IBS Journal Entry: February 2018

Every once in a while, I like to check in and say something about my life with IBS. How am I doing this month, this week or today? I’m tired of the roller coaster, that’s for sure. After changing my diet, going through periods of intense meditation and exercise, quitting drinking, quitting smoking…I cannot seem to find any consistency due to both my mental health and the IBS. It seems too much sometimes. In an effort to be transparent (this is my word for the month) I’ve found that the instability in my life has caused instability in my behavior. My behaviors, obviously, affect my health. How does one separate all the difficulties that life brings from the ongoing battle against illness? Do they have to all exist together, creating a constant atmosphere of chaos and lack of control? I’m pretty sure they don’t, but this is what I’ve been suffering over for a long time.

Life difficulties impacting IBS

Over the past year, I’ve lost my girlfriend, I’ve had extreme financial difficulty, I have pretty bad burn out from my social work job and I’ve had to leave friends behind in an effort to remain sober. I am working three jobs and caring for twin thirteen year old boys that have Autism and Asperger’s. THIS IS NOT A PITY PARTY. I am mentioning these things because all of that is going on while I deal with IBS and mental health issues. The times I’ve been most successful managing my IBS is when I have a very, very regimented routine. But as soon as something comes up to disrupt my ‘IBS Routine,’ the whole thing seems to come crashing down. It’s frustrating, disheartening and depressing. I am overwhelmed and when I am overwhelmed, my good behaviors turn not so good and I am thrown back into the world of sickness and woe. Can anybody relate? I bet most of you can, in your own way. All of the difficult things that I deal with are just life. I understand this intellectually, but my emotions tend to take control in a lot of cases.

Celebrate the wins and learn from the losses

I guess what I’m looking for is a way to not let the work that life involves interfere with my self-care. We always keep coming back to the idea of putting yourself first when you start feeling really sick. I’ve yet to grasp this concept. I have responsibilities and dreams. I have children I love and need to care and provide for. The thing is, is that ultimately, unless I DO put myself first sometime and I DO practice self-care, I will be no good to those who need me. I have my good days and bad. Good weeks and bad. Good months and…you get the picture. What I am trying to do now is to not look at things in terms of black and white. I want to be able to celebrate the wins and learn from the losses. This is my goal for the moment. I wonder what your goals are? I have no great wisdom to share today, no wellness tools or tricks, no wonder diet and no life tactics. I just have questions. I suppose without time for reflection and questions, we will just continue on the way we always have. So, I’m looking at this time as a good thing. Thank you for letting me share.

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