Sharing Your Story
One of the things I like most about my job working in social services, is that I very often get the chance to ‘share my story.’ You know, the story of my trials and tribulations in life; my struggle, man ;-) I have found this to be cathartic and useful in connecting with people that, very often, have a difficult time connecting or opening up. Sometimes the more we suffer in life, the more closed off we become. From what I have seen, though, some of the greatest relief we can get from the pain of illness is sharing with others. Tell your story and listen to someone else’s. It might be scary at first, but I have found, at least in my experience, that it works.
Sharing your story works
You might be saying to yourself, ‘I really don’t want to SHARE, it’s my business and it’s private.’ I used to be just like you. This was my cross to bear, MY journey. What ends up happening though is that we get to believing that we are the only ones who suffer. When we believe this, the suffering becomes more personal and correspondingly, more intense. I am by no means suggesting that we should all go shouting from the rooftops, only that we should consider what exactly our story is (good parts and bad), how to tell that story in a way that makes sense and who you might want to share that story with. Some of us might find we more comfortable sharing with strangers (perhaps on a cool website, like IrritableBowelSyndrome.net). Others may be more comfortable trying to be more open with family or friends. It really depends on the individual, and it really is up to you how much and with whom you share. It’s the sharing part that counts.
What you share is up to you
When I first heard about the therapeutic value of ‘sharing the story’, I was interested but really did feel it was sort of a scary proposition. I thought it was scary because I was under the impression that I had to share every little last sordid detail of my life. Being honest, I wasn’t really crazy about talking about the IBS situation very much at all. As you can tell, I’ve gotten over that… While it is incredibly important to be honest and direct, WHAT you share is entirely up to you. That’s the cool part. It is your story and you can tell it any way you want…as long as there is no lying…lol.
I started sharing with my therapist first, then some family and then colleagues and clients. I found that the more I did this, the more likely people were to open up to me, as well. This felt really good and I think this is the whole point. Having this sort of dialogue with other people brings clarity to our lives and makes it easier to see things as they truly are. With this sort of insight, managing illness and everyday problems becomes just this much easier. I’m not suggesting that this is going to be easy, but I think if you give it a try you might find it rewarding. Thanks for listening.
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?