It is ten p.m. on a MEDICAL SCHOOL night.
It is ten p.m. on a MEDICAL SCHOOL night and I don't give a damn.
Mental health is important, so I came here to my not-so-secret little space to vent.
I can't get anything accomplished because I am going through some sort of unanticipated deep thinking session that has left me numb to my core. I have decided that instead of just being alone with my thoughts, I would be alone with all of you, internet. I will take to my computer with violent frustration and type out the personal words of which I have been thinking with much haste and disdain, words I'm not even sure if I am ready to share.
I have been a uniquely positive soul throughout my journey/battle/climb/what-have-you with Crohn's disease, but lately it feels as though I am being swallowed whole.
Is there some sort of IBD black hole I wasn't told about? No one warned me about this. No one said I would have to do this. No one explained that getting Crohn's disease would mean that one day I would suddenly realize, at the most inconvenient of times, that my life is forever changed by an incurable autoimmune disease. I so naively thought I was this strong, unbreakable, unwavering individual who could handle anything thrown her way. Well, maybe I exaggerated, I guess I can say that I knew my life would be different, but I didn't think I would go through a grieving process over my former self.
Gone are my carefree days of staying up until 3 a.m. and easily getting to 8:00 a.m. classes. Gone are my nights of easy, enjoyable sleep, as my muscles and joints betray me. Gone are my days of a glorious social life because most times, "I just can't".
Is it the fatigue? Is is the pain? Is it the horrid injections? Is it the worrying that at any moment hell will break lose inside of my now calm bowels torturing me once more? Is it the fact that I know I will have this forever and have branded myself "the girl with Crohn's" by speaking out and trying to raise awareness?
It is most likely all of it, and then some.
Having inflammatory bowel disease is not easy, especially when you are unlucky enough to have its systemic symptoms of tremendous body aches, incredible fatigue, and nutrient deficiencies. I am tired. I am so God damn tired. It never goes away. It never halts. It never ceases.
So here I am tonight, at now ten twenty p.m., enraged at my body for being what is it. I miss myself today. I miss my abilities today. I want to be able to do more; more school work done in a day, more exercises in a week, more happy hours in a day. I could scream the words "it is just not fair" until I'm blue in the face, but nothing would change. I could get more medicines to hide the symptoms temporarily, but it still wouldn't change. I am not who I used to be, and that is a fact that is hard to swallow.
Some of the changes in my life were not all that bad, as I have learned a lot from them. I know I will be a better, more compassionate and empathetic person (and God willing, doctor) because of my experiences. I did something I never thought I would do because of my disease (compete in a pageant), and grew tremendously from being able to support my cause on a platform wearing a crown. However, as for most of these changes, well they just plain out suck.
Going to the gym is now a much more difficult task, leaving me weak and tired for sometimes days after one good workout. Studying is harder than ever, as I struggle against my intense back and neck pains and fatigued brain to get through every lecture. Anatomy lab, which I once loved dearly, has become a chore due to the chemicals that embalmed the cadavers aggravating my immune system, giving me headaches and fatigue from standing for 3 hours straight.
Man, when did standing up for a few hours become so hard? When did learning about things I love become so trying?
So tonight, I have decided to throw my former self an impromptu cyber funeral in the form of a blog post, because there is no more Alyssa without Crohn's disease, and there never will be. Tonight I have decided to embrace the Alyssa with Crohn's and understand she has limits, and that I am allowed to be angry, I am allowed to mourn, I am allowed a moment of weakness after over a year and a half of tremendous strength. I have also decided that the best person to give the eulogy would, of course, be my favorite person, myself...
Friends, family, anonymous internet people, I want to thank you for coming here today to read my words of someone I care for very deeply, someone I will miss very much, Alyssa BC (before Crohn's).
Alyssa BC was a person who never failed to apply glitter when going anywhere. She loved to dance and sing unapologetically when out with friends, even until the early morning hours. Being herself was easy, and she loved every second of it. She lived her life to be as fabulous as she could possibly be, that was her favorite word after all. She worked tremendously hard to get into medical school, as her dream was always to be a doctor, and was beaming with pride as she was accepted. What meant the most to her was her family and close friends (and her puppies), and she would do anything and everything for them, and they knew it.
Alyssa BC will always be remembered for her famous chocolate chip cookies she baked for birthdays and holidays, which she proudly baked naked on several occasions (and made it well known to the consumers). She always went above and beyond when picking out gifts for holidays and wrapping them to be artful masterpieces. She would write poetry and short stories because she felt creativity in her veins. She loved to create art on photoshop for her dad's business and hold fundraisers for charities that she adored. She also loved to walk around all of Disney World all day, racing to her favorite ride, attraction, or snack stand, without clambering to the nearest bench or feeling like she was going to pass out. Perhaps her most favorite thing of all was planning elaborate parties, whether it be for herself or the family business, she would cross every t and dot every i. She ambitiously decided to open a frozen yogurt store with her family so she could practice her love of business, marketing and public relations, and graphic design; sadly she fell ill shortly after it opened.
Alyssa BC was someone I deeply admire for always standing up for what she believed was right, no matter how many people she knew would disagree. She believed in justice and fairness. She didn't back down from a challenge. She was a person who could get what she wanted just by using her words, a lesson learned from her father. She liked to be educated on a vast array of topics, and she always knew what was going on in the world. She was in love with knowledge.
Alyssa BC will always be remembered for her constant smile and charisma. She will be missed more than I can describe with my words, as my creativity has wained where hers once thrived. Although I can feel Alyssa BC with me in my heart, I know there are times where she cannot shine through, I know there are limits on that sort of thing.
My wish, if nothing more, is that Alyssa BC will continue to dwell on in my soul even though she no longer exists. I know she is in there somewhere, and hopefully if there are better days ahead I can be the woman she wants me to be, and I will always try to make her proud.
Although this was cathartic, it was also a reminder of all the things I cannot do anymore, or right now. I know this will resonate with much of the community that I intend my blog for, and I hope at least one person learns that it is OK to be mad, actually go ahead, be down right pissed for the crappy card you were dealt in life, but try not to let your BC self disappear forever. Hold on to them inside of you, let them peak out when you have the strength to. We only get one life (or, one diseased life) and we should use it to the best of our abilities, in spite of our inabilities .
Love & Thanks,