First, I apologize for feeling sorry for myself. I've read so many stories on these message boards, I feel almost ashamed to share my story. But I finally decided to register as a new user because at least I feel like I can control something today--certainly not my bowels. I guess writing this down gives me some sort of release.I'm now 37, but I've been dealing with IBS-D since I was 25. Sometimes I think of the man I used to be before all of this, and I miss that guy. A guy who took risks. A guy who took on the world. Despite the fact that I have a very high profile and public job, and speak in front of hundreds of people on a weekly basis, I live a double life. All of you know what I mean, I do not doubt it.On the outside, people see a guy who is confident and outgoing. But that is simply an act--no, a mask. I put on this mask in 10 to 20-minute intervals as I smile, shake everyone's hand, give a speech, and then try to find a bathroom. Or I'll go to a lunch meeting, watch everyone eat whatever they'd like, while I politely decline because there is nothing on the menu I can eat. If I had a dime (or even a penny) for every time I said to my co-workers and visiting delegation, "Oh, I'm not hungry, I had a big breakfast," I'd be Donald Trump. The worst is that only my family sees the other side. The side that doesn't want to leave the house, is scared to travel, and lastly, cries in front of them. I'm sure many of you can relate to this. Imagine, a 6-2 guy sitting in his living room, while his 7-year old son wonders what is wrong with him. It's to the point where I don't even want to bring IBS up with my wife because it just comes across as complaining again.I've also turned down numerous job offers because of this condition. Jobs I really wanted. But because of travel or other aspects of these jobs, I didn't want to take the risk of not being able to fulfill the job requirements. Objectively, I can even laugh at the excuses I use: "Sorry, I have to decline your handsome offer because of...well, I'm just not ready." Believe me, it sounds better than, "I can't do that job because I have bowels that don't function like yours."I'm sure there are more doctors visits in my future. I've already enriched the local ER with my panic attacks, numerous blood tests, blood fecal test, and on one occasion, forced them to do an CT Scan from chest to pelvis. Although I fit the Rome Criteria to a T, I'm sure we can even add a colonoscopy just for fun. The one time I felt like myself again was when I decided to take a capsule of Immodium each day, only to have my doc tell me to stop using them because they are a narcotic and your body will build a tolerance to them and eventually I'd be popping 15 or more a day.So I'm left with peppermint tea, peppermint tea, and If I'm feeling lucky, I'll mix in some chamomile. I know you have probably found yourself in this situation. Everyone has already gone to bed for the night, and you are there drinking your last cup of peppermint for the night. It's dark outside, and getting late, and you are sitting there, and suddenly, an overwhelming sense of feeling scared and alone washes over you. Thank God for I-pods. I can pretend the podcasts are real people talking next to me. On the positive side, IBS and podcasts are probably responsible for me learning Spanish. There, I thought of one good thing about IBS.Just writing this down for the first time in 12 years is somewhat helpful. Just knowing that some random person will come across this and saw that there was another person out there in the world with this condition is a perverse way...liberating.I hope all of you know that your stories have helped me. These forums have been helpful. I will keep searching for something that works. Some day, who knows, I may even find that other guy I used to be. He's still in there somewhere.