Tuesday, 21 October 2014

A book to remember

I bought the Kindle version of Matthew Williamson's book, 'From the inside out'. I fully intend to buy a paperback version before our meet (which WILL happen at some point in the not so distant future I am sure) to have signed by the man himself! 

As I lay here in the dark at 5.30am coming to the end of the book I am crying. I am crying because something amazing happened, because we did enough for someone to be mentioned in his book!

Matt has truly outdone himself here. I am probably bias as I already have a great fondness for him and in all honesty a book full of IBD diaries is unlikely to be your cup of tea unless you suffer with some form of bowel condition yourself...

But isn't that always the case? Does anyone that isn't directly affected by IBD really give a fuck about the #GetYourBellyOut campaign? 

In short, no they don't, but they will because I will not stop until they do! 

So, back to Matthew and his book (it feels more like our book). Matthew tells his own story which is broken up by diaries from other IBD sufferers, including #GetYourBellyOut co-founders, Welsh UCer Victoria Marie and our loveable, Crohnie Manc, Lorna Haymes. I love the way Matthew writes, it's honest and funny and I feel you often see glimpses of his true character. He describes his ten year long battle and his thought processes throughout. To me this is what is most important. We can all tell our physical story but putting pen to paper to declare your 'thoughts' is a different matter.

My physical story is as follows (snatched from our new website) plug, plug, plug! www.getyourbellyout.co.uk

Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis aged 19 in 2007. Subtotal colectomy (colon removed) & temp ileostomy within a week.
Jpouch creation & loop ileostomy in 2008.
Take down surgery (reversal) in 2009.
Chronic pouchitis, cuffitis, strictures & suspected Crohn’s.
Resection, pouch revision and temp ileostomy in 2014.
Medications tried: Asacol, Mesalazine, Prednisone, Ad cal, Budesonide/Entecort, Mesalazine enemas, Azathioprine, VSL#3, Metronidazole; Ciprafloxacin, Codeine, Tramadol, Oramorph, Fentanyl & Butrans Patches,
My emotional journey? My thoughts? My feelings? Well your guess is as good as mine! (Or so I'll have you believe). I write a few things in blogs when I feel I can. I wish I could share everything but unfortunately that's not a place I want to take myself back to. Memories lay buried in a part of my brain that I do not wish to access. 
I do feel there are things that Matthew is not telling us. Maybe he didn't want to access ALL of his memories either and I certainty can't blame him for that but what he has shared bought tears to my eyes and a warmth to my heart. 
I have absolutely no idea whether #GetYourBellyOut is here to stay or whether it will fade away and I'll look back at 80 years old and think 'That was a good year'. 
What I do know is that there will be a box. A box labelled 'Look what we did'. A box that contains a web domain certificate, one of each of our merchandise and a book. A book to remember xxx


I always claim I deal with emotion well. I am beginning to think that may be a matter of opinion. 

What do you do when you feel yourself getting wound up, angry stressed, upset? Well I put those emotions away until I choose to deal with them. I don't know if everyone is capable of doing that? They get sent to the 'I'll deal with this later' part of my brain. 

I store them all up and then choose a day or two (depending on what I have collected) to go into hiding, or as I prefer call it, 'lockdown'. 

Lockdown is MY time to do what I want with. It pretty much always involves eating my favourite food and not getting out of my PJs. I may choose to cry, get angry, think things through or write things down but the main and most important part of lockdown is avoiding any kind of social interaction. This does not mean that if I want to leave the house that I can't, it just means I pretend people don't exist if I do and sometimes watching the dogs run around a field whilst I sit with my headphones in is just the kind of activity I need. If it's raining that's even better! There's nothing more satisfying than walking in the rain when you have allocated lockdown time. When else can you be completely and utterly miserable? 

You may think I'm odd. I mean how can being miserable make me better and happier? Well my theory is that it's because I am in control, that I choose when, where and how. 

I have the ability to take myself to place in my mind where no emotion or thoughts exist. I only ever really need this skill whilst in hospital because if I had to think and feel all I would think is 'I hate my life, get me out of here' and all I would feel would be negative emotions and ain't nobody got time for that shit!

Make no sense? Well it works for me! I emerge like a butterfly, ready to spread my wings and face the world! 

I'd be interested to know about other peoples coping mechanisms? I have been particularly stressed out and short tempered lately but I can't quite figure out why so I have chosen to start on online CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) course which is recommended by mental health charity, Mind. 

So far I have learnt that I am currently in the mid to high range with depression symptoms and low for anxiety symptoms. I tend to think I know myself well but it has been good and it has identified one thing about my personality that I wasn't aware of. 

If you fancy a go yourself have a look for moodgym online! 

Bye for now! XxX