I Choose to be Positive Through a Flare-Up
I make it a point to practice positivity daily like it’s a religion, especially while experiencing a flare-up. I actively do my best to react to any IBS-attack differently than I used to by practicing positive self-talk, tolerating the pain a bit more, and completing any task or activity to my best ability without allowing my mood to be affected. If it turns out I can’t complete a task at all, I’m not so hard on myself because I tried my best.
Before positivity, IBS controlled my life
Before, I would just complain about my symptoms any chance that I got and become frustrated every time IBS symptoms would interrupt my day. I would also allow the pain to make me a miserable person in any environment I was in, like at work or family/friend functions. I would choose to stay home or avoid social events altogether for a good chunk of my life. As a result, my family would be upset with me and I lost many good friendships overtime because I couldn’t help but wear my emotions on my sleeve. Then one day, I made the decision to not let my condition dictate my emotions anymore. I grew extremely tired of feeling miserable and depressed about my IBS-D, and even more worn out by giving it too much power over my life. I felt that If I’m going to be in pain every single day of my life, then why let that stop me from being happy and doing “happy things?”
Positivity takes time
Don’t get me wrong though, practicing positivity the way I do now has taken me years to develop, and I still haven’t completely mastered it. It has taken hundreds of hours of listening to positive messages, paying close attention to my habits, and actively trying to change those habits in order to recondition my mind. Think about it, I’ve spent almost thirty years thinking about life one way, and now I want to completely switch it around? So, it makes sense that it will take some time to change the way one thinks. The good news is that it doesn’t have to take thirty years, just some dedicated time and discipline, which has worked wonders for me in just a couple of years. And although practicing positivity daily doesn’t cure me from my condition, it does help me cope with it in a much more productive way.
Don't let IBS run your life
Recently, I went on a babymoon with my beautiful wife to Cancún, and overall, it was an awesome, stress-free experience. Going on the trip was my way of letting my condition know that it’s not going to run my life. Of course, I was somewhat nervous about the traveling experience because of the potential frequent bathroom trips and painful bloating. On the plane, I told myself repeatedly that no matter how many times I suffer from a flare-up, I’m still going to be happy regardless of the circumstances my condition puts me through. As expected, during my stay in Cancún my IBS-D certainly had its moments when it wanted to misbehave.
I’ll be honest, I definitely indulged while I was out in Cancún, which caused quite a few flare-ups during my vacation. There were moments I would keep my wife waiting to leave the room because I was busy in the bathroom taking forever on the toilet, but that never stopped us from being in a good mood the whole time. Despite the bit of inconvenience my IBS put us through, I was still able to maintain a sense of positivity and excitement throughout the vacation while dealing with my symptoms at the same time. This trip really confirmed to me that staying positive through my flare-ups will continue to make a big difference in my life.
So, if you’re ever going through a flare-up, or are anxious about the possibility of one, repeat this phrase to yourself: “I choose to be positive throughout a flare-up, no matter what, because my happiness depends on it.”
I hope this helps someone else as much as it has helped me!
Did you start experiencing IBS symptoms before adulthood?