Things I Miss From Before I Had IBS
When I was a teenager, I was able to do so much (i.e. work, play sports, go to parties, etc.) that I felt a sense of liberation because I felt like nothing could ever, and would ever hold me back; not my health, not my mind, not anything. However, the older I got, things gradually began to change. I developed IBS in my early twenties while I was in college, which lead me down a very dark and unhealthy road. I wouldn’t say my health was the best before I had IBS, but at least I never had to constantly be aware and reminded of a debilitating condition on a daily basis like I do now.
From when I was a kid up until I was a freshman in college, I truly took advantage of my health and because of that there are a lot of things I miss from before I had IBS. Here is a list of things I miss and why:
I miss being able to eat anything I want
I’ll start off with the obvious. My favorite dish is Mac and Cheese and I definitely cannot eat that anymore without suffering the consequences. It’s usually the number of cheeses and the kind of pasta being used that makes it quite intolerable for me. Even still, I have special occasions throughout the year when I’ll happily put myself through the torture, such as on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas.
I miss being able to work any kind of job
Before I had IBS, I was able to go from a desk job to a job that required pure physical labor, such as moving and shipping packages for instance. My whole point is that if I needed to find work, then at least I wasn’t limited to the type of work I could handle (because of my illness).
I miss being able to go to any and every event
For instance, in the past when a friend or family member had a birthday party, I was always there. If they had a baby shower, I would be sure to make it. However, now that I have IBS, it changes my perspective about going out in public and attending events that have food and drinks that will trigger my symptoms. My IBS certainly knows how to create dilemmas for me, but nonetheless, I do my best to attend functions or events when I can and from time to time to show my support. I still feel guilty though when I can’t make events due to how bad I’m feeling, It’s never a valid enough excuse in my mind (even though it is).
I miss being able to tolerate alcohol
Don’t get me wrong, drinking alcohol is not my favorite thing to do, but I do like how it helps in taking the edge off when I’m hanging out with strangers/friends. Heck, it even helps when I bring over a 12-pack of beers to my parents’ house so that we can all destress while we have a conversation. It’s not the healthiest of substances, which is why it’s important to drink it responsibly. However, if it wasn’t for my IBS, I’m sure I’d be able to tolerate it a lot more.
There’s so many more things that I miss from before I had IBS, but the list would be too long and I don’t want to bore any of you. However, I bring all of this up to say that if it weren’t for the experience of getting IBS, I probably wouldn’t have learned what I know now. Maybe I needed to stop eating junk food, not only to help me manage my symptoms, but so that I can start learning how to eat properly balanced meals. Maybe I needed to learn that not jumping from one job to the next would allow me to focus on my true talents and skills, and therefore hone in on them so that I can have a career doing what I actually love and enjoy. And maybe I also needed to learn that not going to every function I was invited to is not so bad after all since I get to avoid triggering foods and alcohol, thereby protecting my intestines. Also, not going out so much allowed me to focus on my goals and passions, such as creating and producing YouTube videos. In other words, having IBS has allowed me to let go of all excuses or reasons that stopped me from following my dreams, so I guess in a sense I really shouldn’t miss those things after all (go figure).
Is there anything you guys miss from before you had IBS? If so, what is it and explain in the comment section below. Thanks!
Have you tried eating smaller portions to manage symptoms?