alt=a woman lies on the couch, covered in a blanket and watching something playing on her phone.

Missing Out

Have you ever had one of those days where you just want to throw in the towel and give up? I think we all have. There are times when no matter how much I work towards a goal or prepare for something, I just have to back away and let it go. Lately, I have been feeling this way a lot. Having someone to go to and vent can turn a bad day or flare into just any other day.

Prepping for going out with IBS

Living with IBS, I tend to find myself overthinking every situation. If I leave the house, I have to account for the closest bathroom, preplanning medication, pain management, and even something as small as the temperature outside. I feel like those of us with health or pain problems have to go through twice the work just to show up. As much as I hate to, I find myself lately opting out of get-togethers and events just so I don't feel so overwhelmed at the thought of having to get out and go somewhere.

My family and friends support me

Thankfully my family and friends are great and understand. My daughter, though – she is the real deal. This last year I have found it more difficult to deal with some of my pain. For me, being in pain means my IBS shows its face more than normal. Z has been the absolute best at being understanding. She has not once made me feel bad for not going somewhere or taking her out.

The last year has brought a lot of changes for us. This time last year, we made the decision to move back to my hometown in Tennessee. We loved it there, but as parents do, we do what is best for our babies. We missed Illinois and our family and friends there. August of this current year, we made the journey back to Illinois. Things are finally getting back to normal for us, which means school, dance, work, and all that fun stuff. With all these changes, of course, bring flare-ups and feeling defeated.

Speaking up for myself and IBS

Z has given me the courage to speak up for myself and just say no if I need to. She knows that sometimes I just have to say, "I know my limits, and this is one of them." As much as I really hate missing a school performance or dance competition, we have to remind ourselves there will always be more. Sometimes our health, mentally or physically, just has to take precedence over an outing or event.

I always wanted to make sure to raise my daughter to be an independent thinker who also looks at everyone else as an equal regardless of their health or capability — having her understand that no matter what, you can always stand up for yourself and others. Whether that is by saying no to going to a place you may feel uncomfortable or standing up for someone else who can't find the voice to speak up for themselves. Sometimes the best thing we can do is be the voice someone else needs.

Does your family or friends advocate for you under stressful situations?

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