I’m back. I took a small break from blogging, writing, and pretty much everything last week. My joints were swollen and red, and it hurt to even try to make a fist. It’s part of Crohn’s for me. Three years ago, after my son’s birth, the Crohn’s spread from my intestine into my joints.
I mention this not for sympathy, but to get you into my frame of mind. When I hurt, I shut down. I crawl into myself and close everyone else out. It’s my survival mode. And suddenly, out of nowhere that black cloud of depression descends to hang over my head, threatening to suffocate me. Luckily, I was able to get out from under it quickly this time, and I’m up and moving again.
It’s amazing how quickly I can go from up and moving, happy and active to curled in the fetal position in bed. It’s frustrating and it seems after twenty years I would have better coping skills. But the truth is, shutting down is how I cope. When I hurt, it hurts my family. So, I shut them out of it, best I can. Living in my little bubble I feel somewhat safe. And when the pain recedes, I write. It helps me breath fresh air back into my life and reorient myself as a person. It keeps me sane.
I know a lot of people suffer from daily pain. Whether it be back pain, joint pain, headaches, or stomach, daily pain can drag you down to a bad place. It’s hard to cope with your daily schedule, work – parenting, etc – when you’re fighting a battle against your own body. Even if we retreat to our bubble for a time, we cannot remain there. That’s not life. How do other people cope with pain and illness? What brings you back to normal?