IBS-C: My Journey

Many years ago I gave a testimony to the women in my church about divorce. During my talk I told them, “I am divorced. I am divorced and I never thought it would happen to me.” It was sort of like in AA when each person stands up and says, “I am _____ and I am an alcoholic.”
It is only in the acknowledgement of our state that we can begin to heal. Stating it like that in front of all those women with whom I shared mutual respect was truly an act of bravery.


And once I publicly acknowledged my divorce, people literally came out of the woodwork to talk to me about it: divorced people, single moms, hurting people and lonely people who just wanted to be heard. Some people asked for the transcript of my talk so that they could refer back to it or share it with someone who was going through the same thing. Back then my talk was called Being Chrissie. It told the story of who I was before my marriage, who I became during my marriage and how I was slowly returning to my old self, along with some steps I took to recovery.
It’s funny, but it’s only when people talk about things that they can begin to move forward and heal. I don’t think that very many people heal on their own, in a vacuum.
There is something in my life that I have been in denial about and didn’t tell anyone but those very close to me. That is, until last year. I struggled on my own for 32 years, and I am still struggling. However it is only when you put a name to something that you can climb out of the pit in which it puts you.
So I will say it here.
“I have IBS – C. I have IBS – C and I never thought it would happen to me. My digestion sucketh.”
In 1983 I quit smoking.
In 1983 I got married.
And that’s when my problem / distress / shame started. It is no coincidence that the IBS – C started shortly after those other two major events in my life. There is a correlation and I will get into that later on.
I know that I am not alone in my constipated world because Google tells me that IBS is one of the most prevalent reasons why people visit their doctors.
I know that I am not alone because I see that the laxative section of my drug store has expanded incredibly in the past few years. Every year there is a glut of new products to make you ‘go’.
I know that I am not alone because every time I mention IBS – C, or food sensitivities to anyone, they have a story or one of their friends or family members has a story.
But no one is talking about it.
So in the next several blog entries I will attempt to tell you my story and maybe we can get a conversation going.
My hope in sharing my journey is not so that you can have an intimate look into my life. My wish is that in talking about my journey someone (maybe you?) can have hope, be helped and learn from my mistakes and rabbit trails.