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.
What’s more, it’s barely registered in my thoughts. I haven’t been obsessing over symptoms, worrying about being near a loo or meticulously looking at what I was eating. For me, this is a pretty big deal.
A pretty big fucking deal, if you will.
There are a number of things which in the past have triggered a flare but this time have barely registered in my system. And I have CBT to thank for that. I’ve been practising new techniques, generally putting myself first and accepting that I can’t control everything.
I’ve had a fair bit of upheaval over the past couple of weeks and those situations would have usually sent me down a slippery slope of worrying, which would lead to severe IBS symptoms. The bloat, cramps, urgent evacuations. You know the score. But haven’t. At all.
I went to three different restaurants without checking the menu online first. This is almost unheard of but I threw myself in and casually told myself that I’d find something to eat.
I’m going to a hen do this weekend coming and haven’t once worried (since CBT) about sharing a bathroom with multiple others. Or the food and booze impact on my IBS.
I’ll be honest, even if I have been a bit bloated these past weeks – which is always highly likely – I haven’t paid any bloody attention to it.
And I hadn’t noticed any of this, which is nothing short of a miracle, really. Because when I first started CBT it was ALL I could think about. I was obsessed with it and it was ruining my life.
Now I’ve gone three weeks not worrying or even thinking about it. I need to take a moment to process that. To realise how huge that is for me. How a weight’s been lifted off my shoulders. How the constant knot in my stomach has unwound. How I feel pretty damn proud of myself.
It’s a loooooooong time coming but I feel one step closer to leading a life where I’m in control rather than my irritable bowel.
IBS = 0. Me = 1.
More on Anxiety, CBT and Me:
How I’m Finally Getting Help for My Anxiety with CBT
An Honest Account of How I’m Feeling 5 Weeks into CBT