Today I'm Just Going to Share

In my previous articles I’ve focused quite a bit on the psychological aspects of living with IBS. I’ve expressed an interest in taking a recovery based approach to dealing with IBS. Many times, when discussing recovery activities and approaches, the concept of journaling comes up. Journaling can be many things to many people. It can be an organizational tool, can help you express feelings that you may or may not want to share with others, you can vent, rant, rave and release. Today’s article is my journal entry of sorts about my successes and failures throughout this past holiday season. I will find it therapeutic and perhaps you will either relate or take away something new from my experience.

Following my IBS game plan

I will say that all and all, psychologically, I had a half decent holiday. In the past I have dreaded the season and in all honesty, haven’t been very much fun to be around. I was even more apprehensive this year as this was my first year facing the holiday dinner and snack tables with IBS. I’m an alcoholic, sober for the better part of 12 years, but still have trouble going to holiday parties and such. Add in the limited diet and I was expecting Grinch City…but I wasn’t nervous. I believe the reason I wasn’t apprehensive was because I had been following my IBS game plan like a champ for three months. I had very few flare ups and was feeling pretty good. So, the good part was my mood was up and I enjoyed the holiday gatherings and activities. The bad part was that I didn’t respect the IBS. I ignored it. And…I paid.

I didn't respect the IBS

About two weeks before Christmas I started getting a bit anxious about the holidays and without realizing, I reverted back to my coffee, cigarette and yogurt daytime diet. My water consumption dropped, as did my healthy calorie intake. My stomach was basically empty and waiting for something to stir it up. I proceeded with my ‘old’ routine into the holidays and started making mistakes, pretty big mistakes if you have IBS. I started with the egg nog…what? I can’t set up a Christmas tree without Charlie Brown’s Christmas album playing and EGG NOG. At least I didn’t put any booze in it, which in itself was a success. Next thing I know I’m eating all this cheese and meat and cheese and chocolate and cheese and toffee…ugh…at my brother’s Christmas eve party. I filled my plate on Christmas day. I missed three days of work the next week. Flare up city, do not pass go, do NOT collect $200.

Here we are, ten days later. I’m back on the wagon and I’m starting to feel better. I stress the word STARTING. What I learned from this is that IBS really doesn’t just go away. Intellectually, I understood this, psychologically, I did not. Anyway, I hope you did better with your holiday season. We’ll kill it in this new year. Well, we will do the best we can anyway and that’s all anyone can ask of us.

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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.

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