Challenges of Writing About My IBS
For some, discussing personal experiences about IBS can seem like a big hurdle. Our advocates write about truly vulnerable situations they have been in because of their IBS – from not making it to the bathroom on time to disclosing facts about the condition to a loved one. From feelings of shame to finding tips or tricks to manage symptoms like cramping and bloating – they’ve covered it all.
Advocates who write for IrritableBowelSyndrome.net know what it is like to put it all out there. We asked the advocates, “Is it hard to write about your IBS experiences? What's the most challenging part?” Here is what was shared.
I want to help people
“Yes, writing about IBS is challenging. Mainly due to the fact that this topic is a medical condition. Because I am not a doctor, I am not qualified to give medical advice. I want to help people as much as I can, but there is only so much I can do as a writer.”
Writing about IBS and sex
“Talking about sexual relationships and IBS can sometimes still be hard because in many ways, sex and sexuality open us up to the hardest form of vulnerability. I’ve wanted to write about such topics since I started with HU and have yet to proceed.”
Sharing without sharing TMI
“One of the most challenging parts of writing about IBS is being able to provide adequate information while avoiding stepping into TMI territory. I am still a bit squeamish when it comes to discussing some aspects.”
“Sometimes. For me, while I have no problem publicly discussing that I have it, I don't want to divulge every gritty detail related to my experiences with it. So it can be a balance to discuss it in a way that breaks down stigma and hopefully lets others feel less alone or ashamed while also valuing my own privacy about such an intimate aspect of my health.”
“It's sometimes hard to know how graphic to be – I've decided that personally, I will be less graphic about symptoms and talk more about how they make me feel. Plus, I'm an intellectually curious sort who does a lot of research into what I'm experiencing and I enjoy sharing that.”
“Yes - I find it difficult to strike the right balance between open/honest and "TMI"
"Some articles about IBS aren’t hard to write. These are the ones where I share tips, recipes, and so on. Others are more challenging, especially when they’re about personal experiences with IBS. I often feel like censoring myself to make them less “TMI”, or fear that I will be judged for them. For me, the hardest part is actually sharing those experiences.”
“Yes, I still find it difficult. It still feels very personal and something that my Southern/Texan upbringing says shouldn’t be discussed. I have to beat back the inner voice that says it isn’t “ladylike” or “polite” to share these experiences.”
Creating a space for sensitive topics
We know that sharing intimate details about your IBS can be a struggle. We hope that through reading articles written by our advocates, you will find that you are not alone in this journey.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?