Posted 8/3/2006 6:57 AM (GMT -7)
Before I was diagnosed, I worried about having an episode while out on a date, or even with friends. Last summer I met the man I'm going to spend the rest of my life with, and though it was hard, I slowly told him more and more of what goes on in my life, and why I seem a little out of it on occasion. Now that I'm diagnosed, he is very supportive - because look at it this way: There is NO one person on this planet that has nothing wrong with them. Each person has their own set of obstacles, be it physically, mentally, or both. While we IBS'ers have probably one of the most embarrassing challenges to deal with, our problem is serious, and life altering. I used to get so depressed, and still do on occasion, because it's hard to imagine that anyone would want to "put up" with my long list of troubles and things I have to do in order to have a good day physically... but when I think of it, I am a good person who deserves love just like everyone else. I can't control my internal organs, but I can control my outlook... and slowly but surely I'm gaining more insight and humour to my situation.
It's not easy every day, some days I can get so low it's hard to believe I was at all optimistic - but that's life. Suffering with this diagnosis at a young age (I'm 24; have had symptoms since I was 17) will make me stronger if I let it, or it will break me. We each have a path to fulfill in this life, and though we tend to go it alone, there are always people we meet along the way who will help us, love us, and allow us to love them. Focus on your outlook, and try to incorporate more humour into your personality about this, even though I empathize - some days it's so debilitating there is nothing funny to be found in it... but if you work on yourself, and your outlook, I guarantee you that it won't be long before you're talking to new people and meeting prospective partners. I know it's hard to get out, but we're young! Pick one night a week to go out, avoid trigger foods all day, and take whatever meds you use to control D (if that's your problem), spend a few hours on yourself - nails, hair, and make up are fun to do - and then forget about it the moment you step out of the door. Easier said than done, but I'm personally learning to suck it up, and go out and enjoy life every once in a while... show your intestines who's boss!