Ben Morrison blogs with an abundance of humor about Crohn's disease.See all posts »
When Life Gets Tough, Crohn’s Gets Tougher
Crohn’s comic Ben Morrison weighs in on personal stresses and how they invariably impact the roller coaster of Crohn's.
There are many unfair things about having Crohn's but the most unfair is its uncanny sense of timing. Like a stalker that only hops out of the bushes until after you've tripped, Crohn’s knows when things are bad, and then makes them worse.
A couple of months ago I had an unfortunate split with a very good, old friend and as my articles from the time will show, I was not doing well. The stress of the multiple situations I was embroiled in all trickled down to my guts and twisted them until nothing but pain was coming out of my butt. Making matters worse, I was not eating or sleeping properly and was drinking way too much which only took my already twisted guts and make elaborate balloon animals out of them. I knew the situation I was involved in had to end but the hard part about having a gut feeling is getting kicked in them.
I imagine this pattern is true for everyone who suffers from a chronic illness, but speaking from experience, it's extra miserable ruminating upon a breakup or the death of a loved one while in the bathroom.
By virtue the bathroom is a room only visited in short spurts. They're usually really small, and if you look really closely, usually kinda gross in the nooks and crannies. It's a room we were meant to extricate something, be it dirt or poo, and it was in no way meant for long periods of thought or sadness but become temples of higher thought for Chronies.
When life gets tough Crohn's gets tougher and we become used to thinking things through from a cold, seated position. I've had some major revelations and emotional outburst while on the can, lemme tell you.
And people always say that there are things you can do to control your stress during a harsh time in your life, but they sure as hell never seem to work for me. My mind is an insane NASCAR driver and I am a passenger watching it drive the wrong way on the track. I do try to calm myself down when I get emotional but the gurgling in my stomach and myriad of fecal configurations only remind me that the crisis du jour isn't the only thing I need to be worrying about.
And that's why I hate Crohn's so much.
It delivers us into a world of excrement and that's one world we really can't go through with anyone by our side. Have you ever held anyone's hand while crapping? Neither have I.
So what can we do? Avoid drama? Not get into relationships for fear they’ll end and an already sad time becomes tinged with poo? Not at all. That’s our challenge. We have to lead two lives at once and keep both of them in harmony because one will knock the other one off the balance beam we walk on. It’s not a fair proposition, but it’s one we don’t have any say.
And speaking from experience, Crohn’s patients are some interesting, dynamic people, and it’s no coincidence that rising over adversity is the best way to make one.