I’m not sure if that’s the best way to address you or whether I should keep it more formal and use your full name, gastrointestinal tract. But I do want to give a shout out to my very active and thorough intestines.
You’re a crafty bugger aren’t you, gut. Lulling me into a false sense of security, making me think I’m ok one minute and then BAM, I’m not.
You’re relentless at making me feel on edge and anxious about when the urgent need to evacuate my bowels will be, or whether I’ll make the train journey in one piece, without shitting myself.
Because of you, I’ve chosen a life of pleated midi skirts and oversize jumpers. Form-fitting outfits are but a distance memory, way before I had the constant ballooning-stomach bloat to look forward to. Comfort is key. And elastic waistbands.
At times you’ve made me feel lonely, distraught, isolated, body conscious, abnormal, disgusted, ashamed and pretty low.
But you’ve also made me listen to you. Trust you. Appreciate you. And through that, I’ve come to respect you.
You know what’s best. And when something doesn’t work for me, be it a certain food or lifestyle choice, you get rid of it from my system. And for that I have learnt to be grateful. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel like we’re on a constant battle for control. But when we work together, for those rare moments of gut bliss, we make one hell of a team.
You’ve taught me that my IBS doesn’t define me. That it doesn’t control me. And that I’m strong enough to deal with whatever shit (get it!) life throws our way.
So I thank you and will forever trust you.
Yours always, by default.