Support Group.

30 10 2010

The other night, I went to my very first support group.

First off, I can’t share anything anyone else said. It’s sorta like therapy.

This is a weird experience for me for several reasons.

1. I don’t like to admit that I need support, even when I’m sick. I hesitate to tell people how bad I feel because I don’t want anyone to worry about me. In essence, I may have a bit of an attitude problem… but in a backwards sense?

2. I’ve never been to therapy, but this feels like, well, group therapy. You do a lot of sharing and listening and humming in sympathy and it sorta freaks me out. When it got to be my turn to share I went through my happy shpiel and people just looked at me for a minute.

3. It’s hard for me to admit that I’ve been through more with my disease than most. Everyone else’s stories were less extreme than what I have experienced. I get preoccupied about all the people who have it worse than I do, which leads me to really downsize how I feel. Which apparently, at least according to my mom, is a bad thing.

Basically I’m giving this a shot. I’m the youngest person there by far and I felt like the group was almost a downer, but I owe it to myself to try. And thank goodness my mom went with- I would have squished myself into invisibility without her.

The other thing I noticed: this meeting gave confirmation to my thesis that people with Crohn’s are more sensitive to ostomies. Meaning more freaked out. People with little chance are more willing to accept, but I’ve found that people with Crohn’s are terrified that I am their future.

The really good thing I was able to do here was talk about how wonderful this surgery really was. I talked about how much I can do now and how even though I am still sick I am worlds ahead of who I used to be, just under two years ago.

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2 responses

31 10 2010
Ellen

Your theory about Crohn’s people and ostomies is interesting. I too have an ostomy and I go to a support group, which consists of many cancer patients and older people who have ostomies. I actually find that I am more accepting of my ostomy than many of the cancer patients who were forced to have ostomy surgery out of a life or death situation. I think it just all depends. When you’ve lived with Crohn’s a long time, the ostomy question comes up and you are more familiar with the idea that it could be a possibility one day. Whereas to other people who haven’t been sick that long or have cancer, the idea of having an ostomy is frightening.

I, too, have sometimes downplayed the seriousness of my disease because I think about people who have it worse.

You need to let yourself get angry about it and express how you are feeling, regardless if you’re the sickest person there or the healthiest. Sounds like you are coping well, though. But don’t be afraid to get angry!

Ok, I’ve rambled enough…Love your blog!

1 11 2010
ostygirl

Thanks for reading! I love comments.

Your support group experiences are interesting- it sounds similar and different from the Crohn’s group all at the same time. Maybe in the future I’ll have to branch out a little more and check one out!

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