Monday, 29 May 2017

Talking About Feelings

Something happened a few weeks ago. It was just a simple question that my Mom asked me but it felt so good for someone to actually ask me that question. It felt like something that I needed to be asked. While I was telling my Mom about my ulcerative colitis acting up, she asked me if I was worried about it. That's it. I then proceeded to answer the question and talk to her a bit about how I felt about my colitis acting up. This might not seem like such a big deal but I'll give you a bit of background information to explain why this was so important to me.

My latest Remicade infusion was on May 16th. My ulcerative colitis started acting up around three weeks before that date. I receive these infusions every two months and they keep my colitis pretty under control. Last time I received my infusion, my colitis only started acting up a few days before the infusion. So, the fact that my colitis started acting up three weeks before my next infusion was a bit concerning. During the month of April, I was really stressed out and I still am. One of my Great-Aunts passed away from cancer on April 10th. Less than a week before that, my Grandma (the sister of my Great-Aunt that passed away) was brought to our house to live with us for a while because her health has been going up and down. Just a few days after being with us, she had to go into the hospital (for the second time this year) for several weeks and now she is living with us again. She needs help with a lot of things and someone has to be with her at all times. All of this has been overwhelming for my family and I. Then add my colitis acting up on top of all of that. Of course, there were some great things that happened in April as well but I have still been stressed out.

My family and I can see that all of us are stressed out and overwhelmed by everything that has happened but we haven't really sat down and talked about it. Because of this, I know that I myself have been bottling up a lot of emotions and everyone else is probably doing the same which isn't healthy. We keep moving forward and deal with everything going on but I feel like we need to just let out everything that we're feeling. So, when my Mom asked if I was worried about my colitis acting up, it felt so good to finally be able to talk about one of the things that has been stressful for me. Especially since stress can make health problems worse and the recent stress may have therefore contributed to my colitis acting up. Also, it helped to just talk to my Mom about the fact that April was stressful and that the stress has continued into May.

Since my colitis got pretty bad in the Fall, it definitely stresses me out when it acts up and it worries me a bit even though I know that my doctors won't let it get as bad as it did before. I get a bit scared that the infusions aren't working or my colitis is going to start interfering more with my life. Worries aside, it just isn't pleasant when my colitis acts up. Having someone just ask about how I feel about my colitis acting up and to admit to them that I'm stressed out helps me let out some of the thoughts and emotions that I bottle up. Because that's a big problem that I have. I bottle up too much. So, talking about what I'm going through helps. A lot.

Although, sometimes I don't want to bother other people with my problems but I still need to talk to someone. Sometimes I'll start talking about something that's bothering me and nobody seems to want to even talk about it. It's like they try to avoid talking about it because it makes them uncomfortable or they don't want to take the time to listen or just don't want to pay attention to me talking for whatever time that it takes. And that itself bothers me. I'll start talking but they walk away. Or they just change the subject. Or they respond a bit but they don't want to really listen and really give some kind of answer. Just having someone listen to me get something off my chest helps a lot. It isn't very complicated.

I guess I'm just trying to say that we need to learn to talk about our feelings more and listen to other people when they need to talk about their own feelings. It doesn't make us weak. It shows that we are brave for wanting to talk about something that's bothering us. As for the people listening, they'll know that if something is bothering them, then they have someone that they can talk to about it too. It also helps to have someone really ask how we are feeling sometimes. And I mean ask how we are really feeling. Not just a simple small talk version of "how are you?" I know that. most times, I feel inclined to say that I'm fine when someone asks how I am. Everyone goes through tough times and so sometimes we just need people to care about how we are actually feeling and listen... and then we can be there to listen to them when they need us too.


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