Beware of Evil Twin, IBD

Crohnically Ill
Poster for Hemlock Grove,a Netflix original series

Poster for Hemlock Grove,a Netflix original series

For the most part, life is good. My family is happy and healthy; I have a great job; I’m working towards my life’s goals with cheerful perseverance. Generally I’m bubbly, full of energy, and love to laugh. But beware, because I suffer from a curse.

“You? Suffer from a curse? Surely not!”

Yes, it’s true. I’ve been cursed with an evil twin. She’s the exact opposite of me. No, not in a yin yang chi way. Take my friendly, lovely qualities, and she is the precise opposite. She hates laughing, hates people, hates physical contact, hates going out and despises physical activity!

“Do you have a mental illness? Who is this evil twin?”

Nope, no mental illness. My mind is perfectly sound. I suffer from IBD, and all of her complications conspire against me to make me someone I’m not. No, this is not your average “down” day or “bad mood.” (Although my kids believe I just prefer to stay in a constant state of negativity). When my body feels pain, fatigue, nausea, bloating, etc., I’m no longer myself. I’m a half version of me working double time to look normal, because I don’t feel the world should suffer the effects of my ill temper. Yet I tend to fail miserably, and IBD has her way with me.

No, I do not pass all of the blame for my behavior on my evil twin, although she deserves to carry some of it. I’m still in charge of me, and I can control how I behave around others, even when sick.

But here’s the kicker. I don’t stress that I have a mental illness, but I do worry that IBD has managed to alter my brain chemistry. Disclaimer- I am no scientist.

When I come off the pain, I don’t just feel normal. I feel ten times as ready to take on the world.  My mood soars and I go into overdrive, ready to play catch up on all that I’ve missed in life. If this goes on for an extended period of time, with no pain, I go back to the normal me. I’m a low key, but still active and social kinda gal. If, however, the pain returns, I morph into a “depressed” person. Not clinically, but I’m no longer the social, happy me when I’m sick.

So if you’re ever around and you notice my evil twin rearing her ugly head, I suggest you back away slowly and run for your life.

And how about you, belly brigade? How do you cope with your evil twin?


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