Sometimes I can't believe how much I love cats. I feel a painful pang in my chest at the mere idea that some cats might be lonely in the world. That some might have no one to give them treats while we watch CSI repeats together. No one to feed them half of their dinner then go hungry. I can't bear it. I can't even see those adverts about cats in need for my uncontrollable sobs. I love them.
But what does all this cat chat have to do with bowel disease I hear you cry. And well you may as I've gotten so sidetracked talking about wee cats that I'm not sure I remember myself... Ah yes. Loneliness.
The reality in living with a chronic illness is that there really is no amount of sugar-coating that can make the feelings of isolation easier to stomach. It can be hard to go through this alone. Relentless and utterly exhausting. Even if you are surrounded by loved ones it can still strike. They don't go through what you go through so essentially you are still 'alone'.
Chronic illness can change you: make you afraid and anxious, and too nervous to ask for help. But it doesn’t always have to change you for the worse – it can open your eyes to what you truly want out of life. Having the prospect of life taken from you encourages you to see things with a clarity most people aren’t afforded. You are lucky! You realise you aren’t shackled to those people who bring you down, or to a job you hate; and that it’s only you who can make the changes in your life to make it more than just ‘bearable’.
Being ill can be (and often is) your first thought when you wake and your last thought when you go to sleep. Not very romantic is it? It can overshadow anything seemingly good in your life, so it really is vital you both take the time you need to heal, and then try to live your life to its absolute fullest when you are well enough to do so. Otherwise what is the alternative? Giving yourself over to misery and loneliness? That’s not for me thank-you very much.
Reach out and ask for a friend when you need one. I for one have a lot of life still to live, and a love to give and I don’t intend to hold back. There are approximately 600 million cats in the world and I’ve only got a few decades worth of petting left in me. Time really is of the essence.