Many fellow IBS sufferers are looking for a quick, easy solution to beating IBS, and they are not finding one.
A pill, a magic wand, something – anything! Just to get free of those flare-ups and difficult symptoms. The complexity of IBS can sometimes feel daunting – and beating IBS out of reach.
I found that taking baby steps in the right direction every day finally got me to where I needed to go.
This was how I felt: a lonely ship being tossed around uncontrollably in a storm, being ruled by the winds and the current, just trying to stay afloI didn’t feel that I could change this picture. It was fixed. This was my life, my health.
How could I possibly change this? You just have to live with it, right?
This is what I was told. But like you, I kept on looking for solutions, for hope.
Gradually changing perspective
One day I decided to try to change things. My symptoms were getting worse and worse. Just how bad could this get?
This had to change.
On holiday, feeling a wreck and bloated up like a beach ball I read an article in a magazine that got me thinking about a new way I could approach IBS. I realized I needed to start looking after myself and listening to my body if I was going to win.
I made very small, gradual changes to what I ate, my lifestyle, my mindset, and tuned into my body for the very first time.
I moved forward a couple fo steps, then stumbled, and moved back one. But I was slowly making progress and finding my way.
It’s as if I had taken my paintbrush and gradually dabbed light touches of new paint on top of the old ones, slowly changing the picture.
Little by little the colours changed, the waves reduced in size, and the wind lessened.
I still regularly had days where I would be tossed around by IBS.
However, I was starting to set the course I wanted to follow towards calmer seas.
Slowly but surely I was gaining control and beating IBS.
And over time my reality has changed completely. And I now understand how IBS works.
Not only did that shipped once tossed in a storm start sailing upright on calmer waters, but it is heading into port standing tall with confidence, leading other tall ships.
IBS was a rough ride and it makes me appreciate even more where the journey has taken me.
So don’t despair. Small, regular light touches can get you there.
Go slowly. If you try lots of things all at once, you won’t be able to see what is working for you. You can try something new each week if you want to – or each month if you don’t feel up to it. It doesn’t really matter how long it takes, as long as you start.
Stay open to trying new techniques, and slowly transform bad habits into more positive ones.
Be kind to yourself. When you try out a new recipe, it’s not often the first time round that it’s a success. You have to have a go several times before you get it right. This is exactly the same with IBS. Bear this in mind before you decide that something isn’t working.
Expect frustration. It’s not fun, but it is part of the journey – for everyone.
Beating IBS isn’t all about food. Finding food triggers is important, but keep a look out for other factors fuelling your IBS like stress, expectations, worries, etc. You may also find patterns in your flare-ups and specific situations or feelings.
You may have been reading some of my other posts and see changes you can begin to make. Other posts will be following that can help you on your IBS journey.