With this post, I do not intend to belittle the difficulties and emotional suffering created by shy bowel that myself, or any of you, have experienced. But I would like to speak about the positive effects that shy bowel has had on my life.
Over the past 6 going on 7 years that I have lived with it, I have realized that it is a physiological response to anxiety, perfectionism, insecurity or some combination of the above...I'm sure it varies slightly for each of us. Specifics aside, it is a physical manifestation of mental issues. Once I realized this, and began to pay attention to my own mental health, I also began to pay more attention to others' mental health. What I've realized is that every single person has suffering, and emotional pain. Every individual has their own mental hangups. In our case, this pain and and mental imbalance manifests as shy bowel. For me, this has forced me to confront these mental issues. Dealing with my shy bowel has started me off on a journey of exploring mental wellness (and laxatives, but that's not what I'm speaking to right now), and all the emotional difficulties of being human. I am grateful to be on this journey, and while there are many unpleasant and frustrating moments, this does not diminish the value of all the things I am learning. Many of those who do not suffer from shy bowel do suffer from the types of social anxiety and other mental conditions that may cause it. However, if they do not experience obvious manifestations of their mental state, they may not be forced to confront these things. So in this way i feel lucky.
Another outcome has been the development of much compassion for others. Through my realization that all ppl have emotional and mental suffering (in different ways, and in different degrees), I've realized how alike we all are. I've realized the importance of treating each other with respect and sincerity. The more I began to live my life with greater compassion and openness, the more I've enjoyed every single interaction with a friend, family member or stranger, the more I've enjoyed every day of my life.