8 Tips For Someone Interested in Sharing IBS Experiences
Our IBS advocates might seem like pros at sharing their experiences, but we all started somewhere. For people who live with the condition, it is no surprise that talking about what is bothering us can alleviate some of the anxiety and stress that comes with IBS.
8 tips for sharing your IBS story
Here are 8 tips if you are interested in sharing your story:
1. Start with comfort
"Start with what you are comfortable sharing, and continue to share as much as you are comfortable discussing. Over time, you will find that you are more comfortable talking about your symptoms. There is comfort in validation, and being an advocate allows you to validate the experiences of others while validating your own."
2. Focus on what you want
"To not feel pressure that just because you are sharing your story you have to make it a tell-all. You can share as much or as little as you feel comfortable, or focus on aspects of it you want to. That it helps open up a sense of community with others."
3. Write your truth
"My advice to you would be this: Write your truth, not someone else's. The final version of what you write will be much stronger if you enjoy what you are putting out into the world. And if you do not have any new ideas for a while, it is OK to ask for help. Putting your own spin on someone's advice will make a new point of view no one has seen before."
4. Be yourself
"Your own experience and feelings can never be 'wrong' – start with what you know and how IBS impacts you. Everyone has a different style and tone, and that is great. Be yourself. You know yourself more than anyone else."
5. Tell it like it is
"Just tell it like it is. Try not to be embarrassed, and give whatever details you feel comfortable giving. Sharing is healing."
6. Just do it
"My main tip for someone who might be interested in sharing their experiences would be to just do it, even if it feels uncomfortable at first. Writing about the struggles we face with IBS is therapeutic in some way. It helps work through certain issues and see that others relate to them. And, by sharing our experiences with IBS, we help make the illness less taboo."
7. Make the personal universal
"When we share our stories, we make others feel less alone. I have found that the best way to make the biggest impact is to relate my personal experiences to the greater experience of the condition itself. Make the personal universal. It sounds cliched, but that is because it works."
8. Do not be afraid to open up
"Do not be afraid to open up; you would be surprised how much people need to hear your stories. We are legion. This community holds some of the most understanding and caring individuals you will ever encounter. Becoming an advocate for one aspect of your life can positively affect your ability to address and fight for all aspects of your life and others!"
Interested in sharing your story?
Have you ever had a public IBS accident?