IBS Journal Entry: Positives & Negatives
Every couple of months I like to share how I am doing with my struggle with IBS and my other illnesses (gastritis, ulcers, bi-polar disorder, anxiety disorder). I have others…just lucky I guess 🙂 The reason I like to share from time to time is that from reading an awful lot of comments on IrritableBowelSyndrome.net, I’ve come to realize so many of us have so much in common. The trying and failing, the trying and winning, the anxiety, the development of willpower and strength. Having and managing IBS is definitely a roller coaster ride. Wouldn’t you agree? Not a particularly fun roller coaster ride…but you get my point. And so, without further ado, this is how I am doing as of April 2018.
Let’s start with the positive. After many months of struggle to learn about IBS and how my body and mind interacts with it, I really do feel as though I know how to ‘manage it’ for the most part. I accept the things that I can’t change but know that my diet is effective (GFCF Diet/FODMAP elements). I know without a doubt that the ONLY thing I should be drinking is water and herbal tea. For me, this sorta sucks, since I love coffee and I love wine. But, I digress. To round out my recipe for a tolerable life with IBS, I’ve got my gym, my therapist, my team of doctors and support. If life existed in a vacuum, I think I would be just fine. But life changes almost daily and my IBS ‘routine’ is very often disrupted.
I am dealing with incredible stress due to my job, finances and my personal relationships. I am in a period of intense change. It’s scary and when you become overwhelmed with these types of elements in your life you tend to become unfocused and undisciplined. Well lack of focus and discipline is Hell for your IBS. You (I!) let the diet lapse for a week because I wanted to save money at the grocery store. I skip the gym because I am tired from working too much. I work too much because my social worker job doesn’t pay much and this causes me a lot of stress, so, there are nights that I will have a drink (or 3) to settle my nerves. You see the pattern. I am absolutely not looking for sympathy, perhaps empathy, but not sympathy. I know that there are those of you out there that struggle with much worse. But, that’s sort of the point of this ‘sharing time.’ I need everyone to know we are all in this struggle together.
As I become increasingly educated about IBS, I have come to realize that IBS truly is a spectrum disorder. I really didn’t know how bad it was for some people. Mine is…umm…mid to lower spectrum for the most part. That said, I can only try to offer my two cents and be as empathetic as I can be. Anyway, the struggle continues and I think my advice for the moment can only be ONE DAY AT A TIME, ONE MOMENT AT A TIME and please, LOVE YOURSELF. I’m getting all misty over here… 😉 Talk again, soon.