Why IBS Has Made Me a Better Person
Last updated: April 2019
If someone was to ask me if I was thankful for having IBS, I would most likely answer no. IBS has changed my life completely and has meant I’ve had to make quite a lot of adaptations to my day to day life. There are some days I REALLY hate having it and wish I could just wave a magic wand and it would go away. BUT that’s not going to happen, so I guess maybe I should look at what positives my IBS has meant for me as a person.
This is probably the biggest change in me. Before I developed IBS, I was never really an unwell person and probably lacked a great deal of understanding of what it’s like to feel rubbish on a daily basis. As much as I hate to admit it, I was probably quite ignorant to it. I would like to clarify here, that I was actually a nice person pre IBS! However, I definitely feel like I’ve now got more compassion towards others now and feel like I’m able to offer a lot more support now, than I would have been able to before. But, I also get why not everyone understands what it’s like to live with a chronic illness, I was once one of those people.
I'm much more open and honest about health
Yes, I was one of those people who wouldn’t dream of using a public bathroom or even discuss toilet habits. To be honest, this was the biggest hurdle for me having IBS-D in the early years. I was so ashamed and embarrassed. But, as the years have gone by, I’ve learnt to accept that this is life for me and when opening up and talking about it, you actually learn that there are many others in a similar situation. It’s amazing how many people come up to you to talk about their gut health issues when they know you don’t mind or get embarrassed talking about it.
I’m much more aware of others
If my group of friends was to organizing a get together, I like to be the one that organizes everything and make sure everyone feels comfortable and has everything they need or visits a place that suits everyone. I know exactly what it feels like to be out of your comfort zone and not be able to eat certain things or have to worry about where the nearest bathrooms are. Not everyone feels able to communicate their worries of concerns and I think I’m much more aware of what to look out for in people. I like to double or even triple check plans with people.
I’m much more in tune with my body
When it comes to looking after myself, I’m MUCH better at that now. When I was younger, I didn’t really pay attention to how stressed or tired I was or even what I put into my body. I didn’t think that I really needed to, everything was ticking along nicely. If there’s one thing about IBS, it’s that it tells you when you’re not looking after yourself and oh boy, doesn’t it let you know! It’s much more important to me to take care of my health now and ensuring I’m getting everything I need. I quite enjoy looking out for myself and being aware of when I need to rest. I’ve gone from a person that never really watched TV and was always on the go, to someone who can’t get enough of boxsets!
Do you suffer from IBS-C, IBS-D, or IBS-Mixed/Alternating?