I Tried to Avoid Stress to Treat My IBS, But It Found Me

I Tried to Avoid Stress to Treat My IBS, But It Found Me
My irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) had been under control for the past few months. However, my symptoms began to return gradually. My gastroenterologist reminded me of the connection between stress and digestive issues, so I made a conscious effort to eliminate stress from my life. For example, I’ve avoided situations that are common culprits for me such as watching the nightly news and struggling to learn new technology. I began watching reruns of a sitcom I find laugh-out-loud funny. I’ve added a walking program to my daily routine and stuck to it even on days when pain and fatigue were running rampant. I stocked up on books at the library – all of the novels I’ve wanted to read but put off because I thought I lacked the time. Reading is therapeutic for me. It’s meditative and calming; I was sure it would reduce my stress even further. But despite my best efforts, stress found me, even while I was reading, or walking, or laughing, or doing nothing in particular. It began early this week. My very old cellphone became obsolete. I hadn't imagined using it for anything other than making and receiving phone calls. But I was wrong. In the past few years, I’d come to rely on my phone for many valuable functions. It contains my photos, address book, driving directions, calendar, voice memos, and at least 25 "Words with Friends" games in progress with friends and relatives all over the country (another form of therapy for me). My phone was slowing down, and it occasionally refused to perform some functions altogether. It was way past time to replace it. Following much research and deliberation, I finally decided on which replacement phone I would purchase. It arrived in the mail on Monday. Because I’m a nontechnical person and because the prospect of l
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