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Am I Going to Make It?

I’ve recently taken a part-time job working a hotline that helps people who have mental health, substance abuse and isolation/loneliness issues. I take all kinds of calls. Sometimes, it’s just someone who has been in the house too long due to illness and sometimes someone is in fear for their life. One particular woman calls every day. She has several illnesses. She has extreme arthritis, bad back trouble, mental illness and yes, IBS. When she told me the other night, it dawned on me that I had never really had anyone come right out and tell me they had IBS. Because I consider myself a kind of advocate for the illness, I very quickly responded that I had IBS also. We talked about the struggles that people with IBS go through and about how it affects our mental health. I’ve spoken with this woman about ten times now and she asks me the same thing every single time. I mean it. Every time. ‘AM I GOING TO MAKE IT?’ This is the question and I think that an awful lot of us have had this run through our minds at least once. Well? Are we going to make it? What does ‘Make It’ mean?

What does ‘Make It’ mean?

When someone asks a question like this, whether it be to another person or themselves, what they are actually looking for is validation in most cases. I think the exception to this rule is when someone is clinically depressed and may be in danger of hurting themselves, but that is not what we are addressing here. We’re talking about the need to be heard, to be understood and to be validated. Validation can be very powerful. Every time my client asks, ‘Am I going to make it?’, with no hesitation, I respond in the positive and provide a reason why. The reason WHY we can survive illness and the difficult life it can cause is because we all have our own individual strengths. With the woman in question I point out that she is organized, thinking clearly, seeing her doctor and takes care of two dogs. These are all things that she does to keep herself well. I have my things to keep well and you have yours. As long as we continue to make these efforts, it takes a simple acknowledgement that we are doing ok, maybe not great, but we are MAKING IT.

The need to have someone else provide positive affirmation is strong. With IBS particularly, our self-esteem suffers and sometimes we just don’t have it in us to believe that we will survive all of this. Asking someone else, just to hear them say ‘Yes, you will be ok,’ can provide that spark that we may need to keep pushing, keep going and to help bolster our resiliency. We already know how to push and we most certainly are resilient. Otherwise, we would have curled up in a ball and given up by now. But that’s not the case with most of us. We do keep going, because we appreciate and cherish our lives. It’s just nice to hear it from someone else every once in a while. Don’t be afraid to look for validation of your strength from someone you trust. You’d be surprised what it can do for you. So…that all said…YOU WILL MAKE IT.

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

Comments

  • tmholland moderator author
    1 year ago

    Hi, DorisE :). I wanted to thank you for the very kind remarks regarding social service work. I think there are so many people that want to help or support others but just don’t know how to go about it. When I started in social work, I was told it was a ‘thankless’ job by more than a few people. I have found the complete opposite. I feel appreciated almost everyday I go to work. How many people can say that? Anyway, thank you again for YOUR kind words and please continue to visit the site. There is so much here to help. Peace be with you.

  • DorisE
    1 year ago

    Bless everyone who is involved in dealing with helping others… I think especially so when helping people over a crisis line, hotline, help line… where the caller is unknown to you and desperate for help. Possibly a lot of us wonder about our future and if we can take much more of our pain and suffering, mental, physical, or both…. everyone has their limit and I for one have accepted and do not judge those people who felt they could not go on .. but we are left to wonder if we could have said or done something to change their mind. A few kind words can make a big difference.
    Kudos to you for volunteering to help others and giving them hope.

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