Really? I Have to Use the Toilet Again?
IBS interrupts my productivity all the time. In fact, it interrupts my daily life constantly, whether I’m being productive or not, and especially at moments you would least expect. For example, after I finish a “toilet-session”, as I like to call it, I get the urgency to go again as soon as I walk out of the bathroom. How does that even happen? How can I feel the need to go when I just finished going? An even better example is my current situation as I write this article, which is I have gone to the bathroom three times in a matter of two hours since I woke up, and I already feel the urgency to go yet again. Like sheesh, how many times does it take to empty the tank completely? Well, unfortunately that’s typical IBS behavior for me – interrupting me at the most unusual and inconvenient moments, and it’s annoyingly painful.
Normal things are difficult
There are several moments where I could use a break from having IBS, like: when I’m having an intimate moment with my wife, spending time with family or friends, working on a project, exercising, food-shopping, etc. These are the normal things that average people do with ease in their daily lives, but I tend to have an extremely difficult time performing any of these acts due to my condition. This is my reality and the reality for many others with irritable bowel syndrome as well. I’m not looking or asking for pity, just understanding. Please understand that many IBS sufferers truly fight a great fight every single day, and therefore their condition should always be taken seriously because IBS can also come with debilitating anxiety and depression.
I have had IBS for many years, and I’ve gotten to a point where I study myself vigorously to understand what happens during my IBS attacks/flare ups. I realized that a cycle happens, which is if pain comes into play, then stress and anxiety follows, which creates more pain, and continues to add to the stress and anxiety. Not much of a grandiose cycle, but it’s a cycle nonetheless that gets worse and worse if not managed properly. When my condition interrupts me, I just stop what I’m doing, take in a few deep breaths, and relax both my mind and body until the pain subsides enough for me to continue with what I was doing. If the pain does not subside, then I rush to the bathroom to relieve myself, but also continue calming my mind as best as possible. This tactic usually helps me most of the time and I truly do feel a sense of relief from anxiety and stress.
Thankfully, I can earn a living by working from home, which allows me to manage my IBS privately and more effectively. Does it bother me that I can’t branch out from working from home all the time? Sure, it does, because I would love to go to more work-related conferences and meetings, so that I can network in person and build a rapport with influential people. But when I think about how my IBS-D is a detrimental obstacle in my life through its interruptions, the anxiety tends to creep up on me and takes over my mentality, which makes taking the initiative so hard. It takes a lot of effort and willpower to discipline your mind to be stronger than your body, which is the mindset I need to have if I want to do more in my life. This is a fight for my life and I have a long time before I decide to give up.
Do you have difficulties with setting boundaries and saying no?