Tales From Planet IBS: Gun-Shy
I am prone to paranoia. Because I know that you are not interested in the inner workings of my personal psychosis, I will explain a slightly paranoid phenomenon that has occurred in relation to my life with IBS. Know what GUN-SHY means? I know you do...you’ve gone through an extremely unpleasant experience with something enough times that a momentary glimpse of the entity causes...uh...extreme apprehension. This is what I have been experiencing with regards to IBS and its nasty symptoms. For months I think that the next flare has arrive...even when it hasn’t. I’m always, ‘oh sh..t, it’s here again’. No...I just burped :-). Unfortunately, it has caused me to tip-toe through my life like I’m in some sort of weird minefield. I don’t want it and I don’t like it.
I’ve become so gun-shy that the first thought I have in the morning is ‘how is my stomach’? How do I feel? Has it come for me? What will today be like? How many days since the last one? This isn’t healthy. It’s called hyper-vigilance, which is sort of like when your fight or flight goes all sorts of haywire. You want to fight and flight and run around attending to things that aren’t really happening. This type of fear may SEEM helpful in a way because it does scare you into eating right, exercising and doing all the other things that will put you in the best position to avoid a flare. It is NOT GOOD because it is an unhealthy way to approach your daily existence. A little fear is good and very human. Being able to hold the fear and then move beyond it is the goal. Because of the really sneaky nature of IBS, it is the fear of the unknown that is most likely the thing that causes us the most trouble psychologically. In any case, the slightest rumbling in my tummy lately has caused me to jump to the conclusion that I’m going to be sick again. I’m aware of it and I’d like to try to find a way to break this cycle.
Living with IBS: Marathon, not a sprint
I believe I have to remind myself, once again, that living with IBS is a marathon and not a sprint. I also have to remind myself that I do not have control over everything and that it is imperative to let go of the NEED to be in control. I have my IBS game plan. I know what to eat and what not to. I know I need to take care of my mental health and keep my doctor’s appointments. I know when and how to exercise. I have done a lot work specifically related to IBS. I am as prepared as I can be and need not fear the unknown. No one knows what will happen tomorrow. It’s interesting the variety of things that IBS puts you through beyond the physical. I suppose INTERESTED is better than SCARED. We can only be strong and prepared for the next time it rains.Thanks for listening.
Do you have difficulties with setting boundaries and saying no?