Feeling Misunderstood and Lonely With IBS
Last updated: September 2022
Like many other people living with IBS, my symptoms started in quite a subtle way.
Every night, after dinner, I felt like I was 6 months pregnant. I was so bloated I could not bear to wear any kind of pants. I would not allow my partner to get close to me as I felt like a ticking bomb. I spent endless nights closed in our restroom in terrible cramping, feeling hopeless as it seemed that it was going to feel better soon, but it never happened. My gut was just stuck.
Opening up to people about IBS
It took a while in order to open myself up about this discomfort with my closest friends, and unfortunately, the answer has not been what I expected.
I was hoping for some kind of encouragement, understanding, or at least some support. But, all I have gotten has been, "Oh, I'm always bloated too. Don't worry." Or "Just size up your clothes!" I was lonely or, at least, I felt lonely.
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs where stress is being mythologized, I had the same kind of response from them. Nowadays, we are always in a rush, and being stressed is a kind of competition. The more you do, the better you are perceived by the outside world.
Feeling lonely with IBS
I was just desperate. The feeling of being alone on this was so consuming that I doubted my relationship, my friends of a lifetime, and my family.
As humans, we are social animals. When our little circle feels like it is collapsing, our world collapses. It was an endless nightmare. I had so much pain and was trying my best to eat what is usually considered very healthy. I felt worse and worse.
Stepping into action for my symptoms
It was time to take action and look for a solution by myself. Nobody was taking my condition seriously, my general practitioner (GP) included. I could not rely on anybody; hence I decided to get online and find the best gastroenterologist in my area and get a private consult.
I finally got a name for my issues: it was IBS. My doctor has been amazing. She has been respectful, understanding, and open to help, and giving me a clear guide on this new route.
Meditation and IBS
Along with her suggestions, I then decided to get back to the best activity ever: meditating. Meditation made me realize that it is ok not to be understood, that it's ok to walk to our path by ourselves, and that all we need is to trust our body and mind in order to improve our health.
Our gut is considered a "second brain" due to the number of nerves it is made of. If we manage to relax our brain, our gut will follow as a consequence, hopefully improving our IBS. Meditation is free and it does not require any tool. Plus, it can only add benefits to our lives. For me, it is really worth trying!
Once you get to understand and love yourself as you are, you will have your best friend forever by your side.
Another action that I took was to get online, where I found this amazing community. What a surprise! Even if I am a 9-hour flight away, there is a community with the same issues and concerns. I am not alone, you are not alone. Once we open genuinely, without fear, there's a whole new world outside.
Which of the following symptoms of IBS do you experience most frequently?