Showing Self-Compassion in Our IBS Journey
Being one who suffers from IBS, you know that the majority of your life honestly revolves around IBS. It could be planning a trip and making sure you know where the best places to stop for restroom breaks are. Going to the family’s house and making sure you don’t eat anything might set your gut off. Or just trying to manage the best you can to be a good parent. What we tend to forget is ourselves. I know worrying about IBS is part of us, but not the real person. From personal experience, I know I tend to neglect myself.
Remembering self-compassion with IBS is tough
It is so easy to throw our needs on the back burner while tending to everyone else to make sure they have what they need, are happy, healthy, and thrive in life. While we quite literally suffer in silence because that’s all we know. Don’t wait until you break.
Being me means doing whatever I can to make those around me feel happy. Work, family, or friends, it doesn’t matter. If I can make your life easier, I will do what I can. This has caused my mental health to decline over the years without me even noticing slowly.
I had found what I thought was my dream job. I loved my bosses and co-workers and truly would and did anything for them. What I didn’t realize at the time was how much I was suffering while I was thriving in my workplace, moving from a temp to the receptionist, to office assistant, then to office manager in a few years. Most of this was due to my work ethic and needed to help others.
I still love those I worked with and for at this place. I set myself up for failure, though, by just being me. While working in this place, I lost my Daddy. They were amazing and let me take time off but losing him hit me hard. I realized then that my family and my health meant more to me than anything. I didn't want my daughter to go through what I did by losing my parent at 30.
Your health matters, too
I slowly began to realize all the responsibility I had taken on, without pay increases, and with all the stress involved that I was the one that needed help. Having a great job with those I really loved was not worth the toll it took on my mental and physical health. I could not take the time to focus on myself and my healing because I was too worried about doing the wrong thing or messing up at work. I am a perfectionist in the workplace, and this was my downfall.
I finally broke. It took me needing surgery, and my boss was unwilling to let me off due to her being upset with me over something small. This was what it took for me to finally see that I was worth it and that I needed to do something for myself for once.
In my 35 years, I left on good terms for every job I ever left. I made sure there was a notice, I helped train, which was taking over for me, and I did whatever I could to help. I left that day. I stood up and advocated for myself and walked out of a job I had loved more than any other I have had because I realized I deserved better.
So do you. Don’t forget to take care of yourself while you are focusing on others. You matter too!
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?