Sometimes I experience FOMO (fear of missing out). It’s probably something that a lot of people with chronic illness experience because of how much of our life is restricted and it definitely affects me when it comes to dealing with my IBS.

Sometimes I’ll be scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and I’ll read a friend’s (or a total stranger’s) post and they seem to be having so much fun, eating whatever they want to, doing whatever they want to and just enjoying life.

Sometimes seeing these things makes me think negatively about my own life. Why is this happening to me, what can’t I just be well? Why can’t I just be normal? Why I do I have to deal with IBS? And yes, sometimes I may wallow a little in self-pity when I’m feeling particularly low.

Sometimes I’ll sigh when I’m reading someone else’s posts or scrolling through their pictures. Wishing it was me that was traveling overseas, or eating that slice of pizza or cupcake or glass of wine. Sometimes it will make me frustrated, even angry that I don’t get to do that and worried that I'm missing out on so much.

Sometimes when I’m out with friends or family and everyone is having a good time without caring about whether the food will trigger any symptoms, not caring if they don’t get enough sleep, not caring about how they might feel tomorrow, it can make me feel a little sad.

Sometimes I’ll even indulge in that extra glass of wine, or eat a dish with a trigger food because I want to join in and be relaxed and just enjoy the company of the people I’m with. It can be really nice to just forget about my health issues, even just for a short time and be normal.

Turning it around

Sometimes I’m ok with it all. Sometimes I like to remind myself that there are many people out there that have it worse than me and that I should be grateful that for the life that I have.

Sometimes I don’t experience FOMO and I’m just happy being me, with all my quirks. Recently someone on the IBS Facebook page wrote about our humanness and how, if we appreciated each other’s humanness, we would all be more empathetic and understanding. Well sometimes I try that on myself and remind myself that I’m human and that having IBS is part of being human.

Sometimes that’s all it takes for me to step back. To not worry about what everyone else is doing and realize that I am ok, I will be ok and that I have the strength to deal with this. To get through this. I don’t need to be living someone else’s life. My life, my humanness is ok just as it is. When I do that, the FOMO disappears and I’m ok with where I am and who I am. It can be difficult to let go of the FOMO, but when I do, wow, what a difference it makes to how I feel and how I manage my own uniqueness and my IBS.

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