Tim, I really understand the job issue, I was a chef for twenty years and had to make the decision to quit and take up computers, which was not easy really. However I did not just buy a house either. It might be something to think about and approach long term.
Another thing about work for me was I really had to learn how to leave my work issues at work and not bring them home with me an worry about them at home, which did no good really. That was not easy if your work really gets you wound up. It was effecting my sleep even at night.
There are no easy answers to all this, but careful planning and steps a person can take systematically I believe.
Don't worry abut the doom and gloom message, I totally understand that feeling. Some people get that with IBS as the neurotransmitters dysregulate to and in the brain.
Working on the journey to work and can really help and yes it can certainly become a phobic problem and recognizing that is the first step and then taking actions to help those feeling.
Worry is a huge IBS trigger.
I think seeing a therapist is a great idea for you on this, learning to recognize thought patterns and how they can effect a person phyically and mentally and then what effect that has on IBS.
I will post some more on this for you soon.
I am glad things are settling down and understand the cycle aspect, and as you said even the weather and heat can start the process. Its all really a matter of balancing things.
On that fiber, they don't recommend it as much for some people with d as they use to, although its a healthy part of the diet for sure, but if it causes more pain or gas which it can in some people, try cutting back some and see what happens. Also have you ever tried the fibercon or equalactin?
The book is an excellent book on the CBT approach to IBS and how thoughts and emotions effect the gi tract and working through some of those issues.
I will post some more on all this very soon for you.
Hope that helps. Try not to worry and try to catch yourself if you are and tell yourself your okay and not in any danger, it takes time and practice but it helps a lot with IBS.