A close-up on a person walking out the front door of a row house, but they are stopped by a metal chain attached to their ankle and connected to something inside the house.

Just Trying To Leave The House with IBS

I’m just trying to leave the house, but something is holding me back. This seems to happen to me every time I decide or have plans to go out somewhere. I can barely put on all my clothes, let alone step one foot out the door before something stops me dead in my tracks and drags me to the bathroom... again. Better yet, I can hardly get off the toilet seat let alone have the energy to put on the rest of my clothes when I’m done. That something is my invisible chronic condition, also known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). That’s right. No matter what the occasion or where I’m going, my IBS makes leaving my house a huge challenge.

My IBS affected my ability to work

My IBS issues became the most noticeable when I had to leave the house for work. When I had to go to work or a work-related event, my IBS consistently made it difficult for me to make it anywhere on time. Unfortunately, if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, then you’re most likely allergic to stress. At the time, everything related to my past jobs, let alone life in general, involved a lot of stress that I didn’t necessarily want or know how to deal with (for many reasons).

Due to the mind-gut connection, my IBS was able to pick up on it instantly and automatically. Did anxiety also play a role? It sure did. Anxiety and stress seem to go hand in hand, so it’s very hard for my IBS not to react or get triggered from either. Also, I always hated the embarrassment and awkwardness of having to explain to my past bosses why I was late and absent so much. Who else can relate to that? So, yes, leaving my home to make it to work was always a struggle.

Family, friends, and my IBS

Unfortunately, spending time with family or close friends doesn’t keep my IBS tame either. When I would make plans with friends to go to a party or out in general, my IBS would either make me take too long “getting ready” or cancel plans altogether. “Getting ready” was what I would usually use as an excuse whenever my friends would call or text me regarding why I was taking so long to meet them. When really, I was on the toilet in pain trying to rush, but I couldn’t find the courage to be honest about my embarrassing struggles with my friends at the time. Sometimes I would even cancel last minute saying I was too tired from work to go out.

My excuses weren’t that different when it came to family functions either. Sometimes when my family would make plans to get together, my IBS would make me do 1 of 3 things:

  1. Show up late.
  2. Be there on time but leave earlier than they would want me to.
  3. Cancel last-minute.

In other words, my IBS pulls me back home like a magnet and makes it so hard to want to leave or stay out long enough to have a good time sometimes.

Leaving the house with IBS

Leaving the house can be difficult for so many reasons due to having irritable bowel syndrome, and it can be so hard to explain why in words let alone in a few sentences. Do you think people really want to waste their time on either hearing or talking about a chronic condition and the embarrassing symptoms that come with it? Well, you’re here reading this, so I guess some people are interested. But for most people – the fact that it’s hard for me to walk, stand, or sit sometimes because my anus hurts so much, or I have intense gas pain that won’t go away – they’d rather not hear. I highly doubt people would want to hear or talk about that to coworkers, acquaintances, or even some family members. I know this because I’ve experienced it.

Also, people don’t have time for that and would much rather just go about their business than hear about someone else’s personal problems. Not everyone likes to talk about things that seem miserable and no one really likes to dwell in those things either. Just being honest and realistic here. So, it can be very difficult to even try to open the conversation. However, it is my truth. A truth that is inappropriate to talk about in certain social settings, I get it. It might be easier or best to just seek the proper space or platform to discuss such a topic (like here).

Nonetheless, can any of you relate to my story? Do you find it hard just trying to leave your home due to your IBS, or any other chronic condition? Please feel free to share it in the comment section below. Thanks!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The IrritableBowelSyndrome.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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