A woman walks across a fire walk with a broken chain around her ankle and a ball with intestines behind her with the other half of the broken chain

It Gets Better

Last updated: May 2022

Just recently, I was invited to a birthday party at a farm. Since the pandemic, many people have gathered in creative venues to take advantage of fresh air and open spaces. In this case, my friend decided to throw her birthday bash at a local farm, complete with goats, chickens, and pigs.

Prepping for a birthday party

Upon receiving the invitation, I was excited to attend and couldn’t wait to celebrate with my friend. And then, to make things even more exciting, she casually mentioned that there would be a firewalk. Yes, the kind where you lay coal embers on the floor and walk across barefoot! I had to go to this party! How fun!

When I went home to tell my boyfriend to mark his calendar for Saturday because we had a firewalk birthday bash to attend, it suddenly dawned on me—will there be bathrooms? I mean, we will be at a farm. What will be the washroom situation? Porta-potties? Oh geez, and down the rabbit hole I went:

Should I go? What if I have an asymptomatic day that day? Will I have to cancel? I hate canceling. I really want to go and celebrate with my friend. I hope everything works out. But seriously, will there be clean bathrooms? What if there is only one porta-potty and I need to go. Will I have to pop a squat somewhere?...

Then I immediately thought: you know what, there is no purpose in overthinking this. I will just have to see how I feel the day and go from there.

The day before the event, I was very diligent with my food intake the day before. I only had my safe foods, and for dinner, I had fish which always is a safe food for me. So the day of the pa, I felt great and was eager to attend.

The party was great despite IBS

Turns out, I never even figured out where the bathroom was. I felt so great that day that my mind didn’t even think about the bathroom situation after I got ready to head out.  However, I did have to use the restroom during the party, and I just decided to pop a squat behind some foliage. I came prepared with wipes in my purse, and it couldn’t have worked out any better!

I only had to go to the bathroom once, and I had the absolute best time ever! The music was banging, the drinks were flowing, the food was amazing, and a fire dancer was doing some crazy moves next to the firewalk. It was the best time!

It didn’t hit me until I came home, however, that I was able to be in the moment and enjoy my time out with my friends for the first time in a long time. Socializing, laughing, drinking, eating. I never felt sick or anxious about having an accident. In over 10 years, it was the first time that I truly felt, well, normal. I got a bit emotional thinking about it.

It gets better

During this IBS journey, I felt like a prisoner and a slave to my bowels, and if you currently feel this way, I know exactly how you feel. It may take some time, but things do get better. With time you figure out your safe foods. You figure out what helps your digestion, whether it is probiotics, fermented foods, natural juices, or whatever, and you soon get into a groove with figuring it all out. I couldn’t believe how carefree I was at the party and how great I felt. So don’t think the bad and hard moments with IBS are infinite. It does get better. Things do improve. There is always hope.

Have you ever had a moment where you’ve felt somewhat normal at a social event? No anxiety about bathrooms and dealing with urgency? If so, share below!

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