I’ve always had stage fright…

Ever since I was little, I have had the gift of the gab.

I can talk, and talk, and talk. I heard the phrase ‘she would could talk underwater with a mouth full of concrete’ so often, that it didn’t even register when it was said to me.

There is however, a condition to my chattiness – small groups, one on one, sure, go for it, just try and shut me up – I dare you. But put me in a situation where I feel I am being JUDGED, and I go one of two ways – I can’t get the words out, resulting in a lovely stumbling freak show, or I talk so much and so fast, that I run out of breath and generally confuse everyone around me. Oh yea, and I still stumble on my words, this time thanks to the impressive speed at which they are falling out of me.

Which brings me to what this blog is about…

This started out as a personal diary about this journey that I am on, written to no one in particular, as an outlet for something that I was finding very overwhelming right from the get go.

I am a writer by trade, so it was just a natural idea for me to write about this as I try and figure it out. It is my way to process what I am doing, and try to take it out of my head.

However, recently I have been toying with the idea of turning these ramblings into a publicly accessible blog as I know how feeling like others are dealing with the tribulations that I am helps me feel like less of an odd-ball and less alone.

I have also been learning the value of sometimes lifting the veil – some time ago, one of the people in my industry tipped a bottle of cold water down my back while I was on the phone at a work event. When I asked him later why he did that, he said “to get a reaction. You know so much about me (as a PR manager for the sport in which he was involved, I had interviewed him many times at this point), and I know nothing about you. You walk around with a veil of professionalism I don’t know what you are actually like.”

That started me thinking about how careful I am to control what I share about myself, and previously I never would have though about sharing my health struggles with anyone other than close friends and family, and even that was on the need to know basis, and to think about sharing it in a public forum open for judgement and criticism – that was just absolutely out of the question.

I have also been inspired lately by a ‘queen’ by the name of Constance Hall. She has taught me that being brutally honest can be the greatest thing, because it connects you with others that are going through the same thing. If you haven’t heard of her, I highly recommend checking her out at http://on.fb.me/23S2NfA

All of those reasons had this idea in the back of my mind. But what was the deciding factor?

It was yesterday. My revelation about the support that was out there through Facebook made the decision for me – I am going to put all of this online, for the world (well, mainly Fodmapers, but I guess others may stumble across it from time to time) to see. And I am going to try and turn it into something that not only chronicles the journey and provides me with an outlet, but that might actually from time to time provide some interesting or useful info.

Will anyone read it? Will it have any point other than giving me a outlet through this process and giving me a structure to make sure I keep using that outlet, I don’t know.

Will it be helpful to anyone? I certainly hope so.

What I do know, is that reading other people’s experiences with this Fodmap thing has already helped me exponentially to stop feeling like a pain, like a freak, like someone who is disgusting because of the issues that I encounter and have encountered for years when it comes to ye old digestive system, so if I can make any kind of contribution to the pool of information and experiences out there for people like me to access, no matter how small, then that will be worth it.

I also know I will make mistakes – not only with the Fodmap diet, but with putting my thoughts on the page – I have never been accustomed before to putting myself ‘out there’ in such a personal way before. My writing has always been about others, in an objective ‘news style’ manner. I am not on of those people that has previously gleefully shared pictures of my lunch, or the innermost details of my relationship or life troubles on Facebook.

But now, I am going to try and open up a bit (even as I say that, I cringe), as I continue to work on myself as not only a person with IBS, or a person on the low Fodmap train, but a person in general.

Let’s do this!

(Afterthought: I guess I had better go back over my previous scribbles and make them more readable, given that I was just reading these for myself – so it can make sense to any lovely people that are giving up their valuable time and brain space to read my rambles. Time to open up some time in the diary!!)