Don’t Lose Hope
IBS is hard. And when things get severe, it truly can consume your life and make you feel like there is no hope left. No hope of ever feeling better. No hope of seeing yourself be spontaneous again, or able to travel without a care in the world, or able to be free from anxiety while out in public. IBS has a way of sucking hope out of our systems.
I know the struggle of IBS
I was diagnosed with IBS and Crohn’s Disease in 2011. I know what it’s like to feel hopeless. IBS is hard enough on its own, but add a digestive disease on top of it and sometimes it becomes too much.
Believe me, I know the struggle. I know how exhausting it is to go to and from the bathroom, ALL day long. There have been times where I have brought a pillow into the bathroom so I could sleep on the floor because I was just too exhausted with the back and forth.
I know what it’s like to have an accident in public. To feel the shame of having to clean yourself up and try to continue your day afterward. I know what it’s like to be plagued with anxiety. Long car ride? No thank you. Traveling by plane? I don’t think I can even attempt that right now. A spontaneous trip to the beach? Oh no, wait I need time to prepare. I need to pack essentials, make sure I have food I can eat. Oh, but what if I need to use the restroom? Urgh. Forget it, I don’t want to go, it’s too complicated.
IBS is unpredictable
IBS, unfortunately, has its way of creeping into our mindset and changing it for the worst. I used to be mentally very healthy. Thankfully I’ve always had great self-esteem, pretty much no fears or anxiety and I had never been depressed before. After my diagnosis, all that changed.
When you are plagued with symptoms every single day, your mindset gets weary. We are human, it is something that just happens. Goodness, we get tired. We get exhausted. We start to lose hope. Fear, anxiety, depression all start to well up inside of us. Our health is being severely compromised and in turn, our minds tend to follow. Will we ever get out of this?
Well, I am here to tell you: DON’T LOSE HOPE! I repeat DON’T LOSE HOPE!
Do not lose hope
Hope is essential. Hope is what keeps us going. Hope is what pushes us to continue moving forward and continue trying. At my worst, I weighed about 82 pounds, was extremely malnourished, anemic, and plagued with horrible abdominal pain and constant urgency. I started to lose hope. I started to wonder if this was it. If this was how my life was going to be forever. But then something inside of me snapped. I said no. I started to cling hard to hope. I started to meditate and pray and speak hope into my life. Speak healing and strength.
I pushed doctors to help me. I pushed myself to learn more about what I could do for myself. And sure enough, I got out of the ditch. My doctor found a medication that finally worked for me after 9 years of suffering. And I am now feeling the best I’ve ever felt since my diagnosis in 2011.
So don’t lose hope. There is always the chance to improve. There is always the hope of landing on a new treatment that works. Believe in the promise of improvement. Believe that one day you will be better than you are today. Press on warrior, press on.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?