Advice- how to be happy again?!

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 11/11/2011 2:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey HW friends,
Over the last few years my Crohns has not really been under control.  So that means my pain levels have been very high and I also have been suffering from depression.  We have our big family picture coming up and I am just dreading it.  I use to love to have my picture made and go out, pretty much just have fun.  Now, I hate the way I look, I hate going out and I don't know how to have fun anymore.  When I do get out I feel like I am faking it all.  I never look happy and have many relationships that have suffered due to all this.  Sometimes I wonder if its the disease or the pain meds.  I am just so sick of being sick.  I know y'all are as well.  How do you cope?  I have turned into such a homebody because I am always tired, in pain or can't be away from the bathroom.  I just feel like such a loser.  Somehow I am still able to force myself to work full time but then after work I go home and "veg" until I go to bed.  Then get up and do the same thing over and over again.  I want my old life back.  Any tips on how to make that happen?  I am sorry for venting and having a "pity party" but I don't know what to do anymore.  I am just ready to feel normal again.
I am a 30 year old female. Have had problems with Crohns/Colitis since 1997. Once I had my colon removed things got a little better. Until about 2 years ago. I just got my port placement and will start Remicaid treatments soon:)
I have awful tummy pain and joint pain as well as female issues.

Post Edited (krw135) : 11/11/2011 12:21:36 PM (GMT-7)

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 11/11/2011 9:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I am sorry for everything you have had to go through! And you have been through so much for being so young, depression is usually a part of having chronic pain, and it does sound like that is probably a majority of your problem.  With chronic pain it is often common to with draw and isolate ones self, and it appears from what you have written that you are also doing that. krw135 I would encourage you to get help, counseling might really prove bennificial to you, it would definitely be worth trying. The main thing is,...Please, Please, Please, do not isolate yourself, you are way to young to do that, and in the future I am sure you will grow to regret it! I know from personal experience how isolating oneself can later on cause so many many more problems.   If you have to force yourself to get out and be with your friends and do things with them, it will pay off many times over later on in life! I can not stress how important this is. No one is an island, and it is so easy to withdraw and isolate yourself and that is what you become, and island an all alone. Once that happens it is very very difficult to undo, not impossible but difficult none the less. When reading your post I worry about that happening to you!
Please keep posting here on the forum, you are a member of our family and we all care about you, I do wish you well krw135 and do hope that everything gets better for you!
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 11/12/2011 2:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi krw135
I have a pretty good idea how you feel and I think most people here do. So for starters know that your not alone and your not loser for feeling this way. Having to battle any kind of chronic problem takes a toll on anyone. Coming here and venting is a good start...venting is not whining. We all have problems and we all need to vent sometimes and you'll find that people here are very kind and understanding. As far as getting your old life back, that may not be possible but that doesn't mean you need to be unhappy the rest of your life. I know it's so hard to force yourself to be active and sometimes it does feel fake, but remember the old saying that life is 10% what happens and 90% your reaction to it. A few things I've learned the hard way is to never give up and never refuse help from people who care about you. If I had of spent even have my time thinking about what I can still do rather that all the things I can no longer do I would have made life a little easier for myself. It's such an easy trap to fall into. I wish you all the best and please don't feel like your having a pity party coming here. As White Beard said, your part of this family so I hope to see you post again and maybe even try the chat rooms if your up for it. Take care
krw135 and hang in there.
Chronic Back Pain, Anxiety, A little Depression, Left foot problems...foot growing in length and big toe growing out sideways, Osteoporosis,11 surgeries total..right foot twice, right knee 3 times, right elbow, throat/neck, spinal fusion, left elbow, left knee, currently deciding on whether to have surgery on left foot.
Meds: Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Clonazapam
Birthday July 18th

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 11/12/2011 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
I understand where you are coming from as i too have isolated myself a lot due to the pain and my need to have a bathroom close as well! Chronic pain often goes hand in hand with depression so I would recommend counseling as well, it has helped me some and at least forces me to get out of the house occasionally. Keep posting as this forum has helped me as well, there is a lot of very nice people with good advice and great words of encouragement.hope to hear from you soon!
intercostal neuralgia, degenerative disc disease,ulcerative colitis, atherosclerosis, depression, & anxiety
meds: gabapentin, oxycodone 30 mg, lipitor, xanax, effient, celexa, bentyl, simvastatin

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16799
   Posted 11/12/2011 2:25 PM (GMT -6)   
KRW I can sympathize with you. I know what crohns does to us in many ways. If you go out you have to always first look for their bathroom to make sure you are not too far away. I still have to do a lot of careful planning when leaving the house. Its become second nature to me now.

I suspect depression is playing a very large role with what you have described, it sure sounds familiar. I urge you to go see your PCP and discuss getting something for depression. My next step would be to find myself a good psychologist, preferably one familiar with crohns and get some counseling. I did this and it really did help me a lot.

You have way too much life left to be sitting in a house secluded from the world. I can tell you are normally a very outgoing person but right now you have yourself down in this hole.

Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

spinal soldier
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 11/13/2011 12:53 AM (GMT -6)   
look into Dr. Forrest Tennant's handbook called: the intractable pain patients handbook for survival, it goes into rebooting your brain.
L4,L5,S1 bilateral Laminectomies, Foraminotomies 2002
L4-S1 PLIF with instumentation 2008,

current Rx: MScontin 100mg q8hrs. , dilaudid 8mg q6hrs. prn, oxymorphone IR 10mg q6 ,vistaril 50mg prn nausea, Lyrica 150mg 2x,Adderall 20mgs 1x A.M. 10mg PM prn, Soma 350 mg 3X, Elavil 25 HS, diazepam 10mg bid prn, Supplements: CO-Q10 100mg, Vitamin D 1000IU, Fish-Oil1000mg EFA, B-Complex50 3x/day, ALA

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9258
   Posted 11/13/2011 2:12 AM (GMT -6)   

Don't worry about venting here...we all do it at some time or another. It's one of the reasons we're hold each other up when the going gets rough. I think if we were to take a poll that everyone would have similar sentiments to yours...we're just sick of being sick and want our old life back!! And those feelings are well justified....IMHO.

I'm a recluse also and don't really mind but it does cause some problems on occasion. I have my family and lots of grandkids around so it's not like I'm alone but I feel very lonely at times and that's hard to deal with. I'm wondering if you have that lonely feeling also. Friends often disappear or we don't keep the friendships going because our own feelings of life have soured. So we're supposed to just perk ourselves up? If we knew how we'd be too tired to do it

Are you able to get out of the house for a short amount of time? Maybe up to an hour? When I get out for a doc appointment or something else important, I take myself to the local public library. I head home with a huge pile of books on several subjects and I'm one happy camper. Many times I've considered volunteering but I'm not so sure about moving boxes. But I do think making myself be around people is a good thing...would that help you too? Just a thought...

I do hope you're feeling better soon...
Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
Fibromyalgia, IDDM. UC, , Osteoarthritis slowly meandering around everywhere
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny..." ~Isaac Asimov

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 11/13/2011 4:13 AM (GMT -6)   

The other members gave some wonderful advice, so I would just "second" what everyone has said.

I, too, suffer from chronic pain and depression issues... I do take a daily anti-depressant - and I couldn't make it w/out it. It doesn't solve everything, but I'm be in a HUGE hole otherwise.

Many of us can identify w/ the feelings you have. Having chronic illnesses has taken it's toll on me as well. It's changed my entire life, in fact. That being said, even though my health hasn't improved, the way I deal with has. For me, I literally had to force myself to get out of the house - even if it was for 30 minutes. Over time, I realized how bad the isolation was for my physical AND mental health.

My mom has ulcerative colitis... and she, too, knows where every bathroom is and carefully plans her outings.

Anyway, never apologize for venting... I feel that's the main purpose of this board - is to support others when they need it and to get support when we need it ourselves... so keep posting!

Take good care... --Tina

spinal soldier
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 11/13/2011 1:23 PM (GMT -6)   
precursor amino acid therapy can make the difference sometimes. L-tryptophan or 5-HTP are precursors of serotonin and then to melatonin. L-glutamine or GABA is a mood and calming neurotransmitter. L-tyrosine or acetyl-L-tyrosine is the precursor to norepinephrine.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 11/14/2011 11:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Y'all are all so sweet!:) Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to me! It really means a lot! I am in tears right now. I guess that is also a side effect of depression. I could cry all day long if I would let myself. It REALLY helps to have the support from every single one of you and knowing I am not alone. I really hate feeling sorry for myself. I know there are tons of people who have it WAY worse than I do. I can't even begin to imagine how some people are still able to be so positive. It is truly amazing.
As far as getting out with friends, its hard. 99% of my friends are married with kids and I am so jealous of that. I want that more than anything in the world. However, I know I need to get well and not only get my body healthy enought to carry a child, but I also need to get my mind and emotions in check. I always thought I would be happily married with kids by 30. Its depressing that I have not fulfilled that need yet. I am beginning to wonder if it will ever happen for me.
Anyways, thanks again for all the kind words. I am going to try and remember them during the "bad" moments and I think it is time to look into some sort of counseling.
I am a 30 year old female. Have had problems with Crohns/Colitis since 1997. Once I had my colon removed things got a little better. Until about 2 years ago. I just got my port placement and will start Remicaid treatments soon:)
I have awful tummy pain and joint pain as well as female issues.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 11/14/2011 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I was glad to read that your going to check into counseling that's a very good first step.
Chronic Pain is a valid illness and it can affect every aspect of our lives, but it's
keeping on going that can make it bare-able...Somedays it's just good to get out,
even if it's just for a few moments fresh air almost always helps....Do you have
a hobby as that would be something to look forward to doing each day...
Many well wishes to you and I hope you can get a low pain day soon or at least into remission with the crohns...
Keep us posted as we do care...
Sometimes the Holidays can be very depressing but once they are over things should resume
to normal again and spring is always good to look forward to...Keep your goals for
a family that's still possible...
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
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