I was diagnosed with IBS about eight years ago. Actually, diagnosed is a tricky term when talking about irritable Bowel syndrome… In fact, this dis-ease is identified only after multiple tests that allow the gastroenterologist to reject all other options, such as Crohn’s, celiac and other fun, very fun, gastrointestinal problems.
Before the diagnosis, I spent at least a whole year bent in half, holding my stomach tight, trying to dissolve my excruciating pain with streams of tears. Yes, it felt that bad. And it was the same every time, after a meal. And it was the same even if I ate slow. Even if I didn’t drink alcohol. Even when reducing my dairy consumption. Even when ingesting activated charcoal. Even when stuffing my face with Tums. It was the same terrible pain that lasted for one or two hours and urged me to find a secure, preferably noise cancelling, toilet.
I was often skipping classes because I was in too much pain. I was always scared to go out for diner, because I never knew if my guts would let the food gently flow by, or deny access. I was always worried and tensed and needing to lay down in foetal position. And most of all, I didn’t know what the hell was wrong with me!!!
After the diagnosis, I was relieved to be able to put a name on the demon living in my intestines. Though, the warm, omg-finally, feeling lasted about 10 minutes. Just the time it took for the doctor to explain to me that IBS wasn’t a disease per say, but rather a state of being often induced by stress. Therefore IT WAS NOT CURABLE. Sadness. Anger. Despair. I wasn’t even stressed, I thought. The only things I got was an advice to reduce my consumption of stress inducing food (coffee, chocolate, blah blah blah) and a prescription for a blue pill. A magic blue pill. Apart from making me feel slightly intoxicated and dizzy, I never found the blue pill to be effective... Neither were Tums, antacids, or weird bubblegum colored liquids. They are just patches, Bandaids on a chopped hand... My pain was always there, sleeping in my tummy, invading my head, my heart.
After two year of relentless explorations of all the bathrooms in my surroundings and a definite improvement in my skill to do my number two business without getting noticed, I felt the painful moments slowly fading, becoming more sparsed, less present. Joy. Happiness. Victory. Would it be possible that my dis-ease was packing its bags and leaving? But, why? How? What changed? Could I be… cured?
I don’t think that IBS can really be cured. Especially not using pills and other chemicals. Though, I strongly think that it can be managed, and controlled, and kicked far away so it takes ages for it to return.
Looking back, I realized that the moment I started to feel an intruder visiting my guts after every meal, was a period of my life when I was lost, aka after High School. I was living my life relying on other people. I was trying to please everyone without even questioning if I was pleasing myself. I was completely disconnected with my truest, realest, best self. I DIDN’T KNOW WHO I WAS. Therefore, I didn't know what I was doing, where I was going, what I was liking. I was stressed, about LIFE. About what seemed to be so obvious to others. Though, I was so disconnected that I wasn’t even realizing how anxious, how worried, how tormented I was with all that, you know, LIFE.
Later on, I started to notice that the more I was doing what the h*** I wanted, despite what society was dictating me to do, the more I was leaning towards my realest, deepest, craziest dreams and aspirations, the more my pain was evaporating! Crazy, I know. A huge, HUGE part of IBS is mental, meaning that it stems from aches and fears and worries that are created in our head, and exposes itself as terrible, very physical digestive disorders. It is like, when we’re experiencing stress, every little inch of our body was becoming stiff and didn’t let anything pass through, even our digestive system. I was creating my pain by thinking less of me, by not living a life that I truly wanted, by not following my heart and not loving myself.
That whole poopy story just makes me one to tell you, wonderful humans affected, or not, by it, some awesomely magical truths about yourself :
* You ARE beautiful and unique and strong.
* You CAN do whatever, accomplish whatever, you wish to.
* You are not OBLIGATED to follow anything anyone says.
* You are FREE.
Have you had a similar experience with IBS? What is your path to healing?