IBD has made me a pansy.
A wimp. A wuss. A namby-pamby or pantywaist if you will (those are real phrases). IBD not only weakens the body, but so too softens the heart. Real talk, I cry a lot more than I used to. And it’s not like I didn’t cry before… I did… but it took some real work. For example, here is the last time I cried before IBD tenderized me –
It was December of 2015, and it was a simpler time. Work was going well, I was in the exciting early days of a new relationship, The Force Awakens was about to premier, and I was only pooping once or twice a day. Both James and the Star Wars franchise were riding high. My company held our holiday party the night prior, and the gf and I had enjoyed ourselves. So I was extremely hung over when I awoke in my gf’s bed *James high fives himself*. Since women seem to spring from hangovers like daisies from the snow, she headed out to seize the day as I stayed in her bed questioning if continued existence was worth it. For some odd reason I felt the need to match my emotional state with my physical, and next thing I knew I was watching a video of a man looking his dog in the eyes and comforting it as it was euthanized. Here is the video or the emotional masochists out there.
If you just watched the video, then it’s needless to say that I was bawling. Absolute water works. I mean, Jesus Christ did you watch it? I think it’s a police dog too. So old, but still big and strong. And his owner/partner is playing with him, and loving him, and he’s like Latino or Brazilian or something which adds another layer of emotion to the situation (such passionate people). The point is that it took something like this, literally the saddest thing in existence, to make me cry.
But now… forget about it. This last December I cried twice when I watched Rouge One. Granted, Star Wars means more to me than it should, and granted K-2SO’s death was analogous to a service dog’s, but… actually… bad example. Crying at K-2SO was a perfectly natural reaction. Less natural, however, was me crying in joy when Admiral Raddus came out of hyperspace with the Rebel Fleet at the Battle of Scarif. The point is that I cry more easily now.
IBD did it to me. The sacrifice of the crew of Rouge One aside, I’m far more sensitive to the plight of others now. Previously if I learned that someone had cancer, I’d feel bad for them, but it was kind of an intellectual sadness. I wish they weren’t sick for sure, but I’d be fine continuing on with my day. Now I actually feel sad. Like, physically feel it. I can empathize with suffering on a profound level that I was previously incapable of. I now wonder if anyone who hasn’t experienced chronic illness can truly empathize with that type of suffering.
I was at yet another wedding last weekend #WeddingSeason and met the cousin of the bride. She had just been diagnosed with Crohn’s. During the wedding reception I heard that she went to the hospital, and my stomach wrenched. I knew what she might be experiencing, what road she might have ahead. God dammit! It isn’t fair. I don’t know her at all, but I know she doesn’t deserve this. Nobody does. Wait… what… oh. I got some more news and it turns out she just fell and cut her leg crazy bad. I promptly crushed my vodka soda #TummyFriendlyDrunk and went back to the dance floor without a care. It’s like when it turns out that clown from Billy Madison only broke his leg. Who gives a damn? Ironically, I’ve become far less sensitive to acute injury. No I will not sign your cast. Get over it you pantywaist.
So in general I’m tearing up more, and can’t stand the suffering of others. In that vein I’ve also found an added appreciation for poetry. I was turned on to a book of poetry I’d highly recommend to all others battling chronic illness. I’ll discuss in Part 2 in a few days #teaser. Until then, let’s pray I don’t see any Sarah McLachlan SPCA commercials.