I finally got back to therapy this past Tuesday. It has been a little over six weeks since my last session on the 16th of May. I don’t typically like missing therapy because I don’t have much support elsewhere. Well at least in what my therapist can offer me as well as feeling completely safe and being able to trust her 100%.
I didn’t plan on not having a session for so long. My first of these current stomach flare-ups happened the day before my weekly session on the 23rd of May. Knowing my body and the stress I was also under that week I decided it was best to cancel. That way I could rest and try and get on top of the situation as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned and the following week I was still in as much pain. So I cancelled yet another session. This time I decided it was best to not book in and I would get in contact when I was feeling up to it. I was still however coping very well psychologically which made me a little more confident with missing yet another session.
In the following weeks, I had a further two flare-ups which really took their toll on me physically and then eventually mentally. Because of the eventual decline of my mental health, I decided despite still being far from my usual self, it was time to book a session in.
Back to therapy
Monday night I headed over to my uncles and aunties house to stay the night before therapy. My therapist’s office is closer to their house and a much easier and less stressful drive. My symptoms had increased again slightly which made me more anxious and were still present the following day when I had my appointment.
I always book my appointments in for the afternoon due to my stomach usually settling down throughout the day. On this occasion, there was no settling down. Back to back trips to the toilet when I first woke up were followed with another 4 visits to the bathroom before I eventually left to attend my appointment.
Obviously, this didn’t do my anxiety any good. I was close to having at least one panic attack and for the life of me, I could not relax. The last thing I wanted to be doing was leaving the house. Nether-the-less I decided I needed to see my therapist and I was going to make it there regardless.
In unlike me fashion I was ever so slightly early and had to wait around for a few minutes. Those few minutes felt like a lifetime and with my anxiety through the roof I thought I was going to shit my pants. As ever though once I was in the office and sat down talking, my anxiety dissipated and I began to relax.
The session overall was very good. I felt like I got a lot of my chest and for me, one of the best things about therapy is just being listened to and your feelings being validated which is something I don’t get anywhere else in my life. I also got some great advice and some old advice I had forgotten about that resonated in my current situation.
With not having therapy for so long a big chunk of time was going over what’s been happening and filling my therapist in on what’s changed. And then lastly, we talked about my stomach issues and she offered me some help and we decided that I needed to get on top of that issue with the help of someone else who specialises in such problems.
Since the start of 2019 and making the changes to my diet as well as going through therapy it has become apparent my stomach issues are in fact a separate issue.
I have had a diagnosis of IBS since I was around 13/14 but I took little notice as I always knew there was something bigger (anxiety) which was playing a part in my stomach issues.
Fast forward 10 years to the present date and I finally have a good therapist and I am getting on top of my anxiety and my stomach issues are still as prevalent as ever.
Without the anxiety being quite the torment it has been my whole life it is easier to see what exactly is going on. I can tell when anxiety is causing me some problems. When I am having a flare-up. And also when I have eaten something I shouldn’t have. Knowing these things is all well and good but I am still having the problems and they are still impacting my life in a massive way.
The day after seeing my therapist I headed back to see my GP. I knew there was nothing the GP could do for me more than they already have apart from refer to a specialist. And so that is exactly what I asked for.
It is probably 10 years later than it should have been done but I am now on a waiting list to be seen by a gastroenterologist. The only downside is it could take up to 4 months to be seen.