About a year ago, I gave time tested advice on how to travel with IBS. That post seems to be my most popular post so I hope it helped many people live their dream of travelling across the world and not shitting their pants. Today, I come to you a singular city living person to say, living in the city is the IBS sanctuary. If you are reading this and have IBS, I’m sorry. I know it really sucks. But it’s semi-treatable and is very embarrassing on dates.
The tips I have for you are the same: always have the medicine that works best for you, tissues (wet or dry), and hand sanitizer. These aren’t just for travelling. Every person should have these items with them always. Even if you don’t have IBS, just carrying these things around. I promise they will be helpful.
Living in the city can be terrifying for people with IBS, especially if you don’t have a car. Long bus rides without access to a bathroom because of traffic, crowds of people on the subway to see your discomfort. It is also very stressful to live in the city, which as everyone knows is a major trigger. I’m here to say the best way to live with IBS in the city is to look at these as a positive.
In crowd of people? They can’t tell where the smell is coming from. Use this to your advantage.
Stuck at home sick? Take an Uber to work and blame it on slow buses. Everyone knows the buses suck; they will never question you. I will give you the secret to living with IBS, you just gotta own it. You have an incurable syndrome that cannot be stopped. Play your victim card and get out of there! And if someone tries to judge you for it, just yell nonsense in their face and run to the bathroom.
Here are some possible nonsense things to yell:
Well who did you vote for?!
My Uber is in the ocean!
The Purge is happening!
My dog forgot his pin number!!
Trump has sex with two women!
My birthday is July 3th!
My unicorn is missing!
Amazon stole their name from the river!
Creed Bratton is the new manager! (That’s from the Office)
Yell any of those things and you can run anywhere you want. The city is full of crazy people. These people have given you a pass to act crazy. When you act crazy no one looks at you, and you can run away. The city of crazies has given you freedom, take it!
A note on the stress part of the equation, do yoga, smoke something like weed (any cops reading this please note I said something like weed, not weed), drink. But if you are super stressed, just turn off the news. That always works for me.
I’m going to end with very important information about dating with IBS. Dating is extremely stressful. You get nervous. You eat out at restaurants. It’s a lot to handle. Have no fear, your IBS guru is here. The most important thing to remember when dating with IBS is this.
Have a friend ready to text you with an emergency that either gets you a 20-minute phone call to be in the bathroom or to get you home as fast as possible so you can die in peace. Always have the things you need and try to wear a sweater that can hold the stuff you need to bring to the bathroom. That way they don’t think you are weird when you bring a backpack to the bathroom. When the time is right and you trust this person, you tell them the truth. There are many ways of saying the truth. You can use comedy to make it seem like not a big deal. You can be sincere so they know you are serious about the relationship. This strategy can also be used when you have the prior partners talk I suppose. There are many milestones in dating but the first one for me is always the first time I tell him I have IBS.
If the other person is in any way grossed out, run away. See above. One of the phrases will work in this scenario as well. Dating is hard. Living with IBS is hard. But doing it in the city is a little bit easier. Not much easier because you still have to worried about getting murdered and stuff. But, you know, it’s not that bad.
Disclaimer: I do not date so I haven’t tested any of these things on real people, but I assume they would work just fine. I have used the sweater trick, and it works well.