The Fear has Returned

From participating in this website, I know that many of you can relate to THE FEAR. The constant gnawing in between flare-ups telling you that it is just a matter of time until it happens again. Then we end up not eating or obsessing over when it will happen again, to the point we live in a never-ending cycle of flare-ups and worry. It took me a long time to shake this feeling. After I was diagnosed, I would say that it was almost two years before I was able to break that cycle. And it took a lot of work.

Seeking support to deal with my fear and IBS

I worked with my therapist and sought help from family and friends. I reached out and found that mindfulness and meditation helped a lot. I also learned to accept the illness to a point and the fact that I was doing everything that I could to help myself feel better. Then the fear subsided. I’m not going to say that the thought never crossed my mind, but it was under control and I was able to deal with each episode as it came, instead of piling the whole thing up into one massive problem all the time. This success lasted a long time, until recently.

Sometimes, it's hard to avoid worry and fear

I’m pretty sure that this has something to do with the fact that I am currently going through an unusually stressful time in my life. You’ve heard the phrase, "When it rains, it pours." Yeah, well I tend to like to make it hail, too. ;-) I start looking for things to worry about. In my world, one of the easiest things to worry about is the IBS. We all agree that it sucks. We all agree that it robs us of time, energy, money and any number of important things in our lives. Not worrying about it is hard, so when other things in your life are taking some of your inner strength away, the worry returns (or intensifies) and you are back to dealing with the fear. The fear is more than just psychologically damaging as we all have different, sometimes unhealthy, ways of dealing with it.

Skipping meals out of fear for flares

My tendency is to not eat, or not eat enough. I drink lots of water and eat like a bird, with hopes that this will fend off an attack. I am 6-feet tall and weigh 225 pounds. Do you think eating like a bird is healthy for me? No, it is not. My other train of thought is the "What does it matter?" approach. I convince myself that it doesn’t matter how I eat, whether I work out, meditate or whatever I normally do to keep myself healthy. I’m just going to get sick anyway. Black and white thinking is a very, very bad thing. It does matter. I’m just not thinking rationally because I’m afraid of the IBS and the control I let it have sometimes. Sometimes…

Self-awareness is the first step

Being aware of this type of thinking is very important, just as important as the diet and lifestyle. I ask that if you find the fear creeping around, get rid of it as soon as you can. We simply do not have to go through more discomfort.

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