21 Aug 2019

“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart, sing anyway.” – Emory Austin

Recovery takes everything you don’t feel like you have. It takes the energy you scrape from the bottom of the barrel to someday feel normal again. Both physical and mental recovery is equally challenging. Someone healing from depression is on the same playing field as someone in remission from Crohn’s. It is never okay to only validate someone else’s path because they seem like they have it tougher. Through any recovery process, it is important to keep in mind insightful tips to remember your reason why.

Apply recovery to your own needs

This seems easy enough to understand for most people who aren’t in recovery. But recovery patients tend to compare themselves to others and want to achieve their goals when it is not realistic to where they are. Place yourself in the mindset of recovery. If you know to stay out late, overworking, eating flare foods, will cause a setback in recovery. Be forward on yourself and learn to say “no.” Meditate on how recovery should look like to you, you are driving this bus, not someone else. 

Recovery is not linear

One week you might feel like a new you. The next, a flare occurs and it’s back to square one. It is okay to have setbacks! In recovery, sometimes the setbacks are more mentally rather than physically. Expressing how you feel to doctors, friends, and family is difficult during recovery but extremely beneficial. In conclusion, to gain more recovery insight, retrace your steps and examine how/what caused a spur of symptoms and learn for future purposes. The mindset of recovery gives the power of determination even when it feels hopeless. 

Have accountability 

It might seem like your illness controls everything in your life. Sometimes you might slip and let it reign over. Chronic illness is and can feel like a full-time job. Recovering is tiresome and doesn’t feel worth the work. But to see progress, procedures have to be taken. If you can’t count on yourself 24/7 to remember to take meds, eat, schedule doctor appointments, etc., ask a close friend to remind you. Seek support and lean on people who genuinely care, you aren’t weak if you do so.

Comparison Kills

I can truly speak on this topic personally as well as countless others. I knew a fellow IBS suffer who got sick after me and was completely normal before I was close to recovery. In my mind, I was utterly happy about this amazing person. But when I thought about my situation compared to theirs, it wasn’t fair. I felt like my body hates me and only wanted me to suffer more and more when I saw others were achieving health goals. Once the season of me thinking as this passed, I realized I was not going to get any better if compare my journey to others. The comparison was making me have a gloomy outlook on life in general. Everyone no matters the circumstances have felt comparison and know it feels to feel less accomplished to another one’s path. But, according to you, where you are now is the most successful you have been. Individually, you have no meaning trying to copy someone else’s path, it is not your timing for XYZ. 

Final reminder:

I thought that I would need to punish my body into reaching my recovery goals. I thought that being sick was my fault. Now I know that listening and caring for my body is crucial to my most optimal health. Furthermore, having an illness is never something to have guilt over. No one would choose to be sick, it simply happens. As I write this, I am three months into IBS recovery I am 90% symptom-free. Before being more compassionate towards myself, I never thought this was possible. I want you to know that anything is possible.


 Laura Gamble

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Laura Gamble

My name is Laura Gamble and I enjoy dancing, hiking, and making healthy food. But, my “friend” of about two years, IBS (c), has held me back sometimes. At the prime age of 17, I have gone through countless, treatment plans, ER trips, doctors appointments, claimed “IBS miracle diets”, and battled with mental health issues sourced from my IBS. Despite all of my hardships, I have figured out what works the best for me physically and mentally. Though IBS is claimed to have 200000 cases in the US alone, there needs to be more advocacy and places for people to turn to when in need. My goal is to share my story, my IBS hacks, and full support to teens and adults experiencing similar issues.

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