The Other Side

Several years ago when my husband and I had just gotten engaged, he had to go away for about two months for a project. I was madly in love (of course I still am) and didn’t know how I’d survive being away from him for so long. As I watched him walk through the security gate at the airport, I broke down. I was destroyed. I didn’t care that I was in public – I sobbed and sobbed. Almost immediately, two women came over to me – complete strangers – and started trying to make me feel better. They were so kind, and I tried so hard to stop crying but I just couldn’t. They told me it would be okay, they asked me about him and how long he’d be gone and where he was going. I soon learned from them that they were a mother and daughter and had just dropped off their (respectively) son and brother, who was in the Army and was being deployed to Iraq. I was shocked. These women were soothing and comforting me, and they were not only in the same situation but theirs was arguably much harder. Their loved one would be gone for more than a year, possibly longer, and was going to war.

This is an extreme example but a good one nonetheless of something I think of often – no matter what you go through, you’re never the only one going through it. And, often others are going through it worse. I don’t mean to discount anyone’s troubles. But in a weird way I see it as a comfort that even in tough times, you’re not alone. But more than that, I think of this when I see people acting in ways that seem strange to me. Why is that guy such a jerk? He probably has something going on that I don’t know about. That sort of thing.

When it comes to Crohn’s, I try to hold on to this story to remember to stay strong. “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” It’s easy to feel sorry for myself. But ultimately, that gets me nowhere. Everyone has their troubles. If I can stay strong, I can overcome mine.

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