A man trying walk forward is hindered by his stomach, which is chained to something behind him, preventing him from walking.

Held Hostage By My Nervous Stomach

I get so upset when my IBS holds me back. I can’t tell you how many birthdays, weddings, graduations, recitals, etc., that I’ve missed out on due to a flare-up or having anxiety about leaving my home. Unfortunately, this doesn’t just happen during really special events. I could just be planning to run a simple errand, such as going to the UPS Store to drop off a package or just going down the street to my local supermarket. Serious occasion or not, sometimes my sensitive stomach mixed with my anxiety, AKA my “nervous stomach”, will find a way to hold me hostage and try to keep me from being free and a productive member in society.

My IBS makes me nervous

There should be a subtype for anxiety-induced IBS. I mean, getting out of my own head has become one of the hardest things to do since I’ve gotten this invisible chronic illness over a decade ago. Many times, when I have plans to go out somewhere, I worry that I’m going to suffer from an intense flare-up. And because of that inevitable worry, I have to make sure that I give myself at least 2-3 hours to get ready so that I have ample time to use the toilet as many times as I need to before I walk out my front door. On top of that, I do crazy research about the place that I’m going to figure out what the bathroom situation is when I get there. And even then, I’m still nervous that I’ll suffer in pain while I’m out somewhere in public.

Sometimes, I feel held hostage by IBS

My anxiety can get so bad sometimes that my imagination can run amuck, and I get lost in a sea of negative thoughts and discourage myself from going out. Does that ever happen to you? For instance, you might not be suffering any IBS pain at the moment, but the fear that you might experience that pain unexpectedly in public almost paralyzes you from going out and living. It’s almost like you’re being held prisoner by your own negative thoughts.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in a much better mental space than say, 5 years ago. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still struggling to be more optimistic about doing more things in life, getting out more, whether I suffer from pain or not. I’m still a work in progress, my friends. But I have a whole lot of fight left in me, many of you do as well, and we’re far from giving up.

I admit I fall off track sometimes

Both my IBS and anxiety keep me from feeling free so often, that sometimes I can’t help but yearn for a life with no restrictions or limitations. But then, I think about what life would be like with no sense of order or responsibility. Maybe, IBS is another way for my body to tell me to tighten up and get my act together. I’ll be honest – I could be doing a lot better when it comes to managing my symptoms. Thus, as of a month ago, I’ve started to focus more on my health and making it a priority. I’m not perfect and because I’m human, I’ll admit that I fall off track sometimes. But, what matters to me is that I don’t try to live up to anyone else’s standards and continue doing my best by getting back on track.

Nonetheless, do any of you feel that your IBS and/or anxiety holds you, hostage, sometimes? Do you feel that it holds you back from living and enjoying life? If so, please feel free to comment below and explain. Thank you as always for taking the time to read my article and I look forward to your responses.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The IrritableBowelSyndrome.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.