I thought I'd post an update after being MIA for a while. For now just a victory, and I'll share some challenges in another post. It's always so good to remember this site and come back! So, a small victory (or a series of small victories that add up to a big one). I'd say at least 3/4 of the time these days, maybe more, when I feel an attack of IBS pain coming on, I am able to relax into it and let it go. This has been such a remarkable and welcome development. I don't think my flare ups are any less frequent than they ever were, but most of the time these days, they don't develop into anything more than a passing wave of mild discomfort that leaves as quickly as it came. That almost never used to happen. Sometimes I still have a full flare, the kind that has me in bed for hours, doubled over and despairing. But those are so rare now. It feels like a victory! One mental shift I've made is to stop thinking of the pain as originating in my colon. I've suspected ever since I did pelvic floor PT that the pain actually originates in my abdominal muscles and the intercostal muscles that wrap around to the front, and THEN fires off the nearby smooth muscle in my intestines. (Of course, "originates" isn't the right word, since we're talking about psychogenic pain, but I'm referring here to where the pain is *felt.*) When I think of it as a skeletal muscle spasm, I'm so much more able to relax about it, breathe into it, not fear it, and not let it take over my brain. I did it today, in fact! That spasm ended up just being a blip in my day instead of a day-ruining, debilitating, lying in bed ordeal. I have some other issues that I'll post another time, but the reduction in IBS symptoms has been the major breakthrough, and life-giving. I hope to be around more often again so I can share this journey with you all, in all its ups and downs!