I don’t know how to deal with sadness

“I don’t know how to deal with sadness” These are the words I said to a friend last week and more and more, I feel this is true.  My usual outlook is one of happiness, positivity and general silliness and so when I feel sad, I find it very difficult to know how to cope.

Things are quite tough at the minute, I’m getting over pouchitis and then there’s the whole prolapse thang going on. As I said in my past few posts, this has hit me hard and I just don’t know how to deal with the feelings that have come up.

I smile, I laugh, I joke. And I do mean it. But inside I have this chest thudding anxiety and stress that at times is totally overwhelming.  My head is so full, my thoughts are swirling around and my jaw aches from the constant clenching that crops up when I’m not feeling my best.

I just don’t know how to talk about it out loud, which is frustrating as I am usually good at articulating myself. I find it much easier to write it down but speaking out loud feels like a mountain to climb.

Along with the health problems, things are quite stressful. We’re moving house, I am really busy with work, there are family troubles with close members falling out with me (yet choosing not to explain why!) and my book proposal has gone out to publishers so I am trying to give myself a break and accept that it’s ok to be feeling anxious when you have a lot going on.

As usual I attempt to psycho-analyse myself. I think I have problems with the idea of letting people down. Perhaps I worry that people will walk away and leave me if I become too much trouble. I’m concerned that if I’m a burden, no one will want me. Daddy issues much??!!

I was listening to a podcast yesterday with Adam Buxton and Jon Ronson, a comedian and writer who I think are both brilliant. It surprised me to hear these celebrated and outwardly confident people discussing their anxieties with life, their confidence crises and the struggles they face with dealing with stress.  It kind of made me feel better to think I’m not alone. That actually most of us are dealing with some form of crap in our lives and that we may seem “fine” outwardly (the word “fine” mostly means we’re “not fine”) but inwardly there is a battle with ourselves.

I feel like locking myself away right now, things seem overwhelming and I’m putting stuff off because it all feels too big.  I have a really long list of work things that I need to get done, but I am in full on procrastination mode as I just don’t have the energy or confidence to get started.  But I’m trying hard to fight against this and I’m making myself spend time with great friends.  It’s important to me that I don’t retreat into myself, mainly because I’m scared of what is in there. I’m scared that if I sink in that hole, I may not surface again.

As discussed before on my blog, I do have control issues and I think I’m forcing myself to keep control. I’m making myself go out, see friends, be open, laugh more. I’m making myself trust. Trust that I have the love and support of so many awesome people and I need to respect them by letting them in and believing they will be there for me. In the way that I would (and have) been there for them.  I have made myself go out and see friends or have them over for dinner three times this week, each time I wanted to cancel as I just felt so anxious but I am so glad I did as being around awesome people can only make you feel better!

I heard a quote that said:

those who mind quote

I remember this when I am feeling sad and unable to talk to friends.  “Those who mind, don’t matter, those who matter, don’t mind”  But anxiety isn’t logical is it? Despite knowing that I have some wonderful support around me, the mean, sad voice in my head tells me otherwise.

Chronic illness is a right fucker.  It is never ending and that realisation that this is life long is pretty soul destroying.  I worry that I am a constant burden to the people I love the most, and I worry that they will get fed up of me and want to walk away.  I hate the idea of being a burden and I do worry that the time will come when it all gets too much for others, especially my husband Timm.  He tells me that this won’t happen, that he will always be there for me, but I feel so sad that his life is overtaken by my illness.

My default setting is to try and find the positive and make things better, and so I think I struggle when I have an illogical emotional response and feel sad.  Though I get that it is ok to be stressed out and down in my current circumstances, my usual reaction isn’t working and I can’t shake this sadness.  And that is tough.

Thank you so much to you all for reading and for the lovely messages I have received in the past few weeks.

I don’t find it easy to write this stuff and so I do appreciate your acceptance of me whether I am shiny, giddy Sam or slow, quiet Sam.


Going Dark

I’m not feeling too great at the minute.  Still.  My joints hurt so much, my wrists, hands, ankles, shoulders, hips… the pain is like a gnawing ache, and it moves around, floats from place to place in my body.  Isn’t that odd?

The tiredness is terrible.  I can’t wake in the mornings and then fall asleep all day, it’s the fatigue that is so hard to deal with.  The exhaustion makes me feel useless and like a sick person, it sucks out all energy, not just physically but mentally and emotionally.

I saw my GP this week and had some blood tests.  He suggested it could be a flare up of Ulcerative Colitis.  Isn’t that a joke! I thought removing my colon got rid of this bullshit but it turns out it’s all these ‘extra intestinal manifestations’ (I know this sounds like a ghostly poo but it means when the disease affects other parts of the body).

My eyes are so dry that I can’t open them in the mornings and they itch all day, my mouth is constantly dry no matter how much I drink.  My skin is dry, my legs are white with the skin coming away.

I’m going back next week for the results, if my inflammation markers are up then I potentially will have to have a course of steroids and go back under the gastro team at the hospital.  He also tested for Rheumatoid Arthritis to see if that is what is hurting my joints and so I just need to wait and see what he says on Wednesday.

Im not a great person to be around right now.  I don’t want to talk to people, I don’t want to go out.  I make myself do the things I have to do, but really want to just be hiding in the duvet cocoon.  The problem is because I talk so much normally (read: I’m a gobby cow), that when I feel hurt and sad, I go quiet and this worries those closest to me.  There’s a phrase on that TV series 24 when an agent turns off communications usually for their own safety or for the safety of those around them, it’s called ‘going dark’.

Going Dark: When an individual disappears or suddenly become unavailable or out of reach for an undefined period of time, generally for security reasons.

This describes me right now.  The only place I can deal with sharing at the moment is on my blog.  I know this can seem difficult for my husband and friends but it is all I have at the minute.

I feel so sad.  I thought all these surgeries would make me feel better (and I have to keep reminding myself that I AM better than I was) but it is hard to still be a sick person.  It’s silly because I always knew there was no cure for Ulcerative Colitis and that it is a life long chronic illness, an auto-immune disease that means my body is fighting itself.  But after everything I have been through, I just want a break.  I don’t want to be fucking ill anymore. I bloody hate being a poorly person.  I despise the burden I become to those around me.  I can’t stand that my lovely boy, the best person in my life, my husband Timm has to, yet again, bear the weight of my illness.

I’m sorry this post is so miserable.  I sometimes feel that I made a rod for my own back in being so god damned positive all the time!!! I feel I am letting people down when I feel sad.  But in a way, it helps.  I’m reading back all that advise that I give to others and remembering that I need to take it myself.

And so with that, I am going to try and treat myself a little better, sit in the sun, paint my nails, read a book.  Do the tiny things that I can manage that will ease my mind and warm my soul.

Thanks for reading


Sam x