It’s my birthday!

Today I turn 35… A day for celebrations. So why have I been up since 4am with anxiety crushing my chest?

I don’t know, I feel like the trauma of the past few years is catching up with me. I wake with my heart pounding, my hand on my bag, sweating, dry mouthed.  Panic and anxiety flood my mind and body. 

I get up and check on the kids, I check on the husband and the dogs. I check that phone chargers are switched off and unplugged (I have a fear of fires starting from chargers). I check my bag for leaks and try and settle back down. 

This happens often and then I wonder why I’m so exhausted in the day. I had blood tests recently to check my levels to see why I’m quite so tired.  Perhaps it’s less a physical thing and more a mental one. 

Sometimes I sit in awe of everything that’s happened in the past few years, it often all feels like a bad dream. Perhaps I’ll wake up and not be ill, not have a bag.  It catches me off guard when I think about just how broken my body is, when did this sneak up on me? 

I think it’s the permenance of it, this is it forever. There’s no ‘getting better’ from this, it’s my life now and the treatment that’s saved me is the cross I have to bear. Mixed emotions swamp me, I know I should be grateful for all the wonderful treatment I’ve received on the NHS, grateful that I’m alive and still standing! Yet sometimes I just feel sorry for myself.  

Why me? 

As I’ve said before, I’m pretty rubbish at sharing my feeling in real life.  I have awesome friends around me but I just done have the words to share my pain.  I mean, I do, because I write them here but they really stick in my throat when I try and speak out loud. 

I need to accept that it’s ok for me to feel bad about things.  I struggle massively with not being ok. I want everything to be peachy keen, rainbows, sparkles and mega lols and I feel guilty if I don’t feel positive. 

I’ve been thinking about counselling. Perhaps I need to talk to someone about what I’ve been through.  Perhaps my 35th year will be the one that sorts my head out as well as my body. 

Till then I’ll celebrate the things I’m lucky with. My amazing friends, my wonderful husband and the best kids ever. The fact that I’m reaching 35 when it all could have ended so badly. The fact that my bag saved my life. 

Happy Birthday me. 
Sam xx 

16 replies
  1. Laura
    Laura says:

    Sam Happy Birthday!
    This disease totally sucks and it’s flipping ok to feel really shit about it and everything you’ve been through.
    This time last year I was 8 months since being diagnosed and 4 months since a hospitalisation and I was crushed with anxiety. Mood swings, crying, panic attacks, hyperventilation. And I had only been through like 1% of what you have.
    I’m not bloody surprised you feel like this.
    The shock of everything you’ve been through has caught up with you. Now that your body is on the mend, it’s time to heal your heart and your mind.
    Don’t delay. Get on that blower today and book an appointment with your gp snd look for local referral services. Your 35th year is going to be awesome because this is the start of a new chapter.
    You can do it!
    I self referred to a service that offered me workshops and counselling. Things feel so much different now. I recently navigated my way through second major flare up and I felt very calm despite being preggers. Last year me would have been a wreck on the floor in hysterics. It is possible to feel and cope better xxx

  2. Rebecca
    Rebecca says:

    Happy Birthday Sam! I am sorry to hear that you’re struggling right now. Although perhaps selfishly it’s always comforting to hear the downs as well as the ups of your emotional journey. To know that you’re human, like me. That one day you can be bursting with the joys of life and the next wondering how you can get through the day. I’ve wanted to get in touch for ages and today seems the right day – I just want you to know that I think you are amazing. That when I read your blogs I know the world is a better place for having you in it. That when I am asked to think of someone who inspires me I think of you. That your writing lifts me up and gives me strength. So even when you’re feeling low know that your shitty journey has a purpose even though it’s not fair that it’s happened to you and in a just world it wouldn’t have I think you are navigating it just fine. Much love xx

  3. Suzie
    Suzie says:

    Happy Hatch Day Sam! X

    I agree with Laura – you have every right to feel anxious after all you’ve been through. You’ve come so far with treating your body’s physical problems – but don’t forget to give your mind some well needed TLC. Make that call and start chatting to someone, you won’t regret it!

    Therapy is the best thing I’ve ever chosen to do in order to help calm my anxiety and soothe my mind. I’ve discovered all the coping mechanisms I fire up which are actually bad for me and just make things worse (oopsy!).
    And best of all I’ve armed myself with a great bunch of strategies, tools and mantras to get me through future wobbles without being so down on myself or feeling lost.

    Give your mind a big hug and take it out for a good chat 🙂

    You are a true strong fighter! xx

  4. Wendy
    Wendy says:

    Happy Birthday ???? to you Sam…hope your anxiety settles and you enjoy your special day…here’s to many more! X

  5. Linds
    Linds says:

    Happy Birthday Sam! Wishing you a happy, healthy day with loved ones.
    I never feel right posting comments online but today I feel I should in response to your blog. Thank you for articulating what so many IBD sufferers must be feeling, including myself. I hope you get some relief through therapy. It is something I have long considered so would be interested to hear how you get on. All the best X

  6. Ronnie
    Ronnie says:

    Happy Birthday have a fantastic day. I read your blog and you are an inspiration to alot of us so thank you for putting it out there : O)

  7. Lilspixie
    Lilspixie says:

    Happy birthday!

    I also have a chronic illness and have a lot of hospital appointment etc. And through my illness I’ve also developed anxiety.

    It’s horrible and at times more crippling that my actual illness.

    My consultant was actually able to refer me to medical psychology. Sounds scarier than it is!
    They provide a similar service to the counciller/therapists that you can self refer to/gp refer, but these guys specialise in long term illness, and helping you to work through the issues that being ill has created.
    And can give you more appropriate help and therapy.

  8. Rinse
    Rinse says:

    Hi Sam, Happy Birthday to you. Enjoy your day with your lovely family xx
    Now to the lecture. Get yourself on the counselling waiting list ASAP, because usually the waiting times are ridiculous. If you can go private it may be quicker but make sure its a good counsellor as they do vary a lot and have different specialities. Anxiety is exhausting and all consuming. There are lots of “techniques” that are useful to retrain your thinking and stop your mind spiralling out of control. A friend of mine found a lot of help by just going to a mindfulness class run by the local college. The upshot is, don’t try to cope alone. ALLOW yourself time in your day/week for a talking therapy. It really will help. ( From a sceptic who thought all that was bollocks before needing it myself!!)

  9. Samantha Wilson
    Samantha Wilson says:

    Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Sam, happy birthday to you. I too know that feeling after only being diagnosed with Crohns disease since December 2014 and in the last short 17 months I have undergone 3 major surgeries and it’s been really difficult to get my head around it (the last surgery only 11 weeks ago ). I feel like I’m on a merry go round off emotions and it has crossed my mind once or twice that I could maybe benefit from some kind of counselling! I’ve been on antidepressants for nearly a year with the awful side effect of weight gain which has done nothing to help my view of my constantly changing body and it no longer helps me to sleep (the original reason I was put on the specific medication that I’m on ). So I desperately want to come off of this medication but I’m so scared that I will turn into a snivelling wreck again but I desperately want to lose weight so I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place! But after reading your post and the comments from the lovely ladies above I think I will finally bite the bullet and pull up my big knickers and have that discussion with my Gp. Much love Sam I hope you have a fabulous day with your family and friends. .lots of love from Samantha. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ???????????????????????????????????????????

  10. Kirsty
    Kirsty says:

    Happy birthday hunny! Hope you have a fantastic day despite the rough night. I agree with the above wholeheartedly, get to GP and have a chat. Once you have, you’ll feel a lot better, trust me on this one! Xx

  11. Ian Shaw
    Ian Shaw says:

    Happy Birthday Sam. Have a great day. Your expression of feelings make perfect sense to me. I am new to having a bag but like you it saved my life and I am going through all these same mixed emotions and feelings. Thank you for the blog, it has helped me be a lot more positive. I am not far from you so if you ever have a support group or anything please let me know. Best wishes and take care. Ian. X

  12. Gail
    Gail says:

    Penblwydd Hapus Sam, that’s Welsh for Happy Birthday.
    I hope the rest of your day is enjoyable with your lovely young man and your babies.
    I have an ia pouch still, not always very well behaved as you know they can be, but I had a bag for over 18 months before.
    All the very best,

  13. Damarys
    Damarys says:

    Happy Birthday! It sucks to have IBS, it is a constant struggle with life and emotions. But you are alive, doing great things for you and others. This is what matters. Lots of hugs XOXO
    Enjoy your day. Be happy!


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