As members of the IBS crew, we often find ourselves in awkward social encounters. When my symptoms are calm and my mental health is under control, I like to dress up: wear makeup, do my hair, wear an outfit that actually fits… you know, normal stuff. Unfortunately, this choice can sometimes create uncomfortable—albeit, interesting—social interactions. There have been many times that I have heard, ‘you look like a girl today!’ simply because I decided to not wear a loose fitting shirt.
The circumstances that surround our relationship with IBS can be disconcerting; however, we must remember that not everyone understands our symptoms. Not everyone grasps the inappropriate nature of their ‘compliments.’ Though we may never be able to control social encounters, we can try to change how others see us; how others understand these seemingly Invisible illnesses—fibromyalgia, IBS, migraines, etc. We can continue to communicate, educate and discuss. And, above all, we need to keep searching for that speck of humor in our lives.