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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.

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


  • JudyStaed
    1 year ago

    Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story. Dealing with IBS can be a very long and lonely walk. Like you I suffer with alternating times of loose bowels but then can go days of being constipated. Beyond that, though, is the incredible bloating I get. By night I just suffer so with the buildup of gas that I can’t pass. I hate to try to make any plans. I do tend to hide myself away and yet I so enjoy being with people and socializing. I totally understand how stress can make it all so much worse. I suddenly and with no warning lost a friend from childhood. Her death was a hard blow to me and I am just SO much worse. It’s not that I’m not trying to come to terms with this loss…it’s that once the stress has grabbed hold of my digestion it takes so long to calm down again. Only someone who deals with this monster of IBS can truly understand the life alternating agony it can cause. Just know that you are never alone. Others in the group totally understand…I am one of them.

  • DorisE
    1 year ago

    As a newbie I see there are many articles, comments, conversations that I would like to read all of them…. about the conversation above I am glad that you reached out and received some emotional help.
    For me, maybe I am too open with my small family and few friends – and have told them what happens with the IBS-D – but I did agree to call it “stardust” instead of diarrhea!
    Some people just cannot deal with talking about bodily fluids!
    It’s strange how each member of my family shows their support, as do my few friends.
    Sharing my plight (hell) with older neighbours etc., now they feel comfortable telling me about their, e.g. urine incontinence, etc. etc. After all, I tell them, it is “just” food we have eaten and liquids we have swallowed…. So I try and lighten it up a bit, but honestly I am at the end of my rope with IBS-D plus other illnesses. So, am hoping to look at all the comments and hope that I can find some help here and/or offer something that might help others, although at this point I am not very “positive.” All illnesses, pain, physical, emotional, can be so hard to cope with – is it “worse” because we cannot “prove” we have a physical problem? I feel it is, and my hope is that one day the medical community will find out the root cause for this and many other illnesses. Thanks for reading and thanks for this site.
    Female, age 74, IBSd sufferer for twenty years.

  • Chris Hall moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi @dorise – welcome to our site! We’re so glad to have you here. I’m really glad that you and your neighbors can speak candidly about your conditions. Open communication can be so helpful. I think the medical community is starting to grasp the notion that IBS is very much a problem and that it’s a real problem. I know you mention that you’re not feeling very positive now, but I sincerely hope that you can build connections with others on this site that know how hard IBS is. Thanks so much for sharing! Please let us know if there’s any information we can help you find. – Chris, Team Member

  • Rcosel
    1 year ago

    So true that it helps to get emotional support – and we dont even have to say exactly what is bothering us. just reach out and feel less alone. if no one is available i write in a journal – stream of consciousness – i can always be there for me and it helps to recognize that.

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