How Much Do You Trust Yourself?
Last updated: November 2017
Dealing with IBS and its multiplicity of corresponding troubles can be extraordinarily overwhelming. We know that the right thing to do is to seek out support for our illness in the form of doctors, dieticians, therapists, family and friends. The problem is, each of these support mechanisms will provide their own thoughts, theories, opinions and instructions for your recovery from illness. Too often, we become immersed in advice and instruction and find ourselves leaning on everyone but ourselves for support, comfort, guidance and survival. We begin to lose sight of the inner strength needed to trust ourselves and our decisions regarding our wellness. When this occurs, we may feel lost when there is no one there chirping advice in our ear. We need to learn to trust ourselves, our actions and choices again.
The purpose of support is simply that: SUPPORT. This does not mean that your support ‘team’ gets to steer the boat. Each of the people on your support team has a role. While your GI doctor’s job is to evaluate how best to treat your IBS or other GI related issues, it is not necessarily their job to help you manage anxiety and stress related symptoms that often accompany IBS. That is what a therapist is for. And while a therapist may provide the natural psychological tools for managing day to day, they are probably not the one prescribing the medication. That would be the psychiatrist. You get the picture. All of these people play a role in your recovery but you are the director and star of the show. When you lose the ability to trust yourself and your decision making capacity, you have all of these folks playing their roles but with no direction or organization…because the director has decided they can’t trust themselves to make choices. The ability to regain your self-trust can only come through ACTION. If you are just sitting on the couch feeling bad and waiting for someone to give you more instructions, you probably are in for a pretty rough time. Get up, get busy and start re-building a trusting relationship with the most important member of your support team; YOU.
You are the director of the play
The more you are involved in your own recovery from illness, the more you will begin to trust yourself again. I say again, because you most likely trusted yourself to some degree or other before the illness came. The combination of physical pain, stress and uncertainty about just what to do about your illness, causes your self-belief and self-esteem to suffer and correspondingly; your self-trust. By choosing actions that you believe will be best for your wellness you will increasingly feel more personally involved in your recovery. The simple act of making choices and following through will work wonders. Even if your choice is a bad one…it was YOUR choice. You have control. Then there will come a day when you make an excellent choice completely on your own. This is when the self-belief and self-trust begin to show themselves in your daily life and the choices that we continually make. Please, let your support team provide guidance, because especially from a clinical point of view, they probably know better in some purely medical issues. But advocate for yourself, let the people who are supporting you know what works for you and what doesn’t. Be an active participant, be the director of the play. You will feel much more empowered as you move forward towards a happier, healthier you.
Which of the following symptoms of IBS do you experience most frequently?