We experience the downside of IBD daily— from the physical challenges with abdominal pain, bloating, gas, heartburn, diarrhea, joint pain… to the emotional impact with stress, anxiety, sadness, anger, frustration, annoyance… at this terrible disease that’s affected our lives so negatively.
But what if it wasn’t all negative energy? What if there was a upside to this unfortunate diagnosis? I believe there is. There are unexpected gifts I’ve received from having IBD and I know I wouldn’t have them without walking this IBD journey in life.
In this episode, we explore the positive impact IBD has had on our lives. When the struggle is real, day to day, and we’re in the middle of a flare up, we may want to bury ourselves in covers in our bed. We may feel we have no other choice, but to go to that dark place and never come out. But, if we open ourselves up to pulling the covers off, just a little so a glimmer of light shines in, we see all the beauty and incredible gifts we now possess—even through the darkest of days.
Come with me on a journey in episode #2 as we explore just how wonderful we IBD mamas are, in sickness and in health.
Episode at a Glance:
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The Upside of IBD
00:05 INTRO: You are listening to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with Crohn’s and colitis to connect, explore powerful tools for healing, and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Haley, IBD health coach, integrative wellness enthusiast, and mom to three outstanding kids. After having Crohn’s disease for 30 years and working as a health advocate exclusively with IBD clients for the last 10 years, I know it’s time to bring the types of candid conversations I have with my clients out into the open. It’s our time to go on an IBD healing journey and do it like only a mom can… Let’s do this.[music]
00:50 KARYN: Well, hey there, IBD mama. so happy to connect with you today. I’ve just gotta tell you, I can’t think of a better topic to officially kick off your healing IBD journey. And with our topic for today’s episode, it really is gonna set the tone for this podcast and hopefully, for your life, because if you’re anything like me, you get sick and tired of all the negativity surrounding us every day when we have IBD. I know, we have got pain, we have awful bloating and gas, and there’s multiple trips to the bathroom. There’s fatigue and the guilt that comes with it, when we can’t be there for our kids in the way that we really want to be, and all of this is important and it should never be swept under the rug because it’s so much a part of our life with IBD.
01:42: And in other episodes, we’re gonna go there. I promise you, we will go there, but not today. Today is the day. Today is the day we set the dial to positivity and seeking out what is possible. It’s all about celebrating who we are and the complete package of who we are, from every angle. Let me put it to you this way, ’cause this is how it makes sense to me. When I think about those crappy one-dimensional characters in a bad movie, I know that you know what I’m talking about because you suffered through those kind of movies before, just like me.
02:20: We know that in real life, people aren’t one-dimensional like that. We might even find ourselves, like I have before, screaming at the screen saying, nobody is like that in real life. There’s more to this character, just like those artificial movie characters. No one really is that one-dimensional, and to characterize ourselves just as IBD sufferers, it’s frankly, and honestly, it’s not fair to the extraordinary people that we are. There is more to us, and today, we’re gonna talk about and embrace and celebrate the positive and strong side of each of us.
You can wrap yourself up in the darkness sometimes, but I’m going challenge you to not live there.
03:00: This amazing side of us that I’m talking about, the side that shines in the sun, is none other than what I like to call the upside of IBD. Think there’s no upside? I know. Some days, I feel that way too, but if you give me just a few minutes today, I promise, I’m gonna convince you that there is an upside to being diagnosed with this chronic illness. I’m willing to bet that even though right now, there might seem like there’s a lot of down days for you, as you search for answers, and sometimes, we have to embrace those days. I embrace them too. You can wrap yourself up in the darkness sometimes, but I’m gonna challenge you to not live there. That place can swallow you up whole and never let you out. When you open the covers just a little bit and you let just a little bit of that light come in, you can see all the gifts that IBD has given you.
Empathy is a way of life for you.
04:04: Let me ask you a question. Do you have empathy? In a world full of selfies and curated social media and cancel culture, I bet because of your illness, and you can see things from someone else’s point of view, I’m willing to bet that you feel for others who are in pain, or suffering more deeply. Whenever I’m in a conversation with a girlfriend and they are telling me about a friend or a family member dealing with cancer or a divorce, or their kid has some sort of challenge like an illness, the feeling of empathy comes really easily to me. I can easily put myself in their shoes because I know what it’s like to feel emotional and physical pain too. For all the sucky-ness of having Crohn’s or colitis, having killer empathy that makes you a superior friend, spouse, daughter, sister, it’s an upside of having IBD. You’re the one people come to because they know you’ll understand.
You are kind and compassionate.
05:15: You may not be walking in their shoes, but you understand the size, the color, the fit, and the feel of their shoes. Try this one on for size. I might not know you personally, but, I bet I know you’re kind. I bet, I know you’re the kind of person, people say, “Oh, Sheila… She’s so kind. She’s always thinking of others.” You know how much someone’s kindness means to you. The doctor who went out of their way to spend a few extra minutes with you on a day when you were having a hard time, the stranger who let you cut in line in the bathroom because you really had to go. It’s tough being an IBD-er in this world and when someone shows you kindness, it rubs off on you, and then you spread that kindness out into the world.
06:08: Now, I’m not talking about that syrupy, sweet saccharin kind of kindness, or even the Mother Teresa kind of kindness, but you’re kind… In general, you’re kind. I know that about you. For all the suckiness of having Crohn’s or colitis, you are kind. And this makes you a better human. What else do I know about you? I know that you’re more likely to engage in acts of service, and more likely to commit to causes you believe in. I may not have the scientific research to back me up here, but I definitely have the anecdotal data from my 10 years of working with mom clients who have IBD. time and time again, You amaze and inspire me with your grace, your compassion for others, and your commitment to make all lives better.
You’re committed to people and causes you believe in.
07:00: Take Rose. She’s a current client of mine who’s using the specific carbohydrate diet to get her ulcerative colitis in remission. Every time we chat, she makes my heart melt, telling me about the foster dogs that she’s taking care of. Rose knows that I’m also a dog lover, and she texts me pictures of her rescue pups. Rose is giving back, even though, as we know, she has her own challenges in life. For all the suckiness of having Crohn’s or colitis, you are full of commitment and service to others in need. This makes you a better human.
You’re resilience and perspective on hard challenges is inspiring.
07:40: I know that you’re resilient, and you know how to put hard things in perspective. Take COVID, quarantining, and this unexpected home schooling situation. I bet, just thinking about the chaos it created makes you wanna pull your hair out or cry. Lord knows I’ve done both of those things. All of this definitely threw me for a loop for a beat. In the beginning, I was afraid to have anyone leave the house. I was afraid to bring anything into the house, even groceries or take out food or shoes. How crazy is that, right? The kids would want to bring their shoes into the house. They would into their house with shoes, walk into our house with shoes on their feet, and I would get all freaked out, “Oh, maybe there’s a germ on them, leave them outside.”
08:29: In the beginning, we were all dealing. We were all reeling and we just had to keep our head above water, right? But look at me now, because I have already had to be resilient and put things into perspective with Crohn’s. I’ve already done it with that. I’ve realized that although Coronavirus is still stressful at times, I’m okay. I’ve learned that with a little bit of effort, our family, even a family with usually annoying teenagers, we can actually become closer. We can rely on each other and even help each other out sometimes. It’s definitely not perfect. I gotta be honest here and tell you that my house isn’t as clean as it used to be, and I might see the kids in the same clothes day after day. And my hubby and I, we still can’t find time for a quiet moment together, but… It’s okay. I know, just like a bad IBD flare, this too shall pass. For all the suckiness of having Crohn’s or colitis, you are resilient, and you put hard things in perspective. This makes you a better human.
Savoring life is your secret special sauce.
09:45: There’s one last thing. One last thing about you and I saved the best for last. I know that because of the adversity you faced, you know how to savor life and you feel gratitude deeply. You know how to find peace, hope, and joy in the smallest of victories, in the smallest of moments. Making it to watch your son at the school play when you didn’t know if you were up for it, a moment of peace where you drink a cup of tea in solitude for a whole five minutes without the kids busting in on you, a knowing smile between you and your partner. With just one book, it tells you that everything’s gonna be okay. These small moments are moments that take, many take for granted, but not you. You know just how fragile health can be. You appreciate the good moments. You savor them, take them into your heart and soul, and remember them when time gets tough.
10:56: By now, you know the mantra. Say it with me, ladies. For all the suckiness of having Crohn’s or colitis, you savor life and you feel gratitude deeply. This makes you a better human. Would you have these gifts if you didn’t have inflammatory bowel disease? Maybe, probably to some extent, but would they be as honed and is deeply felt? Would you be as empathetic, kind, committed to others, and resilient? Would you savor life, feel gratitude as deeply? Would you hold your loved one so close to your heart? I’m betting not. And that’s what makes you a better human. So today, right now, I want you to do it like a mom. Soak in this pure moment of positivity. Feel proud of yourself. Step away from the negativity, the pain, the suffering, the struggle. I know you have it, but just for one moment, just step away for one moment.
Do it like a mom.
12:07: Put your right hand on your heart and your left hand on your belly. Remember, I know a lot of people like to listen to podcasts in the car, so not if you’re driving, but if you have your hands free and you’re able to, right hand on your heart, left hand on your belly. Take a deep breath in with me through your nose. Hold it briefly, and then let it out with the sigh. As you let that breath go, I want you to think about one thing you’re grateful for today. You’ve got this. You’re already one step ahead because you’re a better human. I’m honored to be with you. I’m honored to be with you on this journey, Mama, because you are one great human. I just have to tell you today, you’re one great human. Remember, we’re all imperfect. We’re all imperfect humans, whether we have IBD or not, but having IBD makes you a stronger, more powerful, insightful, generous woman. You’ve got this.
13:23: Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review. It helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.
Are you ready to take your gut healing journey to the next level?
14:01: One last thing, if you’re still with me. And if you are, you’re definitely my kinda gal, we have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between players in remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go over to the website, it’s Karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, spelled my name with a Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N-H-A-L-E-Y dot com. Karynhaley.com and schedule your very own free 30 minutes IBD Root Cause Troubleshooting session with me, where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back.
14:50: It’s a power-packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them. My entire coaching practice is run online, so you never have to leave your house and you never have to get out of your jammy or yoga pants for us to work together. You know I’m wearing them too. If you’re ready to take your first amazing step towards healing, I’m ready to chat with you. Schedule your free 30-minute IBD Root Cause Troubleshooting sesh today at Karynhaley.com. Click on the work with me tab and I’ll see you soon. 15:37: It’s important to note that the information in this podcast and in this episode is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The statements made in the Cheeky podcast for moms with IBD, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols, do yourself a favor and consult your physician first. Thank you so much for listening, for being here, for saving this space for us to spend some time together. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey