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Why I Don’t Regret My IBS-D

One day I was watching an old interview of Richard Pryor, and he was asked how he felt about his multiple sclerosis. His response was something I’ll never forget. He said it was a “gift” because it made him “stop, think, and take a breath.” Man, that was so powerful and resonated with me profoundly.

Miserable with IBS

When someone suffers from a debilitating condition, it can be hard to see the good in it. For the most part, you only see the bad because the condition puts you through horrible pain and circumstances on a consistent basis. For instance, because of my IBS-D, I had to drop out of college and lost many jobs. It was hard for so long to develop a career, and due to this experience, I began to feel very depressed and miserable about my life, which only heightened my symptoms even worse. I would get frequent IBS attacks because my stress and depression along with my diet would always trigger my symptoms. At the time, I felt like my life was so unfair and difficult that I contemplated suicide more than once for a short phase. “How could I be optimistic about anything in my life with this condition”, is what I always asked myself. Until one day, I was forced to make a change…

Positivity: change the way I perceived IBS

Plain and simple, the change I was forced to make was the way I perceived my condition and circumstances. It took my support system (certain friends and family), many motivational speeches, and certainly some major willpower to help me find a sense of positivity and control through the turmoil I was experiencing with my health. Taking responsibility for my own health was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. If it wasn’t for my condition, I don’t know if I would have ever taken my health, let alone myself, seriously. And if I don’t take myself seriously, then how can I expect anyone else to? I realized, because of my IBS, that I am important, and I should always put myself before any job, school, or anything and anyone – period. I say that because if I don’t feel 100%, then how can I ever expect to give 100%?

“stop, think, and breath”

Similar to what Richard Pryor said, I feel, to some extent, that my IBS-D is a gift because it made me realize how important my health is over anything else. If my health isn’t made a priority, then everything else in my life also becomes hard to manage. Once I took initiative in finding ways to be a healthier person, listen to my body, and pursue a career that truly served my purpose (helping others), I felt I was arming myself with the right defense against my condition. As a result, I felt stronger mentally and physically, which in turn aided in my happiness about myself because I finally felt a sense of control. Like Pryor, I too feel like throughout this journey that I have been able to “stop, think, and breath,” and truly take a different look at my life with a new set of lenses.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.