I love anything that challenges my mind. I recently took up Sudoku, and despite being about 2 years too late to the party, I love it. What I also love, is that when you get really stuck you can flip to the back of the puzzle book and check that your putting the number in the right spot so you don’t totally fuck it up.
Crohn’s is nothing like this.
I have finally relented and booked a visit to the head doctor. Not because I have tipped over the edge completely, but I want to get on the front foot and ensure my mental health is good. And let’s be honest, a shrink is a glorified ‘friend’ that you pay to listen to you and because you’re paying them, they have to listen. Even better, they then have to give you handy tips to handle the little games our mind likes to play.
This wasn’t any easy decision to make, because there is a level of angst involved as you have to stop and say, maybe I need to engage an expert for this one. I go to the dentist for my teeth, have a PT for my health, a physio for my body – so why not a shrink for my mind.
The moment I realised I may need someone to help me wade through the mental shit storm was after my editor in chief read my last blog.
We have been BFF’s since the days where bleach blonde perms were cool and green skater skirts were our daily uniforms. We wore ill fitting bra’s and were more concerned with school yard politics than actual politics. Given the length of our friendship you can imagine that when said BFF made the comment;
“I don’t think I have ever seen you cry before and I have a few times now in the last month..”
It was a bit of a light bulb moment and she isn’t wrong! Up until a couple of months ago I would avoid criers like the plague. If someone around me was crying I would make like a damn ninja and get the fuck out of there. I don’t know what to do with criers. I never know what to say and it generally made me uncomfortable.
I would literally behave like one of those non-kid people when a parent is trying to hand them their child. You know the ones that make a face like they are in pain and try to back away from the screaming child, but the parent just keeps dangling the kid in front of them, waiting until they relent and hold the screaming monster. That was me, with criers.
One of my favourite people, who we will call Little M, is a massive crier. Pre-crohn’s she came into the office, I took one look at her and knew something was off. Her eyes met mine and straight away my flight instinct kicked-in as I realised she was in fact crying and I needed to get away, quick. The latest douche had done something shitty and now here she was in front of me, crying. I turned and said ‘I’m going to make a tea, you want a tea’… Now she thought I was being nice, I wasn’t. I was trying to get the hell away from the tears. I was unprepared for the leaking salt water that is harder to stop than waves on the sand.
A couple of months later, after another incident, she cries again. Although more well versed in this whole leaking eye-water thing, I am still caught off guard. So I went with brutal honesty – “I need you to stop crying. It’s not an emotion I am comfortable with and despite my love for you, I will leave your arse right now if you don’t”. She laughed at me and declared that she loved me too. Crying stopped – PHEW!
Fast forward to any moment in the last 6 weeks and you can guarantee there have been tears. But this time, they’re mine.
That’s right people, I have become a crier. Worse still, I have become a crying HUGGER. Ah ha! Not only has Crohn’s fucked my intestines – It has done something to my damn heart and turned me into a crying, snuggle pot, koala bear.
Now when I cry or when someone cries with me, we hug. Again, not something I have ever been inclined to do. Particularly, because I am freaking crying and hugging everyone.
My darling, beautiful natured work colleague read my last blog and came up behind me at my desk and gave me a hug announcing that she wasn’t going to say anything she just wanted to give me a hug. Next thing we are hugging and crying like total loonies in our office. Look over at little M and she is bloody welling up and the crazy show continues.
I am the women that avoided watching Marley and Me for 10 years! 10.whole.years! Because I knew the dog died and one thing I can’t witness without crying is a dog dying, even if it’s just in a movie. So I never watched it.
I am the woman who is marrying a crier – Hubby, loves a good cry and he is manly enough to embrace it. I make reference to his tears in our vows for god sake.
I am the women that when confronted with a little person who is heartbroken, crying because their favourite toy is broken, can handle the situation like a total boss, transforming those tear to laughter.
And that’s all gone.
I am now, one of them. My damn crying mechanism has been engaged and now I can’t get the bloody thing to turn off. It’s like someone has flipped a switch in my brain and I cry at everything – this included happy, sweet things.
It’s doing my bloody head in!
Crying when in pain, I am okay with. Sometimes it hurts so bad, the tears just happen and I think it’s more a way for my body to release the hurt…But the other crying is wigging me out!
I hear a beautiful song and I well up. I see a cute couple having a moment and I well up. I see a card for mother’s day and I well up. Not to mention if someone is sweet to me, I all out ugly cry! I need my own bloody kimoji at this rate.
So I think it’s time to level the playing field. Clearly my mind is playing games on me and trying to throw a spanner in the works – that’s fine, but I’m going to engage an expert and figure out if this is a long term change or something that is just a bit of a phase.
If it’s a long term thing, everyone better get their Kleenex ready and be prepared for me to start full-body, arms, legs, total person assault hugging. It may very well be our new future…you have been warned!