and turning, I couldn’t stop thinking about the other woman our life.
No one I know really knows her. I think I’ve told few friends about her but it only bothers me when I confirm it verbally into the universe. What you say and do manifests into your reality and I don’t like speaking of moments or things that take any positivity in my life because I fight for it every single day.
But I have to be honest with the world and myself. She exists and I can’t stay silent and not mention it just to keep myself or anyone else away from the reality of the ongoing battle I have with her and how it impacts my relationship with my husband.
When I speak of her and make the pain I feel real, it brings the truth of the situation to the surface with stomach pain, reflux with anything that touches my lips, and crying from the physical pain and the mental agony wondering will it ever end. When will I get to be me again and not have to wonder about her?
The truth is, never.
I’m never going to be able to shake the person you don’t know because she lives inside of me. She is sick and battles her body every single day. While my bleeding and bathroom time has been significantly altered, my body still manages my stress internally; which makes my entire body lock up, first my hands and feet then it moves to my legs and arms.
It’s not always extreme, just in high stress moments; which come often for my over-achieving mind. I work hard 24/7 on building my media company with the fierce women I surround myself with. I’m growing a restaurant chain with my husband. I’m writing to keep myself sane with a local publication and two books coming out this year.
After four years of losing blood every single day with three different treatment plans, four different diet lifestyles, chemo, and more doctors’ visits than I care to share, I’m finally chasing after my dream to become a professor and share what I know as a social media marketer. A tear just rolled down my face and into my mouth. The salt made me smile just because of the reflective mood I’ve been in lately and the metaphorical symbolism of how bittersweet life can be.
This other woman who you don’t know is quite pushy. She reminds me that I don’t know when my next flare will be nor can I ever predict how she will impact the person you know. The positivity I have runs as deep as any root into the ground of my spirit. Persistency and a lot of feistiness keep the glitter you know and love at the surface of anything you know. My husband doesn’t even know how much that other woman stresses and causes much chaos when she spirals in fear. She’s a great motivator but not a great supporter when shit hits the fan.
People like to know that I’m better and I am in many respects but I will always have Crohn’s Colitis. It’s not a curable disease nor is it a death sentence. It impacts my life in every capacity possible. Some hours, days, and weeks are wonderful; and other days not so much.
Autoimmune diseases are heartbreaking. They really are. You just want to feel free. You want to be able to drink whatever, eat whatever, do whatever I want without repercussions. Freedom away from your bathroom, bed, and home feel heavenly when you have it; when you’re not lucky enough to run free you realize that you’re a prisoner of this isolating disease.
While I’m in remission, meaning the ulcers and polyps are gone, I am still on medications that leave my body as a wonderland compromised immunity. Every time I hear someone coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose I want to run faster than Usain Bolt but that’s not always an option. Thus I’ve been sick this past month with the flu, pneumonia, and now shingles.
I’m not writing this for sympathy. I’m a pro at being sick and functioning. I’m just tired of always thinking that I have be strong and hide the other person so everyone else will believe I’m this ass-kicking super woman. Sadly, I’m a human being. I’m imperfect, joyful, forgetful, giving, selfish, and a mixed bag of attractive and unsavory characteristics.
So as I swallow my pills and give myself my injections I must carry both women with me. I’m allowed to be both good and bad. I’m allowed to hate my illness and allow it to inspire me to go hard at life because I never know when my remission ends.
I hope anyone that reads this long winded blog post knows that whatever pills you’re swallowing don’t make you weak. Your mind can take you to that space and sometimes those salty tears are good for your spirit and soul. Just don’t taste them too long nor allow yourself to stay in that woeful state.
You can explode with glitter to cover it just don’t cover it from everyone to be brave and “normal” with people and not speak of your illness or challenges. Just make sure you have a core person or group that you can bare all in front of because the people who love you will be the ones to save you when you need it.
That other woman or person that lurks in your shadows can isolate you but you have to love yourself enough to push past that phantom.
Run free into the light of life… just make sure you take your pills with you.