I'll Pay for it Later
Are you the type who is ok with ‘paying for it later?' I am not proud to say that I am one of these people. When I get stressed out, don’t feel good, am too tired or angry, I am very likely to say to myself, ‘I know what I am about to do will cause my IBS to flare up and I will be very uncomfortable (maybe in pain), but I don’t care because I want to feel better NOW.’ I have a tendency to think that I am the only one who struggles with what I would call ‘weak will.’ It is not ‘weak will;’ it is being human. Sometimes the desire for instant comfort or gratification gets out of control, but for discussion sake, let’s just stick with those normal moments of emotional struggle that cause us to make a bad decision regarding our IBS wellness.
These types of moments don’t typically happen when we have the IBS under control. They are much more likely to happen when we are on a good streak, have been feeling ok and feel as though we have things under control. Then life happens. The screaming kids, the mean boss, the husband or wife or boyfriend or girlfriend who SIMPLY DOES NOT GET IT… You know that I could go on for pages with all of the things that could put us near the edge of the, ‘screw it, I want Ben and Jerry’s.’ Or several cupcakes, a big ole’ steak with cheese, onions and lots of steak sauce, ribs, oh…let’s just go to Chili’s and have whatever we want. We’ve all got our things. If the emotional trouble we are suffering is bad enough, it may even cause us to go back to things like cigarettes, caffeine or alcohol that we may have spent a lot of time an energy to quit. It can be a dangerous place to be in.
So what do we do to not make bad decisions?
One tactic is to simply try to visualize EXACTLY what will happen should you make that choice. You know what it looks like, don’t you. I do. So go through it in your mind, the whole horrible, sordid, disgusting misadventure. Still feel like having those donuts? If you do, my best piece of advice I think (as a man who has quit almost everything a person can quit, at one time or another), is to simply WAIT IT OUT. Cravings like these do not last long. Don’t fight it, just let them be there. It may be 10 minutes maybe 20, but probably not much longer than that. So how do you wait it out. Realizing its only going to be 10-15 minutes, just go do something else for that time and tell yourself if you still want what you shouldn’t have, you can go for it. The fact is the 10 minutes will pass, the craving will at very least diminished and you will have had the time to think about the consequences. I don’t claim that this will always work, but give it a try the next time you want to aggravate your IBS. Finding your own way to manage this type of problem is also highly recommended, as what works for some, may not work for you. You owe it to yourself to at least give it a go.
Have you taken our IBS In America Survey yet?