Do You Need to Have a Chat?

How are you doing today? How are you feeling? Is there anything you need?

If it’s been a while since anyone has truly asked you how you’re doing and whether you need any help, then let me be the one to ask it.

Are you really doing okay or is there something that you need to help make your life easier?

Honestly, I could do with a chat…

This week has been one of those weeks where everything feels like it’s falling apart. Unexpected things piling up one on top of each other. Large bills appearing that I couldn’t have foreseen. Becoming unwell from overpowering weather, combined with a sudden and prolonged electricity failure. And it all adding up to one big headache that makes me want to run away from the world.

But of course it’s not just life… it’s the IBS too. It’s been affected by all this nonsense. I have mixed IBS, so I switch from constipation to loose bowel movements. But it’s been a while since my IBS has been fully activated to switch this way on alternate days. Since sorting out my major triggers and food intolerances, it’s now only big stresses and emotional shake ups that make this happen.

And right now, that’s exactly what’s happening. Nothing at all on one day, then loose bowels the next day until it’s all out. It’s kind of a mixed blessing actually, because at least it means that I don’t stay clogged up for too long. Of course though I’d rather have more normal bowel movements every single day. My consolation is that I’m not experiencing a lot of pain, so I won’t gripe much about non-perfect bowel movements.

Since no one was asking how I was, I told them

I live on my own and work from home, so I didn’t have family or friends checking up on me through the worst of this. So when I realized how much it was getting to me, and that all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and hide away from the world, I told someone. I reached out to a friend and let them know what was going on. Then I reached out to a few more friends and shared.

I didn’t tell them about all the IBS stuff – they didn’t need that part of the conversation and it wasn’t where I needed the help. I needed help with the emotional side of things from everything happening at once. So that’s what I told them about. I got sympathy. I got virtual hugs. And I’ll get real hugs in a couple of days when I catch up with one of my friends in person.

Already I’m starting to feel better

And I know that feeling better emotionally will also help my IBS. It may still take a little while until my IBS settles down, but at least I no longer feel alone.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed about something in your life, especially if it’s affecting your IBS, don’t wait for someone to ask how you’re doing. Tell them. Start a conversation. Get it all off your chest. And if you need help with something, ask.

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