Hi! My name is Katie and I have mixed IBS (both types of irritable bowel syndrome), severe acid reflux, hyper-acute anxiety, and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). I also have a great career that I’m constantly striving to do more in and I have great friends that I like to have a lot of fun with (maybe too much fun). It gets challenging to manage everyday life with these health problems and they’re not easy to talk about.
Mental health is still an unknown to many which makes them uncomfortable and a lot of people don’t like talking about poop and throwing up. It took me a long time to get comfortable telling others about my health issues, I was in a lot of denial that I even had health issues. Once I started acknowledging them and talking about them with others, it became A LOT easier to manage my life. Now when I go out and someone new offers me a drink, multiple people will butt in and tell them I can’t drink before I get a chance to respond. And if I wake up one morning in a bad state of mind, I tell my boss openly and there are no questions asked.
Before, saying no to a drink or telling my boss I needed to work from home (or not work at all) would freak me out. I’d stress about it so much, it would make all of my symptoms worse and most times, I’d end up accepting the drink or just going into the office and fighting through the pain. Sharing what’s going on with my health with those around me has only helped keep me accountable and it makes being self-disciplined a lot easier. Also, over time, made it easier to be open with strangers about it so they can understand why I don’t do certain things or why I act a certain way.
Alright, so I’m sure you want to know a little bit about my life. What exactly I’ve had to balance, and continue to balance day-to-day. Please don’t take any of this as bragging because I’m just trying to be short and to the point…
- Work full-time in digital product innovation for a global, multi-billion dollar company; always assigned to top strategic initiatives for our North America brand (very stressful);
- Lead a volunteer-based innovation team to a facilitate ideation;
- Co-chair a women’s employee resource group;
- Gym 5-6 days a week for 60-90 minutes each time (get swol!);
- Crazy dog mom to an adorable 9lb. toy fox terrier, Jasper;
- Average 10 music events a year (mostly festivals); and
- Almost every weekend on my calendar has an event going on (BBQs, brunch, hookah, bar hopping, etc.).
Needless to say, I’m very driven and always doing something. I get stir crazy if I’m sitting at home (part of the anxiety). When I’m home, I’m always cleaning or doing something. Even if I have people over, I can’t sit down. In fact, I almost never sit down (again, part of the anxiety). Having to take a step back from the fun parts of my life to take care of my health is really hard. Most of why I’m writing this blog is to (hopefully) help others who don’t know or understand, to have a better view and for those going through something similar, to know they’re not alone.
Tell me your story. Contact Me!