I suffered from IBS long before I got my final diagnosis, just a few years ago. I bought several books on IBS and read them all, especially Heather’s, which I found easier to read and understand. Although she made a lot of sense, and I pretty much followed her program, I was still in denial to some degree about my IBS. I thought I could "cure" my IBS by cutting out the things in my life that were causing my stress. I quit my job, sold my home, and moved to Washington State, where I could pay cash for a home, thus relieving me of stress over money.
What I was not aware of at the time was that my stress had nothing to do with my job, my house payment, or money issues. It wasn’t until I began having panic attacks that I realized my stress had everything to do with my fear of having an attack where I was most vulnerable, away from home and the security of my bathroom.
The attacks were violent and often. I began thinking this was how I was going to die, unaware that this happens to people much, MUCH younger than I, and has nothing to do with my body “breaking down in my old age.” By this time, I had turned down many social invitations and never EVER went anywhere that I knew had no public bathrooms. Invitations to go fishing in the woods were all declined, despite my love of the water. I had been an avid rower and used to compete with several crews, but I had to give it up for my IBS. I lost my social life, I lost my self-confidence, and I lost my friends.
I had realized that I was inadvertently “scouting out” public bathrooms, but I did not know how seriously my fear had overcome my rational thought process until one day when I was up in Canada, shopping at Home Depot, and had a panic attack. Suddenly I felt heat rising up through my body, flooding my face, worse than any menopausal hot flash I’ve ever had, and I thought I was going to faint. I ran to the ladies’ room, where I sat inside a stall, holding onto the walls to keep me from falling over. I was sure I was going to die, right there in a foreign country, far, FAR from my home, not knowing anyone. When the panic finally left me, I quickly left the store, and drove home as fast as I could. That was the last time I left the confines of my little condo in several MONTHS. I was too scared to go anywhere, not even to the grocery store or for a walk in the neighborhood with my husband and beloved puppy dog. Whenever I ventured out, I got a block down the street and the diarrhea overcame me; I had to run back to the condo, just in time.
I again turned to Heather for help. She had tried a year ago to convince me to join the boards and learn about others who suffer and what fixes they had discovered, but I declined. Heather told me about Michael’s self-hypnosis program, and, although I was skeptical, I was ready to
give it a try. I also decided to follow her other advice and joined the boards.
Michael’s program helped me immediately learn how to relax. I had known for a long time that I had a problem with relaxing, but I did not know how to solve it, opting to wear myself out with exercise or jumping in the outdoor spa (which, unfortunately, I left behind me when I moved to Washington State). After several weeks of following Michael’s program religiously, I noticed a big change in myself. Hubby noticed too, and commented on it often. First, my anxiety disappeared completely. I felt quite comfortable leaving the confines of our little condo and
going for walks with hubby and puppy, going grocery shopping – even house-hunting. I wasn’t ready to cross the border into Canada again – memories of that last anxiety attack stuck with me – but I was grateful to feel good about driving 30 miles out of my way to go to the health
food store, shop, and drive 30 miles back home, all without needing a public bathroom. Wow, what a treat. Hubby commented that I seemed a lot happier and a lot less “up tight.” I enjoyed things a lot more, and I had more confidence about our future.
By the time I finished Michael’s program, I had gotten to the point where my whole body would relax the minute I plugged in the earphones; as soon as I heard his voice, I was asleep. I took him to bed with me every night. Even my morning cramps seemed to disappear, and when I did have them, they went away with each elimination. Wow. Unbelievable.
A side effect for me to Michael's program is my newly-developed positive thinking. It made sense to me that the mind controls the body -- ALL of the body -- but for some reason I still didn't get the connection between thinking positively and the body performing positively as a result; I just did not realize the damage that thinking negatively can do. My New Year's resolution was to think positively, and with Michael's help, so far it's been very easy to do. The results have been amazing; I love the comments I get from others about the change in me.
I have a lot to thank Michael for. I have my life back. My so-called friends are gone, but I have myself now, and I am no longer afraid to enjoy myself. My attacks are few and far between, and I can almost always attribute them to something stupid I have done. I have purchased several of Michael’s other programs and am anxious to begin them all. I have certainly come a long way in a very short time, such that I can’t help wondering why I wasn’t ready sooner.