I don’t watch TV or movies for the life lessons or deeper meanings. Sometimes I use it for socializing with family or friends, like watching the Super Bowl or mocking a really bad movie awards ceremony telecast. Sometimes I watch because it’s interesting or I can’t wait to see what happens next, like with True Detective or American Ninja Warrior. And sometimes I use it for just zoning out, escaping from IBD pain, nausea, diarrhea or anxiety.
But in all this recreational watching, I accidentally received a few good tips from my favorite Netflix shows and movies on coping mechanisms for dealing with being sick. Below are 5 of my favorites.
So don’t play drinking games that involve shots of tequila or stay up till 5 am or enter pie-eating contests, just to prove to the universe that IBD hasn’t changed your life. And make sure you talk to someone – a friend, partner, therapist, whoever – about the stress that IBD causes in your life.
Putting on a brave face about your anxiety and throwing back a car bomb is not the way to feeling normal; it’s the way to feeling even sicker, plus now you're mad at yourself. But if this happens, don't beat yourself up about it either; like the Babadook, it's natural to want to stuff your Crohn's into a closet and lock the door.
As Red said in Orange is the New Black, you have to do what you have to do to get through certain difficult situations (like incarceration, or chronic illness). I’m not saying go to extremes like Piper Chapman, but for some people, one drink with friends might not do any harm. Same with a small paleo vegan brownie or a couple vegan banana pancakes (roughly the IBD equivalent of Piper's post-funeral-wedding cheeseburger and bottle of wine).
Don’t deny yourself so many things that you suddenly get fed up one day and eat an entire pan of brownies in a day. Don't be me.
In a bunker flashback, Kimmy recounts her “trick” to getting through any unpleasant situation (for IBDers, scenarios may include giving yourself prescription drug injections): Just count to 10. You can put up with anything if it's just for 10 seconds. And then when those 10 seconds are up and things are still sucky, you just start over at 1 again!
This is supposed to sound sweetly, ridiculously optimistic, and it does, but it also might be ridiculous enough to actually work.
"I'm not really here!"
When you’re temporarily escaping part of your reality, it’s a lot more effective when your programming isn’t interrupted by commercials, or a live TV channel’s sudden switch to a show you don’t like.
Once you’ve tried to address whatever issue you’re having (including contacting a healthcare provider if you need to), sometimes you just need to ride out your IBD symptoms till they pass. And this can go by much more quickly and pleasantly if you aren’t just sitting there fretting about them.
Bonus clip for coping emergencies: Unbreakable's theme song is great, but my favorite is Peeno Noir.