A man looking envious sits on a blanket under a tree in a park while other people around him take naps, do yoga, and eat food around him on their respective blankets.

Jealous of People Without IBS

I am not a perfect person and I don’t pretend to be. As much as I share the good, I also share the bad, and therefore I try to find the balance between the two. In my articles, I aim to be raw, honest, and aware because I feel that allows me to create that balance.

Well, in this piece, I would like to share the difficulty of living with IBS through the lens of being jealous of others. But I would also like to show that being aware of my jealousy of people without IBS allows me to work on this imperfection of mine by changing my perspective. Here are some of the ways that I’m jealous of other people that don’t have IBS (or any other chronic invisible illness):

I get jealous of people who get more sleep than me

I can’t stress enough the lack of sleep I get due to my anxiety, back pain, and IBS. These three have a great friendship because they seem to follow each other wherever one or the other goes. And if one of them isn’t around, then at least two of them are always hand-in-hand.

I have experienced anxiety and back pain throughout my life, but they’ve worsened due to having irritable bowel syndrome. So, unfortunately, when I go to bed at night, it’s hard to stay both mentally and physically comfortable. I have worrisome thoughts, lower backaches, and sharp stomach pains that would keep a bear up during hibernation season. Sometimes when I’m having trouble sleeping, I look over at my wife and son and envy the fact they get to fall asleep right away, but also can’t help but admire their peaceful faces and be happy for them at the same time. I would never want anyone to go through the battles I face with IBS, not even my worst enemy.

I get jealous of people who get to eat without worry

Frankly, I wanted to initially say that I get jealous of those who get to eat without consequence. However, that statement would be misleading because many people, whether they have IBS or not, eat with consequences. However, those consequences last longer and hurt much worse for those of us with IBS, or other chronic digestive illnesses. Therefore, I, instead, envy those who can eat without worry because the consequences will only last for so long. When I eat a certain food, I have to be concerned about the longevity of the pain and how it could negatively affect certain areas of my life, like work and/or social.

I get jealous of people who get to lead a more functional lifestyle than me

For instance, many people get to travel, work, and exercise with ease. My IBS makes it difficult for me to do all of those things. I have to push myself 10x harder than I would if I wasn’t dealing with this condition. Unfortunately, this condition not only makes me feel physical pain, anxiety, and depression, but it also adds jealousy to the mix. I am aware that comparing myself to others, or even my past-self is never the right thing to do nor the solution to any problem. And because I am aware of that, I know I have the power in my hands to control this emotion and not let it last for long. The power is in perspective.

Learning to change my perspective

So, on those rough nights when I can’t sleep and my family can, at least I’ll be awake knowing that they’re safe and sound. Also, when I can’t sleep, I try to do something productive, like writing or reading, that will hopefully and eventually tire me out, so that way I’m not just wasting time with my life by lying in bed. And those moments when I can’t enjoy any kind of food I want, I learn to appreciate that I am at least minimizing the chances of suffering from a possible flare-up. Plus, the food I usually want to eat isn’t always best for my overall health anyway.

Basically, instead of being upset and jealous of others for an indefinite amount of time and for whatever reason, I choose to learn from that perspective and create a new one that empowers me with appreciation and control over my life. As I mentioned in the beginning, I am not perfect, and therefore I try to share both the good and bad. So, consider this article almost like a 10-second snapshot of how I am currently feeling right now because I know that this jealousy phase will eventually fade like the wind.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my article and allowing me to share my perspective on showing how difficult it can be living with IBS through the lens of jealousy. If any of you can relate to being envious of others because they can do things you can’t due to your condition, then please comment below and let us know!

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