The Dangers of 'Screw It...'
Last updated: June 2018
We all know the 'screw its', don't we? You know, it's that point after giving your all for an extended period of time and you feel as though you are just not seeing the results that you wanted. You are past frustrated, past worrying, past angry, past depressed..SCREW IT. It's a coping mechanism that most people experience at some point or other and is natural, in a way. The problem that inevitably arises is that we start resorting to SCREW IT, more and more often as an acceptable way to deal with the stress that illness places in our lives. I've struggled with several serious illnesses in my life and I don't know if any of them have the propensity towards SCREW IT more than IBS does. It's the frustration factor; at least for me. You try SOOO hard to eat right, exercise, medication, meditation...and you get hit again. SCREW IT. I'm going to eat what I want, drink what I want...screw the doctor, the nurses, the nutritionist, the gym, my co-workers... I've had it. Know what happens next?
Play the tape
Well...you know…you get REALLY sick. I don't mean the usual flare up; I mean SICK. So after we suffer for however long God designates this time, many of us will get back up on the horse and try again. Often, we will try harder to get better because we feel guilt, shame or a variety of other feelings about the negative behavior that caused the sickness. Because of the 'it can't be cured' factor with IBS, we will eventually come full circle and once again come to face to face with SCREW IT. There is a recovery based concept called 'Playing the Tape' that I think works well in this situation, because the SCREW IT mentality is all so often the source of many of our considerable woes. 'Playing the Tape' is an exercise where you 'play the tape' of the last time you had an INCIDENT. Watch yourself stuffing those cookies in your mouth. Watch yourself shoveling fried rice into your belly. Pouring coffee down your throat? Smoking cigarettes like there will never be another chance to smoke again? THEN...watch the whole tape. What happened after that SCREW IT moment? Watch yourself get sick. Watch the struggle, the remorse, the guilt. Want to go through it again? If you do, now is the perfect time to resort to SCREW IT. If not, we need to reassess the reaction to our torment.
Being constantly mindful of our psychological state while dealing with IBS can save us a lot of trouble. SCREW IT is too easy, too damaging and way unhealthy. It's hard not to go there and all the best intentions can be for naught. Just try to be as self-aware as you can be and push forward. Remind yourself that this is hard and you are doing well. There will be another chance, another good day. SCREW IT...I'm tired of writing ;).
Do you suffer from IBS-C, IBS-D, or IBS-Mixed/Alternating?