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Why I Love and Hate the Holidays

I’ve got to be honest. The holidays are around the corner and I’m kind of excited! As an IBS sufferer, I tend to have a love/hate relationship with the holidays. I guess I’m currently going through the “love” phase because I cannot stop feeling the holiday spirit when I think about spending time with my beautiful family on Thanksgiving and Christmas. On the other hand, there’s also a part of me that knows there’s a good chance that I might not be able to show up to the holiday festivities depending on how my IBS wants to behave. That’s the part about the holiday season that I hate because my IBS is so unpredictable. In this article, I’m going to discuss what I love about the upcoming holidays, but also what I hate about the holiday season as an IBS sufferer.

Food and holiday spirit

Thanksgiving is a tricky holiday to get excited about sometimes because it mainly revolves around food, and GREAT food at that! My favorite dish is Mac and Cheese, and unfortunately, it’s the main dish I can’t have much of or else I’ll be claiming the porcelain throne for the rest of the night. Nonetheless, the food is my favorite part about Thanksgiving because my family and I decide to have an annual cook-off to see who makes the best dish. Trigger foods or not, I’m going to try (at least a little of) whatever I lay my eyes on because my family really puts their “T.L.C.” (tender, love, and care) into their creations. However, as I mentioned before, my Thanksgiving experience all depends on my IBS during that time. If the festivities can be done at my house, then that will make things easier because I’ll be in the comfort of my own home. But if the festivities are elsewhere, and not close to home, my anxiety can get the best of me, therefore making it hard to step foot outside of my house. Nevertheless, every year I try my best to make it to my family’s event, and try not let that stop my holiday spirit from shining.

Christmas is almost just as tricky as Thanksgiving because food is also an integral part of the holiday. However, for this celebration we don’t focus on competing with one another, so it’s safe to say that the food won’t be as exciting to eat as it would be on Thanksgiving. What I truly love about Christmas is the holiday-spirit-build-up. For instance, the Christmas lights on houses, putting up the Christmas tree, the snow sticking to the ground and leaves of trees, and last but not least – the Christmas movies. Being an 80’s baby, my favorite movies are Home Alone 1 and Home Alone 2. Watching these movies at ANY time of the year brings me back to my childhood memories and just automatically flips the switch for me, and I’m easily right into the Christmas spirit. Watching Kevin McCallister trick those robbers with his ingenuity is always hilarious and entertaining to me.

The holiday fight

The only thing that can possibly ruin the holiday season is, of course, my IBS. It could keep me from attending a family function or it could make me so weak that I would have not enough energy to even cook my famous Thanksgiving dish, for example. This time of year can be quite a challenge, but it can also be filled with lots of love and happiness if you’re willing to fight through the pain. I know this time I’m going to put up a bigger fight because I’m tired of missing out on spending valuable time with my loved ones. I plan to have a great time, and I wish the same for all of you. Happy Holidays!

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.

Comments

  • selenatr
    1 year ago

    I am not looking forward to the Holidays. I will eat but pay the price later. I make sure I plan on eating the foods I want on my days off. Its so hard to enjoy anything with having IBS. I was diagnosed 19 years and it don’t get any easier. Hopefully one day I can eat without pain.

  • HessP moderator author
    1 year ago

    Hi, selenatr

    I’m so sorry to hear that! I can totally relate because my IBS tends to go bananas during the holidays and it can be no fun. Nonetheless, it’s good that you strategize how and when you’re going to eat the foods you want because I don’t believe in allowing IBS to control one’s life (as long as we’re moderate with it, of course). I, too, hope one day you, and the rest of us IBS sufferers, can eat without pain. Stay strong and please know we’re always here for support.

    Best,
    Hess (IrritableBowelSyndrome.net Team Member)

  • jonnidavid
    1 year ago

    I am looking forward to Christmas. I sat out Thanksgiving due to stomach issues and stress. This week I’m doing pretty good. I carry Imodium and extra clothes. I can’t help what my body does, so people around me just know and don’t talk negatively to me. My gson also has Gastroparesis so we are in it together. If they say something negative he gets mad. God love him.

  • HessP moderator author
    1 year ago

    Hi, jonnidavid

    I’m so sorry to hear that you sat out Thanksgiving this year. Please know you are not alone. I, too, had to celebrate Thanksgiving at my own home with a few loved ones this year because I knew my IBS couldn’t handle celebrating it anywhere else. It’s important that we do what’s best for us when we need to and it’s great to know you have your grandson to advocate for you! It’s certainly not easy living with this disease and having a support system is more than anyone can ask for sometimes. Thank you for sharing and please know we’re all in this together.

    Best,
    Hess (IrritableBowelSyndrome.net Team Member)

  • saracouch123
    1 year ago

    I’m sooo not looking forward to it I’m scared that I won’t have a appetite or will be hurting and will just want to hang out in my bed with my heating pad away from family how do you explain why you can’t eat or why you have to stay in your room?IBS man i’ll never understand

  • JudyStaed
    1 year ago

    I feel your pain…literally. I dread the holiday season. It is next to impossible to make people understand what you are feeling…the pain and misery. I think many people tend to view one with this condition as just being neurotic. It leaves a person feeling so alone and that is certainly not a good or cheery feeling. I never want to try to make plans with anyone because I never know what that morning will bring. I could be totally constipated but the next day I could get diarrhea all day long. With either side I just feel sick. I get so weary of battling this monster. What I do try to do is that when I feel a little better…when I can enjoy any aspect of life I throw myself into it and live in that moment. Anyway, I want you to know that I totally understand. You do not suffer alone.

  • HessP moderator author
    1 year ago

    Hi, JudyStaed!

    Thank you so much for reading and being able to relate to my story. You’re right – IBS is very difficult because I, too, get very exhausted and very anxious sometimes not knowing what’s going to happen the next day. However, like you said, if it turns out to be a decent day, I take advantage of it as much as my body can handle. For instance, I’ll exercise, go for a walk, go on a date with my wife, etc. It’s great to know there are others who truly understand. Thank you for not making me feel alone and please know we’re always here for support as well. Stay strong and positive!

    Best,
    Hess (Author and IrritableBowelSyndrome.net Team Member)

  • Chris Hall moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi, saracouch123 – this community hears you on that. The holidays can be really difficult. I wanted to share our ‘Holiday Survival Guide’ with you, and I hope you find it helpful! https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/surviving-holiday-festivities/. We’re so glad you’re part of our community, and I hope your holidays turn out out to be the exact opposite of the worries you’ve described. Take care! – Chris, IrritableBowelSyndrome.net Team Member

  • saracouch123
    1 year ago

    thank you so much hopefully this will come helpful!

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