I sometimes struggle to relax, especially when my mind is bubbling away with self-doubt, anxious thoughts and bloody to-do lists. I have to be armed with a toolkit of things that I can turn to to help me feel calm, before it all gets too overwhelming.
You inviting tub of hot, bubbly, water. What would I do without you? I mean, a shower seems like the obvious answer but it’s not the same. You’re so comforting. The way you let me slide right down until my shoulders are enveloped by a gentle, warm lapping of bubbles. Delicious. Nothing makes me feel as relaxed as you do.
One of the best decisions we’ve ever made was taking Lils on from a bestie. Her circumstances had changed and she was unable to give Lils the attention she needed. Problem was, Lils was old, really old, and no one else showed any interest. Which broke my heart. Hence why she now lives with us and has done for the last 2 years.
Since I started speaking openly and writing about my anxiety and CBT, people, who I both know and don’t, have started asking me about it. After months of covering up how terrible it had got, I’ve become a CBT champion among friends and the online community I’ve carved out for myself. It’s both baffling and an extreme compliment. And something I’m still getting my head around.
CBT without doubt, has changed my life. That may sound like a bold claim, but I’m telling you, it has. While I wish I’d done it a long time ago, I do believe everything happens for a reason and this came at the right time for me.
A weird thing has happened over the past three weeks, I’ve completely forgotten about my IBS. It wasn’t until my therapist asked me how it had been at my latest session, that I realised I haven’t had an IBS flare once over the past three weeks. Shit.
I’m 5 weeks into CBT for my anxiety and boy, do I feel different. Suddenly I feel more aware of everything. I’m seeing new things. Appreciating new smells and textures. And I’m allowing myself to really embrace my emotions.
I think it’d be an understatement to say that Al and I needed a break. We’ve both had a lot going on, been under stress, feeling run down and a bit over it. We needed time out and we needed some time away, so booked a mini break to Wales for a bit of a breather. And it was the best decision we could have made.
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.