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A serene man with his eyes closed has his hand over his stomach, which glows softly.

Mind Over Matter

I really wasn’t planning on getting into a ‘mind over matter’ thing…but I guess I am :-). I have noticed lately that as much as I tell myself that I have the IBS under control, this is only true to a point. I have it MORE in control than I did when diagnosed. I have it MORE in control than I did a year ago. But, even with these improvements in the intensity and duration of my flare-ups, I still get them quite a lot.

Recent developments with my IBS

I have written things recently about the changes in my IBS. Bloating that wasn’t there before and stomach cramps, among other things. I truly hate the adaptive power of IBS. What these recent developments tell me is that I need to change some things in my IBS management regimen that I thought I would never change. Things in my diet that I thought were full proof, exercise routines, and medications.

Mind over matter

Managing IBS requires flexibility and the ability to change. The mind over matter part comes in here. Even though the illness itself isn’t dramatically different than it was when I first learned I had it, my attitude and ability to accept it has. That said, I FEEL much better, which very often convinces me that the physical pain IBS causes have improved greatly. This hasn’t happened overnight.

Taking control of my life

Because I have bipolar disorder and suffer from extreme anxiety, I have long been a proponent of meditation, therapy and a reliance on a higher power. I also know when medication is necessary and when it isn’t (for the most part). I have learned to MANAGE. Am I all better? Nope, but when I look in the time machine at the 25-year-old me (I am 45), I can’t believe how much more in control of my life I am. This has been the same with IBS. Acceptance is everything. When you can accept, you can believe you are worth fighting for. When you fight for yourself, things tend to improve.

Like I said earlier, this did not happen overnight. I kicked and screamed and told myself this was not fair. I already had to deal with illness, how on Earth was having IBS fair? When I was angry, I would say screw the diet, the exercise, the therapy or whatever else. What does it matter? I can’t win. Yeah, you can. You win by taking control of your life, even if you can’t completely control the disease.

I have no special powers other than the ability to get back on the horse after I’ve been thrown off a few thousand times. You may be one of those people that resilience comes naturally or maybe not. It’s in there, I promise you. You have to believe and you have to seek out and accept whatever help you can get. You will learn to help yourself feel better physically, but coming to grips with all this mentally can go an awful long way. Thank you for listening.

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


  • ExplodingGuts
    4 weeks ago

    I am not a simple solution person at all. But it’s been a couple of months now and raw honey a tsp in the am plus one Immodium seems to be working for me. I would never have believed it but I seem to be living proof. I bet if your guts stabilized your mindset would, too. I find I am seized by fear and dread whenever I venture beyond a place where I know there will be a public washroom, but my confidence is increasing slowly but surely. Try some raw honey. It can only help you.

  • tmholland moderator author
    3 weeks ago

    Hi @explodingguts,

    I’ll definitely give it a try. Thanks very much for the advice. Always appreciated. I hope you are doing well today. -Todd, Team

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