Self Bloomed Rainbows

This holiday season, I am hosting flesh and bones bursting with unwanted guests. Mistress Nausea brought Sir Hurl. They arrived almost two weeks ago, accompanied by Lady Fever—an insufferable harlot who refuses to take three steps without her good-for-nothing boy toys, Dizziness and Fatigue.

And I can’t even think of throwing them out, since they are best friends with Mr. Pill, and he is the only one keeping Lord Crohn’s from puncturing my pipes and letting all sorts of crap leak who knows where. I haven’t been able to pretend that the undesirable horde is not constantly around. But most days, sipping tea and nibbling on pomegranate seeds dulls the effects of their visit a considerable bit.

When their presence gets so loud that it threatens to crack my skull, I sip on words and tell myself stories to quiet them out. Some days (nights?), I share the stories with you. And you add your bits to my bits… Our united bits say, “We aren’t alone in this. We are awesomely strong. And goodness, we are so freaking modest! In fact, our modesty can only be surpassed by our extreme hotness.”

So, there you have it, my Wicked Luvs: when my bones and gut hurt so much that I must squint to see my screen properly, I write things that make me grin. And I turn to friends who morph said grins into laughter. Then I wait for magic to happen… in the company of self bloomed rainbows.

“Bloom a Rainbow”

If winter blues
ever fray my edges,
I shall bloom
a rainbow…
and fill my-Self
with spring.

Stigma Should Be the Only Disease that Brings Shame to Anyone Spreading It

A person who shames you because you are sick deserves neither your respect nor a place in your life. That’s what I said to a young woman who I met via a Crohn’s Disease group. She messaged me to ask for advice on how to deal with friends who “hurt [her] feelings, when they said they couldn’t understand “how [she] talks to other people about Crohn’s without dying of shame.”

Crohn’s Disease isn’t an illness that can be kept secret (or camouflaged) from people one spends a lot of time with, especially during flare-ups. I’m not just talking about symptoms like stomach pain, or having to poop too many times, or going days without being able to poop, or needing to poop but wishing you didn’t have to because it hurts so damn much. Yes, my Wicked Luvs, I know I just typed the word “poop” 3 times in the same paragraph. I did it because poop (make that 5) is one of the things many of us must get really comfortable with in order to live with Crohn’s.

I’m not suggesting that we must tell everyone everything about our toilet habits. However, we need people in our lives to whom we can safely say, “I can’t leave the house today because my butt’s on fire. But I’m not in too much pain, so we can hang out if you come over.”

Living with an illness should never be a cause for embarrassment. The stigma certain individuals and society as a whole have attached to some illnesses and disabilities (or to anything that implies a person doesn’t fit the box they’ve labelled normal) is the real disgrace. If you ask me, stigma should be the only disease that brings shame to those spreading it.

So I say to that young lady, and to anyone living with an illness, surround yourself with people who have hearts and brains big enough to understand that your disease isn’t you, but being chronically ill is a rather important part of who you are. They need to know that they will never be able to be a true friend to you, if they can’t accept (and try to understand) all of the parts that have crafted you—including the not so healthy bits… perhaps, especially the not so healthy bits.

What say you, my Luvs?

“If You Love”

If you love
me, others, yourself…

you’ll know why I grow
my sun in a pot. You’ll see
why the heart of my garden
is a rainbow. You’ll feel
wings that sprout
out of rooted life that will
always be able to fly.

If you love
me, others, yourself…

If You Love, by Magaly Guerreroa paged from Johanna Basford’s
Secret Garden: an Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book
colored and poetized by moi