The Importance of Patience
Ok, so we know IBS doesn’t ‘go away’. It may stay dormant for long periods, very long sometimes if we are really taking care of ourselves, but dormant. IBS cannot be cured. We know this, we live this and hopefully we’ve accepted it. Accepting is the hard part though, isn’t it. I find it hardest after I have done so well for so long and I get hit...hard. Was everything I’ve done in vain? Why try at all? I’m never leaving the house again. All of these things go through my mind when my stomach and IBS are causing me pain. Why? Because I have still not accepted that this is just a part of my life that needs to be constantly managed and that it probably will return at some point or other.
It's hard to be patient
My problem right now is that I can’t accept that this flare up will end. I am convinced that it will go on forever and I will be left in Hell. This is not true, and my stronger self knows this. As I have said countless times before, I am not a patient man. And this is what it really comes down to. Patience. Patience is one of the most important traits you can have to persevere through illness. You may say, just like me, that you are not a ‘patient person’. While it may be true that some people are more prone to that personality trait, patience can be cultivated and nurtured.
It’s hard to be patient when you are sick. Especially when the sickness does so much to your body and soul. You suffer in so many ways with IBS and of course it’s difficult to share much of what you’re going through with your loved ones, co-workers or other acquaintances. So you feel like you are left to suffer alone. When you approach something like this, like the lone wolf in the woods, you tend to ruminate. Rumination is the ruin of many a man and woman. We begin to think (and believe) the same negative thought process that runs through our heads, over and over and over again. Developing a patient, thoughtful, healthy perspective on your illness can replace the rumination and negative circle process. The trick is that you have to develop this world of patience when you are feeling like crap.
Practice patience and acceptance
It would seem like a good idea to tell yourself positive things like, ‘This won’t last forever. I will be fine’. If you are in the frame of mind where you actually believe this sunshine, then this might work for you. It does not work for me, because when I feel terrible, I just don’t believe it. It is far more helpful to accept that I feel the way I do and be ok with. By ‘ok’, I don’t mean good, I mean I am ready to live with it. By accepting the way things are in the moment, it alleviates thoughts of what ‘might be’, like how long this will last, will I ever feel good again and why me? Delving into the past or trying to see into the future causes an awful lot of trouble. By practicing patience and acceptance, you may find that you are not quite as overwhelmed. And...before you know it, it WILL be over.
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?