Skills I’ve Developed Because of My IBS

Hey IBS community! Let’s have a positive, light-hearted conversation about IBS. Turn that frown upside down! Although I’m suffering from tremendous pain right now–my back hurts, my bottom hurts, and my anxiety is pretty high–I choose to fight these negatives and be optimistic about life. Let’s try to look at the bright side of this horrible thing we call IBS.

When you have lived with IBS for as long as I have, you tend to develop some transferrable skills. For example…

I pay great attention to detail. I can spot and locate all of the restrooms in a place of business. I’m like 007, spying from every corner, watching every single movement in and out of the restroom, listening to every toilet flush. I’m also getting pretty good at guessing how many toilets there are in a restroom before I even enter it. (Hint: Depends on the shape and size of the building and restroom door. You’re welcome.)

OK, on to my next skill…

Patience. This was a skill that took a lot of developing. For example, because I struggle with constipation sometimes, I’ve learned to be patient and wait for good things to happen. I like to think of it as waiting for a “brown-load to download”. I know, I know. Again, disgusting (or hilarious). However, having this skill is important because I’ve learned that rushing the process only makes things worse. So, in the meantime, pull out a magazine, respond to some emails on your phone, play a game, or watch a video. Whatever you do, just be patient and wait for that brown-load to download, baby. (Hess, must you talk this way? Sheesh!)

Here’s another skill…

Teamwork. Before, I used to fight with my IBS. I would eat and drink horrible things that would make my IBS upset. I would dwell in negativity and stress my IBS out even more. I used to yell at my IBS and, in return, it would kick me in the gut and bring me to my knees. The list goes on and on. However, we have developed a love-hate relationship over the years. Now I do my best to work with IBS by eating the right things and doing whatever it takes to be in a mentally good place. It will still have its stubborn moments, but we’re still learning to work together.

I know what you’re thinking, some of these skills sound ridiculous, but it was only to put a smile on your faces because we all know how miserable it can be living with this horrible condition. We can’t always control how we feel, but, to some extent, we can control how we react, so let’s be happy regardless of any pain and suffering. I know, easier said than done, but what is stopping you from at least trying? I believe our minds are our greatest muscle, and with the right training, we can overcome a lot.

Share your skills

Have you developed any skills due to your IBS? For example, are you more punctual? Do you set a bathroom schedule to make sure you’re always on time? How about honesty? Are you more honest now than you were before because of living with this horrible condition? Better yet, have you become a better problem solver? What if you’re in the middle of nowhere and you have to use the restroom? What do you do? You know, living with IBS, you’ll go through some crazy/embarrassing experiences, and you’ll learn a lot from them. It’s also a matter of perspective, and how you choose to view this situation can either make you or break you. Personally, I prefer not choose the latter.

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.