Pictured: my latest library haul. The day after I picked them up, I had to laugh at how on-the-nose this selection of books is for me: 1) A memoir by a woman whose mother had dementia. 2) Coping with Crohn’s Disease, aka my entire life’s goal (that I’m failing pretty hard at lately). 3) A self-help book that promises to help you manage stress and become “10% Happier” because I’m always trying to be happier and less stressed.. who isn’t? And finally, 4) a highly-rated novel by a popular author because ESCAPISM!
I inhaled the fiction book in a day (see? escapism). Fiction is easier for me to get through than non-fiction.. and because I know that about myself, one of my goals this past week was to read one of the other 3 books in my to-read pile. I’ve struggled with it! First I tried 10% Happier because I thought the narrative style might hold my interest best. I got bored after a couple chapters, though, so next I tried Where the Light Gets In. This one was definitely interesting to me, but it was really difficult to read because it reminded me too much of my own relationship with my mom now that she has dementia (I mean, duh, right?). I only made it a few pages in before I started crying bitterly, so I set that aside for some future date when I’m more capable of handling the subject matter without spiraling into deep sadness.
So, I was left with one option: Coping With Crohn’s Disease, the book I grabbed as an afterthought, expecting it to be either too cheesy/spiritual or too clinical/scientific for my taste. Well… I was wrong. I started it today (mainly so I could give myself a better grade on tomorrow’s weekly goals post haha) and within minutes, I was crying again.. but not bitterly this time. I was crying because it perfectly described the thoughts and feelings about my disease that I’ve been dealing with these past years. I wish I’d found this book ten years ago! (Ok, to be honest I don’t think I would’ve been ready for it ten years ago but MAN I bet it could’ve saved me a lot of grief).
I’m only three chapters in so far. But it’s already made me feel less alone; like there’s a way out of the fog of depression & anxiety.. and that there’s hope for me to find treatment that will improve my life. I also have a better understanding of different treatments and medications that might come up after I get back in with a gastroenterologist. I have an appointment on Tuesday and I’m BEYOND anxious about it, but those three little chapters I read today make me feel a little more prepared. I’m excited to keep reading. The second half of the book deals specifically with the emotional issues that come with living with Crohn’s disease. I’ve been struggling with them so much lately.. It’s like a lifeline has been thrown out to me just as I was starting to sink under the waves.
It sure feels to me like there was some divine intervention in this “afterthought selection!”