Thursday, November 18, 2010

Who are you?

Are you the person you thought you'd be? Are you the person you want to be? Do you even recognize yourself? When you make decisions about what you eat, what you do, etc do you feel like it's you who's making the decisions?

Or do you feel like you don't know the person who lives inside your skin? Are you ashamed of how you act? Of how you let food control your life? Do you hate that you let so many things that are out of your control make your decisions for you?

I've been asking myself these questions a lot lately. I recently started seeing a therapist (and abruptly stopped going as soon as I realized how much of my budget was dedicated to her). Regardless of that, she helped me realize something. I'm so unhappy with my life now because I'm living it trying to get back my life from 5 years ago. The one when my friends would stop by unannounced, I'd jump in the car not asking where we were going or when we'd be back. The one when I didn't stop to check my purse before I left to make sure I had my miniature pharmacy inside. The one where I ate way too much pizza & fried food. The one when I didn't EVER have diarrhea. When fear didn't control my life. When traveling was fun & not absolutely terrifying. When I didn't have to map out escapes to the bathroom everywhere I went. When I was not afraid of being around people. When I wasn't afraid of being around sick people because I might catch what they had & begin the cycle of intense IBS symptoms all over again. When I stopped & got fast food on my way home because I didn't have time to make dinner. When I ate things other than rice, cereal & pasta. When I wasn't a hermit because I felt like I fit in with everyone else & didn't have to plan my escape the moment I made plans anywhere with anyone. When I could stress without it affecting my bowels. When I made it to work every single day & never called out sick. When I felt good. When I was happy.

I miss my past SO much it's unbearable sometimes. I occasionally think about it while curled up in fetal position in bed with a box of Kleenex. It hurts to think about it...about how good I had it. Part of the reason I think I hold on to my long-lost friends from that time so much is because they remind me of the time when I knew myself. When I felt like I was the one controlling my life.

Sure, I make my own decisions, so technically I am the one in control. My response to people that say this? Easy for you to say. A mother can make her own decisions, but can she ever really make the decisions she'd like to make & go back to living her life like she did before she had kids? Can she lay on the couch all day in her PJs watching Lifetime, only getting up to get some cereal for herself? Can she have wild sex on the kitchen table any time she wants? No. Just like me, something has changed her life. The difference here is that she obviously chose to have children & I did not choose to have IBS, but we're very similar. I can't live my life like I want to because something is holding me back. I could choose to eat 3 slices of pizza just because I can, but it's definitely not in the best interest of my IBS.

There's what I think of as a little green monster living inside of me, manipulating my every move. Almost everything I do revolves around my IBS. Ok...studying, not so much. But I skip class because of IBS, I choose my meals based on IBS, I sleep with my heating pad every single night because of it, I don't make plans with anyone because of it, I take my own car everywhere instead of catching rides with others because of it, I'm not intimate very often with my boyfriend because of it, etc etc etc.

I'm trying to take back control of my life little by little. My first step was eating chicken. I have feared chicken since the day it gave me food poisoning & triggered the last 4 or so years of this IBS cycle. I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to regain control, but it will happen. I refuse to live the rest of my life not feeling like my own self when I make decisions. I don't want to resent myself. I don't want to hate myself.

Do you feel like you know who you are? Or does your little green monster rule your life too?

1 comment:

  1. I feel exactly like you.
    Can't write here how much I identified with that text. It's so sad how my life change because this disease...I was a dancer before this start, and the first thing I do when the crisis began was leave the dance.
    I don't have contact with my old friends,they do not understand how things have changed for me and started to criticize me, I could not handle it, they knew the old Paola, not the girl who have to deal with this problem and change because that.
    making new friends is sucks too, boyfriend then?! I often wonder if one day I'll find someone who understands me.
    neither my mother understands. how can I expect others to understand?
    how your fiance handle your IBS?

    I start with IBS when I was graduate from high school, It's sucks because all my friends go to college and I didn't...

    you eat when you out of your home?
    I only eat bananas! yeah....:(
    and sometimes bread....

    thanks for this blog!! and sorry about the english, I'm from Brazil ;)