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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you get that is POSITIVE from IBS? Now think about this for a minute. A couple of things I can think of are:1. Keeps us from going into awkward social situations.2. Keeps us from developing complicated friendships and close relationships.I know these don't sound like positives, but IBS actually protects us at times.Can you think of more?
 
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AZMom,It's always good to look at the positive side........------------------LET'S ALL PRAY FOR A CURE TO THIS IBS SOON!BETTIE
 

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AZmom said:What do you get that is POSITIVE from IBS? Now think about this for a minute. A couple of things I can think of are:1. Keeps us from going into awkward social situations.2. Keeps us from developing complicated friendships and close relationships.I know these don't sound like positives, but IBS actually protects us at times.--------With all due respect, I don't in ANY way view these as positive things. Not one bit. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, there's no reward without risk, etc, etc. I'm as introverted as anyone, but the idea that it's a bad thing to have close relationships with others seems kind of sad.What I HATE about IBS is that it keeps me out of social situations, and has turned me into a "little old lady", who spends waaaay too much time thinking about when I last went to the bathroom, when I'll have to go again, etc, etc. That part of it OFFENDS me. I'm tired of being focused on it.What's positive? That I know I can soldier on through pain and discomfort and feeling ill at a level that would make most people call in sick.Colleen
 
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It's hard. We've been put into a situation where we are humiliated, sick, sick of being sick, no one could possibly understand(exept here), the list goes on and on. There are soooo many days where you just don't think you can go on but somehow you do. Our will and desire to beat this is stronger then the desire to give it up. There really is something to be said for the strength that we gain out of this. I have also learned to relax and am probably an incredably healthy person, except for IBS. If you look hard enough there really is a plus side to everything. Hang in there.
 

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Although I always try to find the good in all things as well as the good in all people, I have racked my brain and can find nothing positive about having IBS. Maybe I have just had it for toooooooooo long, but as I as said in previous post, IBS robs me of being the person I so want to be. I look upon IBS as being my "enemy"..an enemy I have to fight everyday of my life and I am resentful and sooooooooo tired of fighting, but I'll never give up. I'll never let IBS with the fight...NEVER! I am 51 years old and my life has not been easy. Without going into detail, just let me just say "I have put in my dues". After many struggles..bad marriage, financial woes, blah, blah, blah, I am now at a place where I should be enjoying my life...a great husband, no financial worries, my children are grown..and they turned out great..so I guess I raised them right.
, plus I have two beautiful grandchildren. Don't get me wrong, I am greatful for all those things, what I resent is; IBS robbing me of enjoying everything I have worked so hard for. Sorry, positve aspects of IBS? Can't think of one.------------------"Today is the first day of the rest of your life"Rose
 

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The most positive thing for me is to know just how much I am loved by my husband for more tha 31 years. He has put up with this for as long as I have and he is always here and never complains because we can not go someplace or do something because of it.He always gives me my space to say no I can't go now. He says well we will wait until you feel better or we won't go and that is no problem.I still have the guilt inside for those times when I know he really wanted to do something and could not because of me. But he never lets it show.Thanks Honey.Linda
 

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About 2 years ago, I thought I was starting to see a positive side to IBS...and then said to myself "No way! What the heck's positive about this ####??!!" Then I went to a workshop about living with chronic illness. There were all sorts of people there (no IBSers, though) who suffered from all sorts of ailments that there is no cure and only limited treatments available to help. When I started to hear others say the kinds of positive aspects of their ailments, I realized that although IBS is my enemy, my enemy can keep me in line in lifeExample 1:When I first started suffering from IBS (7 years ago), it slowed me down in grad school. I couldn't think of anything worse than that at that time in my life because I was already struggling with grad school without the IBS. If it weren't for IBS, I would've never taken stock of why I was in grad school to begin with...I would've continued the struggle and instead of stopping with my Master's (as I did), I likely would've went on to get the Ph.D. Sounds good, right? WRONG! Looking back on it, I clearly see that IBS helped save me from a career/lifestyle that isn't compatable with my personality, and brought me to a workplace that is much more my style.Example 2:Another plus that has come out of this, is I took stock of my spirit--I'm not going to sit here and say you've gotta believe in Jesus or Buddha or whatever, but I am going to say thatI think we all need to take stock of what we believe in....what makes us happy...do we believe there's any order to the world, or is suffering like IBS just randomly doled out?In my case, I read an interesting book about the overlap between Zen and Christianity which helped me find a philosophy to live by...I guess you could call it my religion, but for those of you who are religious-phobics, call it a philosophy. Either way, the mind needs some kind of order (in my opinion) that helps keep you centered, balanced, and focused. IBS helped me realize the importance of this.Hey, you don't think non-IBSers have problems too? Some have it better than us, some have it worse than us, but the we've been dealt a particular hand and we have to play it to the best of our abilities, and in order to play it well...you gotta be able to see the positive side to itor loosing will be your life.my $.02
 

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1. Keep us away from social occasions we don't like - we just say "no, I am sick"2. Evaluate how strong friendship are (if they can get over my smell, complaints, etc., and focus on my inner (other) qualities (!) I know I can count on them for anything, and they are these kind of too rare people who don't rely on appearances and superficial stuff. And no, it doesn't keep me away from "complex friendship" - I welcome anybody who want to talk to me, and some developped into rich, meaninful, relationships.3. You can say to your boy/girl-friend "not tonight dear, I don't feel well" - and you won't lie! (OK, just kidding
)4. Getting away from dates you don't like (variation on #1)5. It obliged me to do some physical activities (I just started cross country skiing - and I just love it!!! It make me relax, it is outdoor (a great advantage for the smell), the effort makes me forget my sickness, and it last only one or two hours, so it is not too difficult to hold on)6. I listen more to myself and my body, in terms of what I eat, and how I feel (but sometimes, I listen TOO much)7. It forces me to take the time to relax - a nice bath, smell the flowers (and take a picture of them), lying on a sofa with a nice book, and my morning coffee on Saturday, in a bath of sun light... "did you pamper yourself today" is my motto
8. I understand and have much more sympathy for those who suffer from chronical illness, whatever they are. For someone who used to work in an hospital foundation, and tour the facilities, it is a real eye-opener.9. It helps me relativise(?) things in the scale of life. Every moment where I am "free" of pain is deeply cheerished and enjoyed like I had win 1,000,000 $. 10. In general, as mentionned in other posts, it makes me marvel(?) at other's strenght, sympathy, support - I am thinking about wifes, husbands, friends, work colleagues who cares about us.Of course, all the above have their opposite, dark side. But I try to consider the IBS as something to help me slow down a little bit, and help me screen what is going on, good or bad. The above points are all variations on this "alarm signal". As they say, "Without the shadows, you wouldn't see the light". Yeah, well, that is when I am positive - the Dark Side of the Force unfortunately wins 70% of the battles. Thanks for forcing us to think about the bright side of things! If I find something else, I'll post again.Edited:It also forces me to use laught to de-dramatise situations - I tend to be dramatic about everything in life, and that something I really "shoked" me when I arrived here - people were obviously able to still laugh and enjoy life... It require an effort from my part (I have no sense of humor what so ever, I am a pretty cold person, based on comments I get) and I am careful about what I laught about, and how, but it really helps, for all the side of "coping with an abnormal situation". It is the only way I found until now, to take some "distances" and relax a bit.I am also in the process of trying to apply this philosophy to my life as a "single" person (finding pleasure, laughts everywhere), since around me, celibacy is considered as being a shame and a pain. Wish me luck!
[This message has been edited by Raising hope (edited 02-18-2000).]
 

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Although I don't consider avoiding close personal relationships a positive thing, I understand there are those that aren't as comfortable with that kind of intimacy.Here are MY positive contributions:1) IBS has made me MUCH more aware of what I eat and put into my body.2) It has gotten me taking daily calcium, which I need anyway.But be careful, counting our blessings is fantastic, but that can lead to complacnecy. I think we need to keep being a sqeaky wheel if we're ever gonna get the grease.-------------------Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good answers everyone, but not really what I had in mind. Let me give you an example. I have a brother-in-law that suffers from migrane headaches probably 6 days a week. He gets extra days off from work, he doesn't participate in parenting his kids because he is in a quiet dark room each night, he is too ill to attend social events, and doesn't help around the house. He has my sister order and pick up his perscriptions, and make his Dr. appointments.So he "gets something" from suffering migranes. Although these don't seem like positives to you and me, he is benefitting from having the migranes. Of course he won't admit this. But these "positives" could be keeping him from getting better.That is really the important point. What do we get out of IBS that may keep us from getting better. If we figure these things out, bring them to forefront, we can address them, and open ourselves up to the cures that are available.Thanks all.
 
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My positive aspect to IBS is that I know without a doubt that I have an inner strength to overcome all sorts of obstacles and still survive.The other surprising plus to IBS is that I have a deeper compassion for others suffering that fosters a closeness with people not found in other ways.Jackie
 
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I just enjoyed reading what everyone put. It's really difficult to take a negative situation and say "now what's positive about this". It sort of reminds me of those newscasters trying to add good news stories to lighten up the "bad" stuff. (and their constant smiles while doing this). I suppose that type of attitude is socially more acceptable. Our social attitudes say: "Bad" is: sick, depressed, sad and "Good" is: happy, well, positive. I'm not sure I agree completely with our societal beliefs, I'm probably too much of a realist. I say if your sick..then you're sick. And if you're sad..then you're sad. But, "sad" isn't necessarily "bad"..to me. In fact, being sad can be a true test of your spirituality and humbling.My $.02 -john
 
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Indeed one must look into the positives aspects of anything. If you don't then you become morose and depressed and there is nothing positive about that. We are all challenged on a daily basis about living day-to-day life "normally", with chronic pain and very depressing feelings in general but if none of us had hope we wouldn't be here. We will find a way to overcome our illness and be productive, happy human beings. Hard to do when you have a sick headache and your gut is rumbling and protesting every step of the way. I find myself in the truly awful position of trying to find a job. This is really a challenge as I am bright and talented and very experienced but I find myself being very cautious about the type of work I will do. I don't want to live my life for my job, I want to live it for me. So I go to interviews and like today, am told that I am over qualified for the position I have applied for. Why don't I do this or why don't I do that? What can I say? I can't do anything so stressful that it will cause my bodily functions to react and work against me. I try to keep a clear head despite the constant fog my brain is in and the constant pain in my bowels. When someone tells me I am overqualified I want to cry and yell and scream - "BUT I CAN DO THE JOB!!!!" It's hard to believe in your own abilities when your body tells you something different. Yet I am not a loser and must believe that there is something for me despite my illness. Idealogy doesn't pay the bills so I muster up what little energy I have and go at it again. So I guess I am thankful that I can at least get out of bed in the morning and convince myself that I am worthy and useful. I just hope I get a job soon or I'll sick and broke - yech!
 
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Hi AZmom, Ohhhh, now I get what you meant. I'm fiercely independent and I don't let anyone do much for me regardless of how I feel. My husband is ADHD and Bi-polar so he usually forgets I have this. In fact I can site a lot of benefits he has because I do things he's not as well equipped to do. I think because I don't get much from anyone else, it has motivated me to continually evaluate my condition and make changes. I'll keep thinking, there must be something. Jackie
 

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AZmom, I now understand what is your original thought. You think that being sick has some kind of perverse effects that makes us enjoy our position, and therefore, refuse to take active means to "get over it".I believe I prefer the intention everybody perceived at first - much more positive, literally - I don't like the idea of taking something positive and painting in black, to be sure nothing is left to enjoy.This said, to answer your question...Yes, being sick brings you 1)compassion 2)attention 3)"services" 4)help 5)care 6)a decrease of responsabilities... from friends, family, government, society, that maybe you wouldn't get otherwise. And yes, this can be perversly comforting, and maybe, to some point, enjoyable. For some.Since I am single, and can't get extra care for my sickness, and must go on like I would do if I wasn't sick - so it is not an advantage for me.Also, with all my respect, and highliting the fact that I don't have children, I can hardly see how being removed from their presence and care is actually an advantage, if it goes beyond these moments of calm every parent should get once in a while, when the kids are way to excited. The key word is "systematic" and "6 on 7 nights" - that is a lot. Maybe the problem lies somewhere else than migraines.I recently almost punched a friend in the eye, because he kept teasing about the fact that he was "going out" more often in this removed little village, to enjoy shows, bar, movie theaters, than me, who live in the big city, were these activities are available at the corner of the street. I almost started to cry when he said that, because I used to go out much more often (especially in movie theater). And being cared of and getting a little sympathy here and there DOES NOT compensate for everything I am loosing.I hope that people take IBS as a challenge to do more, and get over themselves, in the respect of their limits and strenghts - I know how though and distressful this effort can often be - than an excuse to get something they would not otherwise get.But maybe, yes, after all, this could be an exercice to be done, in order to be sure one does not lie to him/her-self, using sickness as an excuse to try to get rid of things s/he does not enjoy.[This message has been edited by Raising hope (edited 02-18-2000).]
 

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Something postive for me is that I have made great friendships on this bb and have helped others to understand IBS(as they have helped me) from my years of experience in having it and finding the right help on this bb that has made all the difference in my life.Another positive aspect is with the help of others we have begun to bring IBS to the public's attension.On a personal level it has made me a stronger,more compassionate human being I believe to others health conditions.------------------ http://webpotential.com/ericibs/index.htm
 

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AZmom---aahhhh haaaa...you're talking about we students of psychology call learned helplessness (like the episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun where Dick hurt his foot...that was on just last night).Actually, I've been thinking alot about that very topic despite the silly NBC TV show, but you know what? I believe that the only role learned helplessness plays in IBS is that sometimes, some of us might make us feel a bit worse at times than we would ordinarilly with IBS, but I don't believe it is the whole chalupa (sorry...I'm really silly today).In other words, I believe that at times it can be tempting to "milk" the situation a bit or to use IBS as an excuse to avoid certain situations we wouldn't want to be in even if we didn't have IBS. I believe that I used to do it over cooking dinner to some extent...I'm not really sure how I broke myself of it, but now I cook nearly all of the meals and they're on the table by the time my wife gets home.I think she broke me of it by not cooking the food the way I like so now I usually do it myself...pretty sneaky of her, huh? She does have a couple specialty items she makes a couple days a week for me, though : ) !
 

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AZMom,I now understand what you were driving at. You're saying some of us are using the "good" aspects of IBS as a crutch to avoid facing the hardship of getting cured.I have to admit, IBS has brought nothing to my life that I would not happily live without. I miss milk, I miss ice cream, I hate bringing pills with me wherever I go, etc. But I like the turn toward the positive that everyone has taken this thread. -------------------Dan
 
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