Just This One Time…

For a long time now, I’ve been doing this yo-yo, back and forth dance with my IBS. I’ll do better for a few days and then not, a few weeks and I’m excited…then not.  My longest spell of ‘remission’ was about two months; little to no symptoms. The problem is that our lives are not static. We do not live in a vacuum. Because I like to journal, both for my mental health, as well as my dietary health, I’ve noticed a pattern. When I push myself too hard, whether it be at work, in my relationships or with goals I’m trying to accomplish, I notice that my IBS flares become not only more frequent, but more painful and extreme. The trick is finding a balance between living a challenging, fulfilling life and caring for our illness. A trick which is much, much easier mentioned than accomplished.

What’s a ‘just this one time’ situation?

As, I’ve said before, I am a social worker. Lately, I have felt pressed to not only take trainings and get certifications for my job, but also to take a part-time job as a mental health ‘Help Line’ worker. I have invested a lot of time and energy into advancing my knowledge of my job and my place in the community in which I work. A lot of us are put into this situation; it is not unique. The problem is, when you are constantly on the move, the dietary, therapeutic and physical activity aspects of our lives tend to fall by the way side. Well, those of us with IBS know exactly what that means. You are on the run…you need to grab something to eat, the food you have prepared for your IBS is at home and the hoagie on the way looks mighty good.  Just this one time…you think. You have to get the get the kids to school because they missed the bus, but you have an appointment in an hour and a half. Certainly not enough time to hit the gym…skip it. Just this one time… I don’t have enough money to buy the healthy food I need to create my IBS dietary masterwork, so, just this one time…we’ll buy what we want. You get the picture. All the ‘just this one time’ situations add up. What do they add up to? Pain and suffering, that’s what. So, how to slow down? How to take care of ourselves if we have lots that we want or need to do. I think it comes down to schedule and planning for the most part.

Because discipline and order are so important in the maintenance of IBS, if you find yourself too overwhelmed with other details in your life, you find disorder and indiscipline. Help yourself out, keep that journal with you at all times. We should all have a calendar and EVERYTHING we are supposed to be doing should be on that calendar. We need to find order and ‘the Way’ again. If we continue to burn the candle at both ends without taking a good hard look at what we are doing to our routine and our wellness, then we might end up in big trouble. Just some food for thought.

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