I recently opened up about my struggles with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in a certain article on my blog to help people understand the journey of someone with IBS.
There are some days with IBS that will never forget. Sometimes they are brutal, it could be a trigger of a food that would make your stomach turn, it could be the fifth day you have not gone to the bathroom or it could be the morning and you have already gone to the bathroom at least 5 times already.
Each person is different with IBS however each have one thing in common; we have bad days.
Let me paint you a picture of what a couple bad days could look like.
Imagine waking up bloated and trying to go to the bathroom, however for the fifth day in a row you still can’t. You then drink a ton of water thinking that will eventually it will help; it doesn’t help. So you move onto your next solution that sometimes works- you go running. The whole time you are running, you feel weighed down but a part of you feels better. You walk into the bathroom, getting ready to shower and you look in the mirror. Unlike sometimes the imagine looking back at you still feels pretty gross as your stomach is sticking out and you can’t even suck in anymore to hide it. No it isn’t fat and no it isn’t because you haven’t worked out or ate healthy for the past months, it is because you cannot go to the bathroom and you have so much gas inside of you.
Gross right? Imagine having this happen daily, weekly and even monthly.
The day continues even though you do not feel 100%. You have to eventually get ready for work. You are miserable, nothing seems to look good and your confidence in yourself is pretty low but you know you need to put on your happy face to conquer your job.
You get to work with a very lack of energy because your stomach is in so much pain (for me it is on the left side of the stomach) and you have meetings all day. That means sitting and being attentive the whole day. You sit there, stomach hanging over your pants in pain and you just want to go home.
The day comes and goes, you don’t want to eat anything besides food to help you relieve the pain, so you either eat or you don’t. Eventually you are home from the day of work, only exhausted because it takes a toll on the body and you realize maybe running or working out again will relieve it, so you go to the gym again; you eat a super healthy dinner followed by different types of health teas, in the hopes that when you wake up you will feel better.
Another bad day could includes waking up feeling amazing; yes, I said amazing. You woke up with no pain, no bloating and had an awesome workout. Then with all this energy, you head off to work excited to have the best day. Lunchtime rolls around and you eat something you know won’t upset your stomach, however today it didn’t seem to settle and you end up burping it up all afternoon. Your stomach becomes painful and you regret even eating. You spend the rest of your day miserable again. Eventually your food sits on your stomach all day and you are throwing up your Noon lunch at 10p.m. The frustration of feeling miserable again brings you down and you feel as though it is your fault.
The last example includes, feeling great all day. You are about to go on a date or out with friends for the night, a much needed fun time for yourself. You get all dressed, confident and feeling great. You head out so excited to have no pain and able to go to the bathroom for the day. You sit down for dinner and drinks all happy, excited and enjoying the moment and half way through, your stomach gets a shooting pain, something you are eating or drinking did not sit well and your mood goes from happy and excited to anxious, nervous and depressed. At that moment you just want to go home, you knew this was too good to be true. You try to put on your happy face but let’s face it you can only fake it so much. The evening of fun with everyone, is ruined within minutes because you do not feel well.
These are just some bad moments for someone with IBS-C, it is frustrating and it takes a toll on how you feel. Not only because you feel disgusting about your own image but you then start to compare yourself. You compare yourself to the person that has energy to do so many things, you compare yourself to the people that get to eat fried foods or the cupcakes they are passing around the office. You compare yourself to the girl that works out just as much as you but is a size smaller. You compare yourself to your friends that get to have a night out with no issues and can make more memories with everyone then you.
And you just want to cry because you are exhausted, exhausted from the pain, exhausted from having to act like you are fine and exhausted because you feel alone in this situation.
You are Not Alone.
The more I meet amazing women out there, the more I understand people have the same issues as me. They are facing just as much as me. You are not alone on this journey. I do want you to know, eventually we will find a way to make this better for everyone.
You are beautiful. You are enough. You have a great body. You are you. I know it is hard when these things happen to you. Frankly, I am the first one to say I feel disgusting about myself in these moments.
I hope these stories help relate, for you to understand many of us struggle.