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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to you all and thank you so much for your brave postings on this site. Like many have said before me, I could have written many they are so close to my own experiences.It has given me much comfort to read that I am not all alone. I have had IBS-D for about 8-9 years and I struggle mostly with social anxiety to the point where I have not flown for a long time and, like many others, I have major phobias about travelling anywhere when I don't know where the loos are along the way. This leaves me feeling completely inadequate and unable to live up to the expectations of family, friends and society in general to be 'normal' and just jet off to Europe on a whim. I am usually fine when I am in control and at/near home but an upset to my routine sets off the battle between mind and stomach and I feel a total failure. Guilt then sets in because I feel I'm letting down my partner and those around me and I just want to run away. I yearn for the simple life of the 'old days' when people lived, worked and socialised in their local villages - ha...I'm a dreamer I know.I could go on and on and in the last years I've many examples of times IBS has been destructive but somehow I've managed to hold onto a wonderful man and I am extremely lucky that my main job is working from home. I guess what I really want is for someone to tell me it's OK to feel like this and to take the pressure off. It's just that as time goes on I wonder if I'll ever be able to get through the panic of getting on a plane again - is it so important?The last few years I have managed UK-based holidays with my man and our two dogs and feel like I've really accomplished something (I do most if not all the driving tho as this helps to make me feel more in control and concentrating on the roads keeps my mind off my stomach to a certain extent). Travelling remains the main obstacle in my life and visiting people I don't feel comfortable with freaks me out in case I get an attack at their house. I'll stop now but I'd love to hear from anyone and hope I can give some positive answers to some things that have helped. Don't want to sound all needy as I know I've got a lot better life than many and am eternally thankful things aren't worse. Music, reading and painting are all things which have helped with 'escaping'.Time for a bit of Mozart methinks.
 

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Hi Sussexgirl, that's just how I feel. I've had IBS for almost 20yrs. How I long for the good old days when I could go just about anywhere. I just dread being invited out as you never know just when a flare up will happen. For those invites you can't avoid I take plenty of Lomotil to get me through it.I think it's worse when we feel out of control of a situation. I too find I'm much better if I do the driving. I have flown recently but was an absolute nervous wreck - I'd be better if I was in charge of the plane! I think it helps just to take each day as it comes. I've learnt over the years to say no and now try to put myself first and not do things to please other people.
 

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Hello sussexgirl and peardrops, I know exactly what you mean about feeling inadequate and letting friends and family down. I too have had to put off so many social activities / hols in the past years - especially when I moved to China, I think that is when the real IBS-D set in. When I moved here, I met up with another lady who seemed to be touring every square inch of the vast city I live in. She asked me to join on many occasions, but I just politely excused myself because I knew that I would get an attack while either in the car or in some remote place. I too felt inadequate and ashamed that I couldn't join in. It has been the same story with hols - tend to go to the same place now, because it's "safe". Ok, I managed to get on a plane, but I make sure that I am on an aisle seat and not too far (but not too close) to the loo. I seem to panic if I see a queue on the plane! I don't eat anything cos I know it will send the gut wheels in motion. I try to go when everyone else is busy drinking or eating. It has got me through a few flights successfully. If I really really need to go and there is a queue - I just jump to the front and tell them that I am in dire need! It works, most people are nice...Weekends are spent in the safe haven of my house - also with my 2 dogs - I just chill out and not think too much about going to work on Monday...As I've mentioned in one of my posts, what has really helped me mentally is having a little emergency pack with me that includes loo paper, undies, etc. Honestly, I have never needed it, but knowing it is there in my bag is a real comfort. Try it and see. The doc has now prescribed Zoloft - will let you know if it takes the edge of things. I also drink fresh ginger in hot water - good for the system apparently!I wish you luck my new found friends and I am thinking of you and hoping and wishing that one day we can overcome this horrible thing called IBS.Nice weekend...Lancashire Lass in China
 

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heya
yeah, i know, it's awful--the guilt, letting people down, avoiding things for fear of an attack...but, i just don't care so much anymore, at least about the first two things, as for avoiding things, well, guilty of that.and i know i totally set myself up for an attack most times...i get so worried when out that i'm going to have one, that i swear--boom, i have one, even if my stomach was perfectly fine beforehand!but i try not to worry about what i can and can't do in the future...who knows? maybe my ibs will disappear! so, i am trying to make the present as comfortable and fun as possible and i try not to let my ibs decide my social calendar (this one is sooo hard though!).
 

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As you guys say- many things I read on this board are so close to my own experiences!!I have similar problems as I'm 18 so people expect me to be all party, party, party and travel and learn to drive etc...but i have so many hang-ups etc. I'm at uni and I've met some brill people but it's still hard as they don't know i have IBS and that I'm (in a way) scared of going out. For some people this is totally incomprehensible but I still find it hard. I really want to change my habits but it's difficult. I do go out sometimes and have had some brill times but how can I stop this worry!!!Sorry for that long rant- I just thought I'd say it to someone.. I know how u all feel.lots of love..xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Ziggystardust, my heart goes out to you. It may be a comfort to know you are not alone at uni too. I'm sure there are many other students who suffer in silence. Perhaps try and keep your social calendar to 'safer' activities (where there will be a loo available and no queue!!) and always try and be in control of your transport somehow if you need to leave any party you are at. The pressure must be great to have a huge social circle but the 'important' people will stay close and eventually you may feel strong enough to let them know just enough to not be embarrassed. I'm taking Chinagirl's advice and putting together an 'emergency pack' - it may help you too. I'm thinking of you and really hope your years at University are something you look back on fondly - just don't pressurise yourself too much, society will do that for you! Also, remember that your idea of a good time does not have to fit a stereotype - we are all individuals, work out what suits you. And enjoy your life!
 

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Sussex girl...you sound like me. Suffering with IBS-D for l5 years now. There are days when I get so depressed from all this, that I feel so useless because I can't work..that I just sit and cry. I paint and write. It keeps me from going completely insane. Some days are good and others really bad. Like today for instance. Have not left the house for fear of a volcanic ereuption and Im sure you know what I mean. Lately the bad days are getting worse. Hubby and my daughters wanted to take me out for mothers day. Daughters were understanding because they know I have D bad and know that some days old mom just can't be old mom. Hubby on the other hand. Well he gets miffed cause he thinks I should be able to hold it. HA HA HA If only it were that simple. Sorry when I gotta go I gotta go and Mount Saint Helens look out. I suffer from bi polar depression/anxiety...so I can so relate. Life has dealt us a unfair hand I guess we just gotta roll with the punches and pray that folks will be a little more understanding towards us.
 

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Sussex girl---I can relate. I look forward to nice weekends at home to clean, decorate, cook and sew and usually end up sitting and running to the bathroom. it is depressing. I get cramped up and then my day is totally shot. Somehow I get to my job and get through the work week because I have to, Pain and all. It all makes me so tired I am useless when I get home. I look out my window and the neighbors are out walking, working in their yards and having guests and I don't have it in me to much more than sit and look out the window. I don't want to think about going out at night it is scary because I don't know how my body will react. I do my grocery shopping and other errands early in the morning on weekends and hurry home before the normal people get out and about. In crowded stores I do panic and feel faint or dizzy. I believe it is best to keep your mind and body busy and be upbeat and cheerful about everything and I would feel better. It is easier said than done especially when I get that warning cramp in my gut. It is almost funny but I feel I have lost a big hunk of my life to this condition. I have had treatments and different helpfull solutions that will work but it always comes back again sooner or later. Knowing I am not alone is probably my biggest help of all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
BonnieRamona and Abigailcrane, thanks for your posts - it's not just me then!! I totally know what you mean by cramps and eruptions. Crowded stores are also not a good thing. I'm having a crisis at the moment. Our drains blocked here last week and the panic at the thought of not having a bathroom working properly freaked me out. After a painful, IBS-filled 24 hours in which I just about kept a grip the blockage was cleared but they found roots growing in the drain. These are causing further problems and mean potential blockage again until we get it fixed. We're hurrying on with that but the whole thing has stressed me out completely and feel like i'm living on a knife-edge until the problem's sorted. It all takes so long and in the meantime I have a social event to attend this Saturday evening which involves a 45min-1 hr drive to a 'new' place and unfamiliar setting. So, all in all, a totally awful time although I know how pathetic it all sounds. I've been told I don't have to go to the thing on Saturday as it's a family thing and they know i've had a bad week (complete break down on wednesday) but I feel, yet again, like i'm letting people down. I'm also scared that if i do go and have a bad attack it'll set me back again and make me even more scared to go out. What to do? Thanks for listening. Oh for an easy life.
 

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oh wow...reading all of this is so amazing..because just knowing that others are feeling exactly what I am..lessens the anxiety and guilt and other worries. this past year has been a really hard IBS/depression year for me and I thought I was hitting rock bottom, but reading your stories gives me a sense of comfort and helps me to realize that life is going to be okay and tho' it may not be fair...we do have times that we can enjoy and things to live for.I am in the exact same position with uni as ziggistardust so I understand completely with how you feel. it's so hard being different. but reading all of your posts lets me know that it's okay. thank you.
 
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