If you’ve been reading my blog recently you’ll know that my posts have all had a similar theme; IBS battles, heading towards water to heal my mind and reflecting on the things that make me smile. The truth of it all is I’ve been struggling with my anxiety. Really struggling. Over the past 3 weeks I took the decision to do something about it and I wanted to share the truth of it today, in honour of it being Mental Health Awareness Week.
I’ll hold my hands up. I am terrible at confirming and then sticking to plans. In particular with my friends. I know it and they know it but they’re too polite to say anything about it. And it’s all down to how my IBS makes me feel.
Navigating life with IBS is messy, painful and full of ups and downs. When you’re flare free, it’s exhilarating, you think you’ve got it. You’re fixed. Then one bad flare comes along and has you rushing from bed to bathroom, multiple times. At least, that’s my experience, which is what I’m sharing today.
Being near water not only brings back incredibly happy childhood memories, it also makes me feel at ease. I can physically feel the weight lift off my shoulders, I can feel my muscles relax and my troubles and thoughts leave my anxious mind. I could stand and stare into the calming blue forever. Which is why I’m sharing my favourite places to go when I need to breathe deep and exhale…
I sometimes feel like me and my loo are the best of friends. We spend a lot of time together due to my IBS-D. I’m definitely reliant on it and can spend numerous hours scuttling between there and my bed. Because of this innate knowledge, I’d class myself as a bit of an expert, knowing exactly what I need close by when I’m doubled over in pain. None of this is groundbreaking stuff but it does help calm and distract me, which is a saviour.
IBS is a wily one. There are a wonderful amount of things that have the ability to kick off an IBS flare. For me, increased stress, a whiff of lactose and getting my period, are just three of the things that have an undesired effect on my gut.
After listening to Fearne Cotton’s new podcast, I’ve been thinking a lot about my happy place. Where I like to go in reality, or sometimes in my mind, to get away from it all. To reconnect with myself. As I started to note it all down, the words flowed easily and it took the form of this poem. It’s something different for me, so I hope you like it.
My IBS likes to play a sadistic game with my mind. It lulls me into a false sense of security by being all fine and dandy for a prolonged period of about 2 weeks and then BAM, here comes the shit storm. Just when you weren’t expecting it.
I figured it was about time I got my ass back in front of the camera and filmed a video about what it feels like to have an IBS flare. I’m talking gurgles, bloating, urgent bowel evacuations and extreme lethargy. It’s all fun and games.