Out of Control Health

I completely melted down in my naturopath’s office this week. Tears, about 500 tissues, profuse apologizing, all of it. I couldn’t even explain why I was such a mess. Usually I hold it together. This week? Not so much.

It’s the skin issues–they always get down, every single time.

My Crohn’s, when it’s acting up, is an “invisible illness” for better or for worse. Sometimes I look tired, or beat down, but mostly I look normal. That gives me the space I need to disappear quietly to the bathroom, or spend more time resting. I can mostly anticipate what my body will react to and what it needs to heal.

But the skin problems, they don’t hide. They sprawl themselves all over my face and neck and arms and hands like a neon sign. They practically beg for people to blurt out “OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR ARMS.” (Yes, that did happen this week, thanks very much you kind, tactful person.)

They remind me how little control I have over my body.

Sure, I do tons of work on my diet and daily habits. Research. Medication. Supplements. Moisturizing like it’s my job. I put in the work. I deserve to have a body that listens to me, right?

I’m pushing all the right buttons, why doesn’t the candy come out of the chute? Or even better, I treated all these ladies like queens, why do none of them find me attractive?

Life doesn’t work that way.

I don’t have much control over my skin. Or my gut. My immune system doesn’t take orders. My gut bacteria certainly doesn’t listen to anything I say.

What I can control is the environment I’m in, and the food that I eat. I can anticipate all sorts of consequences to my actions, and plan for them. But I can’t dictate how my body functions. If you figure out how to do that, let me know.

That is the hardest thing, doing the work but not being able to full control the outcome.

It’s something I’ve had to come to terms with many times in my life, and (clearly) it still gets to me at times. If I were fully in control, I would be healthy all the time. But I’m not in control. Never will be.


My health is out of control, and that’s okay.


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