Thanks to remicade I’m now in remission and feeling 100% again for the first time in a while, a cause for celebration. I’m officially less likely to shit myself as a result of colitis, but as a result I’m now shitting myself thinking about my life and the future – not ideal. I’ve been thinking a lot about where I’m going in life and how it’s going to be affected by illness, what considerations I’m going to have to make, and above all else – what the fuck am I doing???
Everyone on Earth has the same thoughts about life I’m sure, we never know if we’re making the right decisions but all you can do is commit to something and go with it for good or bad. The dilemma I face with colitis is in that I’m terrified of how I’m going to be in 10 years. I’ve read so many stories and accounts of people who’ve had surgery and claim it’s the best thing to have happened to them but I really can’t wrap my head around having a colostomy, and at this stage it honestly terrifies me. One that stuck with me was a young guy who felt like it’d ruined his life and he was waiting for his mum to pass so he could end his own life, which really hit me hard as I related more to that than the semi-famous people who were flaunting their shit-bag on Instagram while at the beach or in the gym. Something I’ve got to manage is that if I tend to feel that way, what do I do? So far I’ve just rolled with what I’ve copped, I think being busy with work and uni has been a help as I haven’t had a lot of time to complain or worry but the next step after remicade isn’t quite as simple. If I can get 5 or more years out of remicade I’ll be stoked but even then it’s never going to be enough.
During my first flare I bought a block of land and starting building my first house. I’d been thinking about doing it for a while as I was saving up a fair bit of money working full time and living with my parents, as well as wasting a fair bit on dumb shit because I wasn’t committed to any investment. When I got diagnosed with colitis and realised it was going to be a long-term ordeal I realised I should take the opportunity to pump money into the house and really set myself up for the future, in the case that my health gets so bad that I can’t do my job any more or need to just have a break from everything. I’ve constantly been told by co-workers and other people I meet that I’ve made a smart decision, that they wish they’d done the same and it’s the best choice I could’ve possibly made. So why does it feel like maybe it isn’t all that great?
The same people who tell me that I’ve made a great choice also have the best stories of what they were doing in their 20s, and it’s hard to listen to that and not have a bit of FOMO. Where owning a house is obviously great and is smart with or without the health problems, nothing is guaranteed in the future and that also goes for those fun experiences that I might be missing out on to save and pay off the house. When I’m sick I can’t drink alcohol, and by extension I miss out on a lot of events and experiences that friends are having. Yeh I could join in and not drink, but I’ve done that and anyone who says that’s a viable option is kidding themselves. I spent 12 hours at a festival this year while flaring up and not drinking, and the entire time all I wanted to do was smack the shit out of everyone around me. If I was drinking I’d have been too out of it to notice people bumping into me and being idiots, hell I’d probably be one of the bigger idiots, but when stone sober it is a horribly infuriating time. When I’m flaring up I want to stay home, inside and that doesn’t bode well for the adventurous side of me that wants to see the world and do all sorts of cool things before I exit the Earth.
So herein lies the issue – do I save and pay off the mortgage so that when I get sick again if things get really bad I don’t have to worry about that? Or, do I say fuck it and spend my money on travelling – go trekking and diving and really experience as much as I can before I potentially don’t have the ability to? It’s a weird thing to think about and I’ve been told that I’m being pessimistic but who knows where you’ll be in 10 years colitis or not. I like to think I’m being realistic, maybe a bit harsh on myself with it but that’s how I usually operate anyway. Right now I’m trying to find a balance of doing both, by saving my money to split between travelling and paying off the mortgage, which has come at the cost of not having as much spare cash for frivolous shit or eating out etc. Also my terrible spending habits around my wardrobe are going to have to be reigned in which sucks big time, I do love clothes.
There’s more to the life story than picking saving vs spending, travel vs wise investments and my experiences with toilets. The 20s are a weird period of life where your friends are delinquents, you are having a quarter-life-crisis, and all your facebook friends from high school are getting married and having children. Stay tuned for part 2 where I attempt to make a decision (hahaha… perhaps?) and delve into some deeper shit like marriage, kids, careers and why I want to be a reclusive weirdo when I grow up.
I’m still raising money for the Trek for Colitis Annapurna Circuit trip in November, you can get info and donate here.