The Ongoing Experience of IBS

Generally speaking, when I write about my experience with IBS, I would like it to be helpful in some way. Whether it be cathartic, informative, inspirational etc, it doesn’t matter, but I would generally like to stay in the positive realm. That said, I’ve found lately that I’ve become frustrated by the fact that I feel as though it (IBS) never goes away. Even when I’m not in the throes of a full blown attack, I find I’m always thinking about something IBS related, trying desperately to feel normal. I have found this type of thinking sort of ebbs and flows, but I’m sort of sick of the flows…hmm. A particular experience caused this mood today and as per usual, I would like to share in the hopes that someone out there might not feel so all alone in this struggle with IBS.

When IBS dictates your life…

OK, so we’ve discussed the particularly grueling aspect of ‘IBS in the morning.’ I’ve relayed that I have a terrible time in the morning and therefore, try very hard to arrange my morning schedule around the IBS. See, once again IBS is dictating a certain portion of my life and honestly, I just don’t like it. I have talked about acceptance and release and management and coping, but sometimes I just can’t. I don’t have the energy. I suppose it becomes about resilience and getting back on the horse once something negative happens, but we are only human. In any case, I have a monthly meeting for work that I must attend at 8am. Now, 8am may not seem that early to many of you, but it is for me. Not to mention the hour commute beforehand and all the IBS nonsense that I have to deal with before I leave for work. Needless to say, this meeting is never fun for me (are meetings ever ?), but not only are they not fun, they are very often; painful.

My boss is there, his boss is there, all of my co-workers…and in that hour I just never really feel very well and would like to be at least somewhat alone, so I can take care of my ‘business’ in private. Well, when you’re expected to participate, be engaged and attentive, it’s kind of hard to just do your own thing. So…I sit…sometimes in extreme, discomfort, waiting, counting the minutes until the meeting is over. Why, you may ask, do I just not excuse myself to use the restroom, why you may ask, am I being so ashamed and stubborn? For one thing, the BATHROOM is in the room we have our meeting in…see part of my dilemma? Yup, it sits right there in earshot of everyone in the room. Sucks, doesn’t it? So, I sit and I suffer until I feel like my guts are going to explode…and I realize in these moments how terrible IBS is and how much I hate it. I’m sure you have moments like this as well.

The point of this story is not to make anyone feel worse or feel bad for me or anything like that. It’s about the fact that this all doesn’t go well all the time, regardless of the time, work and energy that we put into keeping ourselves well. There are just times, well, when it is just simply out of our control. I guess, realizing this and accepting it is a start. Thanks for listening.

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