help: friends needed

Dear Ginny,

I’ve been thinking about making friends alot recently, probably because my colitis has settled down FAR more than it was last year. I’ve done alot of cool, new things and I’m always doing something. The colitis doesn’t hold me back so much.

In this past fortnight alone, I’ve gone to school after having breakfast (It’s the first time I’ve done that in almost 3 years) AND I went to school when my colitis was acting up. Little things, but huuuge leaps out of my comfort zone.

I want to have friends to have fun with. The problem is that I feel selfish knowing that my colitis will probably pop up and i can’t force that onto people, right? I can’t do that.

How do you guys make friends? In school? I don’t have any friends I speak to outside of lessons. The thing is, because I took a year off and joined back, I don’t really have any experience with this group of people. When I started back at school, last year, if I was like I am right now, a lot more confident and open and happier, I think I would’ve been alot better at integrating myself into these groups. Have I missed my chance?

Help, please.

Carter

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it’s theatre, darlin

Dear Ginny,

I had an awesome day. Today, I watched my very first theatre show. How awesome, right? I was a little nervous, for several reasons:

  1. I was going alone.
  2. Theatre has a reputation for being for “rich people” (rightly so, some of those tickets were a RIDICULOUS amount) and I am definitely not a rich person.
  3. Colitis, colitis, colitis.

However, I was very, very excited for the following reasons:

 

  1. Theatre! I wanted the theatre experience.
  2. I admire Jesse Eisenberg’s work a lot and the chance to see it… I had to do it, okay?
  3. There was a limited offer at the time of me buying the tickets. I got the ticket ridiculously cheap (in a good way, thank the gods) (cheap for theatre tickets at least). That show was one of only a few shows with that awesome deal.

The only thing that worried me, just a tad, was the colitis. When I ordered the tickets, 2 weeks ago, my colitis had been really well-behaved for a fair bit of time. Also, my excitement was far more abundant than my worry. I reasoned that if I needed to poop, I’d just use the toilet. That’s what bathrooms are there for. And with the whole thing taking about 6 hours (travel time + I got there an hour and a half before to pick up my ticket), I would probably need to do my business. It turns out, I didn’t.

That’s right. Who didn’t poop for 6 straight hours? This person *waggles thumbs*

I don’t know what kind of spin I want to put on this post. Do I go on about how I’m so glad that my colitis isn’t holding me back? I sure as heck know I couldn’t have possibly done this last year. Or do I say how glad I am that I got to have this experience?

Both of those things are true. What I want to talk about is this: I have an image in my head of who I am, and who I want to be. Big things like what job I want and smaller things like what books I read. I love theatre* and I’d love the opportunity to be able to do this on the regular. That isn’t possible right now (said the not-rich person with a bowel disease) but it makes my heart warm knowing that I (the not-rich person with a bowel disease) did just go to watch a play and enjoyed every last minute of it.

One last note: when the play finished, the lights dimmed until you couldn’t see a thing and everyone clapped. Everyone was clapping in the darkness and it felt so magical.

Take care,

Carter

*what little I’ve been privy to. To be completely honest, I heard a lot of show tunes from Glee and that’s where I was first exposed to theatre. I don’t know the songs off by heart, I still haven’t watched Rent or Les Mis but I think of theatre fondly.

uGGh

Dear Ginny,

It’s wednesday today but I do have exciting news from the past week.

On thursday last week, I had lunch and – get this – then went outside for a lesson. Me! I actually ATE and THEN WENT OUTSIDE. I know that sounds ridiculous, and part of it is funny because it is ridiculous but I haven’t done that in about 2 years. Two things to keep in mind;

  1. I did go to the bathroom a good amount of time before I left for my lesson (to poop incase you don’t understand my brand of vague).
  2. It was only one one-hour lesson. Factoring in travel time, that’s ~2 hours. A relatively short time.

So no, I didn’t actually poop at school (that maybe would’ve been too much for me to handle). But this is crucial progress. It was a pretty big lunch too lol.

Second of all, some LOooOveeE. Or atleast, something vAGueLy sExuAl. In my school, the social gap between the years is pretty strict. Not enforced by anyone, but nobody wants to talk to someone in the year below and so when someone becomes friends with someone in a different year, everyone is weirded out. When someone is in a relationship with someone in a different year, it’s even stranger. Even stranger (not for any real reason, just because we’ve all been conditioned by society to think so) is when the girl is older. I know – scandalous.

Well, there’s this girl in the year above me (I used to be in that year and I know her pretty well) and she’s started going out with a boy in my year. I was a little freaked out at first but then I realised that there’s nothing wrong with that and I’m just being a little stupid. So that was okay.

So the second part is that, there’s this boy in my year. He’s cute, seems nice enough but honestly, he is way out of my league. So sometimes, I see him and it’s like all this sExuAl teNsiOn between us. Yesterday, I was in school, and I was walking down the stairs. It was lunch so it was pretty crowded. When I got to the bottom of said stairs, there was a gap so I slid in (not literally). Just then, the boy infront of me decided to stop and shout something to a friend on the other side of the crowd. I obviously stopped aswell, but guess who didn’t? The boy behind me. He pretty much walked into me, he was so close I could feel his entire body against me for a second. My initial reaction was “ugh wtf” but then he said sorry so I looked back and it was THE boy. I quickly mumbled a quick “it’s fine” and went on my way.

Several things to discuss here:

  1. Oh my god, am I exaggerating how important this is? I’m pretty sure I am. But you’ve been young before, you know how to get excited over every little interaction and dissect every single glance shared.
  2. There was a noticeable gap between when I stopped and when tHe BoY walked into me. This could be explained easily by “he wasn’t paying attention, it was an accident jesus chill out m8”). I didn’t actually realise this at first hahaha, but the other explanation is that he did it on purpose? maaaybe? Now, I recognize that that is absolutely crazy – “man, I am just gonna walk straight into her” but idk, maaaybe? I’m being ridiculous, oh my god, but STILL.
  3. When he said sorry, he was on my left. Although this is my better side, I think I may have looked ugly because of the angle. He was literally behind my left shoulder. And I didn’t turn fully to look at him, I basically peeked at him. Fuck. I’m going into hiding fuck, he’s just so nice. I’m so embarrassed.

Okay, I’m done.

From Carter.

Sunday, monday, happy days

Dear Ginny,

Today is not Sunday, nor is it Monday. Instead it is Tuesday. I feel SO happy. No, not happy. Happy makes me sound like this mood has an expiration date, or that it stems from one particular thing. Which it does, but I’m focusing on what it means. In the FUTURE.

I’ve mentioned my medical condition before, did you have a guess at what it was? Well, I’m going to tell you now. It’s an auto-immune system issue, residing primarily in my guts. There is IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease). In IBD, there are two primary conditions – Crohns (which is understood to be the worse one and one that I don’t know much about) and Ulcerative Colitis. Whereas Crohns affects your entire digestive system, from your throat to your intestines, UC is limited to the intestines.

Now there’s some background info. I was diagnosed a year ago and had been unwell for a year before that. Alot of that time was spent doing absolutely nothing because I shut down. There’s no two ways about it; I didn’t want to do anything – I COULDN’T do anything. Many people assume because it’s to do with your gut, you’re able to just get up and continue just with more toilet breaks. It’s not. Have you ever had diarrhoea? Have you ever had it for almost a year? It tired you the fuck out. I had no energy. Later on, when it became more aggressive, I started throwing up everything I ate too. Even liquids. Even Orange Juice. Ridiculous, I know.

Once I started getting appropriate treatment, most of the symptoms went away. The only thing I really have to deal with still, is more-than-normal-fatigue and having more toilet breaks than normal. And when I say toilet breaks, I mean I have to take a shit more times than a normal person. I get that you, as a reader, may not want to read about my bowel activity and that is fine. You can click out of this. For those who are uncertain – I promise I won’t be overly-disgusting. Once you have to deal with (literal) shit in the way I do, you become very factual with it. For those you have carried on reading – thank you.

So why am I so happy content?

Well, it’s been a year since I’ve been diagnosed and a few months since I’ve gotten back to school. It hasn’t gone smoothly. I still don’t have breakfast or any food at all until I’ve gotten home. I don’t go in if I feel like I may need to go to the bathroom after a while. I sometimes come home early if I feel like I need to go to the bathroom. I’ve always been a bit funny about going to public toilets – even if it is just to pee. Taking an actual shit is out of the question.

OR WAAAAAS.

That’s right, I pooped in a public toilet. I feel SO POWERFUL. I should note that these were optimal settings. It was a very nice bathroom. There were quite a few people in it, not packed, but enough that there was a lot of handdrying etc. going on over the light music playing. Also, my colitis wasn’t acting up AT ALL – which can result in slightly watery stools. It was perfect, or as perfect as a shit could be.

One step at a time, huh!

Laterr,

Carter