As a person who suffers from a debilitating condition, I can’t help but to have a sea of bad thoughts from time to time. There’s so much that goes through my mind that the thoughts alone hit me like a tidal wave. I have suffered from IBS for almost 9 years now, and throughout this journey I have gone through so many ups and downs that it’s hard to remain positive and optimistic 100% of the time. (Note: In this article I will be going down a bit of a dark road, but please bear with me. I promise there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.)
The tidal wave
The pain from my IBS gets to be too much at times, and the fact that I have to deal with it on a daily basis truly makes my life miserable. When this happens, I start to get really depressed to the point where I don’t want to be in my own skin anymore. I don’t mean I want to die; I just wish I had a new and healthy body to occupy to be able to do the things I want to do, when I want to do them.
Here is a list of a few bad thoughts I’ve had during my IBS-related depression episodes:
- I’m afraid I might push people away and end up alone because I wouldn’t want anyone else to accompany my misery.
- I’m afraid I’ll never have a satisfying career and I’ll be inhibited from following my dreams for the rest of my life.
- I’m afraid my kids will have IBS one day and will struggle worse than I am, which is horrifying.
- I still fear the judgement of others and what they think about my condition, which can make it hard to maintain friendships or make new ones.
- I’m afraid I’ll never be able to romance my wife the way she deserves (i.e. going out dancing or on special vacations), and that she’ll leave me one day (even though I know she won’t).
- Sometimes I feel like what’s going on with me and my IBS is a lot more fatal than what doctors and researchers lead on to believe.
- Sometimes I believe I won’t live a long, fulfilling life due to my IBS. It truly scares me that it will evolve into something worse and will lead me to have an early death… I’m just keeping it real folks.
One of the worst thoughts and feelings I’ve had is that I feel my IBS might shorten my lifespan because sometimes I feel like my body is deteriorating on the inside. What made it worse was when I heard about the untimely death of Mychael Knight, a celebrity fashion designer from Project Runway who also suffered from IBS. There’s no known cause to his death yet, but some assume it had to do with his condition because when he was alive he would describe the seriousness of his IBS symptoms. There are some theories being drawn that IBS can lead to a “leaky gut”, which can allow toxins to enter the blood steam, and that alone can cause a world of negative health problems that could potentially be fatal. My question is, what if eating so many gut irritating foods can cause a tear in the gut lining, therefore leaving room for possibility of dying from a perforated gut? That is scary as hell to think about.
Suiting up the armor
Where there’s fear, there is power. These are reasons why I fight every day to maintain a sense of optimism, eat healthy, and exercise when I can. I must keep on living the best way I know how, not only for my sake, but for my wife’s, and my future children. Now, we’re all human beings, so it’s perfectly normal to have a sea of bad thoughts from time to time. What matters most is how you get yourself out of the negativity and start doing something productive about it. Sometimes those thoughts or the lowest of our lows are all it takes to get us to ascend in life and become a better person. So, if any of you ever deal with a sea of bad thoughts, please remember the good things in life that are worth fighting for, and use that as your armor against the negative feelings. We’re all in this together, so remember to stay strong and keep up the great fight!