Can we take a moment to talk about the fact I spent 7 days in Italy, stuffing my ginormous gob with ALL THE GLUTEN. Capitals for extra emphasis. Seriously though, I hit every single breakfast, lunch and dinner hard. I forgot about my pesky IBS and ate whatever the hell I felt like eating.
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.
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.
This is the first in a new series I want to try. It’s capturing those embarrassing yet hilarious moments I experience with my IBS. Ones I can look back on and go, oh shit, yeah that happened. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you think, christ, she needs to get her life in order. Maybe you just fancy a laugh at my expense. I’ll take any of the above, I’m not fussy.
Do you remember when we had that first heat wave a few weeks ago? Well I do, because I immediately panicked that I didn’t have any dresses to wear that would cover me for work and play. I headed to my saviour, ASOS, and ordered this dress and am now convinced it’s the best thing since sliced sourdough with smashed avo on top. Especially for those of us who spend 90% of their life with a bloated IBS tum.
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.
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.
Two weeks up until our flight I was having daily issues with my IBS. I was stressed, tired and constantly chasing my tail to make sure I’d ticked everything off my to-do lists. Yes, I had plural lists. It was a shite time.