Isolating myself to protect others.

Isolating Myself to Protect Others?

Last updated: March 2021

Living with a form of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis) can often come with a lot of emotional angst. There are so many reasons for this but I want to talk about one specific thing that has been particularly difficult for me over the past few years.

Here goes...

I feel like I need to withdraw from my family so I don’t bring them down.

I mean this in terms of communication via texting or phone calls and also in-person visits. I believe that being around them when I am in pain and cannot do much does nothing but cast a shadow over their day. It seems selfish, to me, to be around them when I am feeling so awful. Especially when I could be alone not bringing anyone down. Thankfully, my puppies are very understanding :)

This honestly hurts my heart to feel this way. I love my family so much and hate that I feel like such a negative force in their life. I just want to be a good thing in their lives!! I want us to do fun things instead of talking about my health, doctors appointments and medications. I don’t want them to have to worry about me. I don’t want to have to be phony or hide how I am feeling. I just want things to be “normal.”

I have found myself not wanting to talk to my parents when I am particularly bad.

I also don’t see them nearly as much as I would like because I don’t want to saddle them with my issues. I speak to them on the phone everyday so it isn’t like they are in the dark about how I am doing but as you know, it is much different seeing it in person and being unable to escape from it.

I absolutely hate this! It is one of the hardest parts of living in chronic pain -- I just feel like I am a better person if I let those I love just be.

I wanted to share this today because it has been on my mind for such a long time. It has taken me some time to be able to admit, openly. I hope anyone who may feel this way knows they are not alone. It is a very tough thing to juggle.

I am trying to ingrain in my mind that my family loves me and wants to be with me, whether I can be out and about or not.

I did push myself to spend Father’s Day with my parents plus a few days afterwards and I was so happy I did. I felt badly the entire time but at least when they look back on this Father’s Day, I will have been there.

It is only natural to want to withdraw from family and friends when you aren’t doing well. I hope you know you are so far from alone with this. However, I hope you remember that the people closest to you love you NO MATTER WHAT. And while the situation may be far from ideal, our loved ones would rather figure things out with us than rarely see or speak to us.

Does anyone else feel this way? How do you handle it? I know I could use some advice!

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