I hesitate to comment because I have no idea how well your UC is under control. That would be my first priority. You can't expect someone to mentally cope with a physically inflamed colon. But as far as the psychological aspect once your UC is in remission,
I had a breakthrough moment, after years of suffering with anxiety, which in hindsight I believe had a biological origin in my gut. I realized that the inflammation in my colon and/or body was CAUSING my anxiety. I let myself off the hook for having the anxiety. I started viewing those first twinges of anxiety as the simple biological signal they are - not evidence of any change in the forecast for reality. It's simply some immune cells deciding to whip my intestine into a red inflammed angry mess and sending my body into some form of shock
I was reading a lot of Wayne Dyer's "The Power of Intention," which I recommend, and also any book by the swiss existentialist psychologist "Medard Boss" or philosopher Martin Heidegger.
The inflammation in our bodies/guts is simply a biological motivation - it is one of the many factors we get signals from. You can also interpret most anxiety as excitement once you strip away the catastrophizing mental content that we tend to build up around the initial twinges of fight or flight anxiety. You can and should be "excited" about
a speech or a project. That level of activity or adrenalin can prompt you to do your best. Don't take that flush of excitement as a negative harbinger of bowel doom - take it as your chance to shine, as likely your are one of the few people in the room who really know how tough life can be, and who really know that good people sometimes fart, or smell bad, or spend a long time in the restroom, but that they are still good people, living happy lives through what would ruin some lesser souls.
The other thing I have found is antithetical to anxiety is LOVE or CARE. I have found this to even work situationally. If you have to give a speech, find something about
the project that you care about
, how you are helping people etc. Anxiety is a narrowing and a turning inward where love is expansive and outward.
Other books I highly recommend, Paul Tillich's The Courage to Be (kind of philosophical), and for dealing with bad mental habits, a classic is Feeling Good: The new mood therapy by Burns.
Medard Boss might ask you a "Why not" question - why not actualize other ways of being that may be more fulfilling. We choose what we are "attuned" to, whether it is the terror of running to the restroom on our wedding day, or how beautiful your wife looks...
Medard Boss has an excellent bit of writing on anxiety, let me know if you want me to email it to you.
Hope this helps!
Post Edited (doors12) : 12/13/2010 7:30:48 PM (GMT-7)