Learning to Leave My House and Toilet Behind
Last updated: September 2021
Now that I’m fully vaccinated, and restrictions are easing up, I find myself struggling with how to go about venturing into the world again. I’ve gotten so used to living a stationary, safe, and sedentary life. Working from home, and using my bathroom like clockwork that imagining a life away from that is terrible.
It was a lifestyle
Every immediate urge could be followed by a visit to my trustworthy commode. It meant that I could eat whatever I wanted knowing that if I suffered for it. I could ruin myself with ice cream because I would be at home to do that. However, now that I feel like it’s safe to emerge from my hibernation, and opportunities are emerging again, I’ve been met with so very many anxious obstacles right out of the gate.
How have I ever left my house without pooping my pants?
It’s been such a long and secluded year and it feels like I have almost forgotten how I’ve managed to safely socialize and travel with IBS. This is made worse by the fact that I now live in the NYC area – a place renowned for long car rides and subway stops with few bathroom opportunities. I feel like a precog from Minority report, able to view my own future and timeline eventualities all ending in poopies.
Thing is, I don’t want this fear to control me. If I’ve learned anything in this new world, is that fear can restrict and bind us all. As somebody with GAD, it didn’t take much to realize this. But I still try to fight it with every based breath. I want to be able to act again, and travel again, and enjoy the luxuries as much as I can. Sure, it means I have to wake up and leave my house at 5 AM. Not able to have my morning poop, only to have to stop somewhere or race to my destination before it drops.
It’s such a frustrating trial and error process with the utmost of risks. I have tried several methods to keep myself contained and feel safe, for peace of mind is more important than almost anything. I don’t eat before I leave I take some Imodium and bring a bottle of water. They aren’t foolproof options, but they’re the first steps in figuring out how my body is going to take this emergence into society.
I’m slowly adapting
Dialogue with our bodies can be a long and strenuous process. With so many failed and embarrassing attempts, we can better navigate our anxieties. I’ve learned that even though I know things will work out in the end, that my body will adapt to early morning call times and long car rides with the right tools. Yet, I’m still scared. I’m still nervous to go outside. I’ve just found that my eagerness to be with my friends again and to go and see the sights again, is greater than my need to stay at home. Now that out’s safe to go outside I just need my guts to know that too!
Which of the following symptoms of IBS do you experience most frequently?