To my dearest dodgy gut,
I know you do good things.
You’re super busy throughout the day churning up my food, breaking it down into little bits and pieces so you can extract all the goodness from it. You make sure that I get the energy I need, the vitamins and minerals, the water, and all the other things I need to make my body healthy and strong.
Without you, my food would just be solid lumps of matter that gave me no benefit apart from how delightful they tasted. Not such a bad thing when it comes to eating chocolate, but there’s a few things I’d stop eating if taste was all I gained. Yes, I may be a nutritionist, but I’m human too.
I know that digestion is a time consuming and rather messy process. You have to deal with so many things. You need to make all of your digestive organs work together and perform their tasks at the right time. You’re under pressure from the brain and all sorts of hormones. And you need to constantly change the way you work to suit what I’ve eaten and the other things going on in my life.
It’s like performing a dance routine where you make up the choreography as you go. Impressive.
Your muscles are forever contracting, you regularly toss acid into yourself so you can do your job more effectively, and you’ve allowed billions of bacteria to take up free room and board in exchange for a little bit of digestive help right at the end.
Your complexity, persistence and skill never ceases to amaze me.
So I guess with all that you have going on, it’s not that surprising that you sometimes decide you’ve had enough and need a break. We all get like that when work gets to be a bit too much.
When I get tired, I like to curl up on the couch and chill out for a while. But since you can’t do that, I guess that your way of chilling out is to simply slow down and allow the whole digestive process to take a bit longer. I get it. You need a break too.
But you don’t seem to understand what you taking a break does to me. Constipation is not a fun experience. The pain, the inability to go, the nausea, the bloating. Not nice. Is there another way that you could chill out without slowing everything down?
And then there are the days when you feel like complaining a bit. If it was anyone else doing it, I’d say they were “letting off steam”, but when you do it, it’s more like a gas leak. It surprises me sometimes how much hot air you can generate. And unfortunately, it sometimes surprises other people who are around to see it too. Is there any chance you could let off steam without gassing the entire room?
Then there are the days when you get seriously irritated and annoyed. Yes, this happens to all of us. But is the best solution really to throw a tantrum?
Explosions are never fun for the people on the receiving end and your explosions are no different. I really do understand that sometimes you just need to let it all out. But seriously?!?!?! Maybe you could turn it down a notch or two and we could sit down and chat like reasonable human beings, sorting out your feelings, getting it off your chest, and finding a way to make things better.
Oh that’s right. You’re not a human. Only part of one. Talking won’t work. My mistake.
Now that I think about it, maybe that’s why you don’t understand how you affect me when you act like that. Because as much as I try to tell you, you never seem to hear me.
But I do hear you. I know when you’re not happy. And I do everything I can to help you feel better. Truly! I watch the foods I eat and try to avoid the things that I know you don’t like. I try to be as healthy as I can because I know this makes you happier. And I try so hard not to get too stressed because I know how much you hate it when that happens.
There are plenty of good days too though, where you simply go to work, get the job done and don’t complain. Those are the days I love the most. Sometimes we get lots of those days, weeks or months even, but other times they seem few and far between.
When those bad days happen, I sometimes feel like you’re holding me hostage and that I’m controlled by your whims. Is that really fair? I know you have a lot on your plate to deal with, or I guess a lot from my plate, but is there a way you could be a little more stable?
Maybe some anger management classes might help? That might cut back on the explosions. And perhaps we could find a different way for you to chill out so that you feel relaxed but still continue working. Perhaps a good long talk with a friend while having a cuppa or a glass of wine? Oh, silly me, you don’t like coffee and wine do you?
But of course, you’re not human. I can’t send you off to a counsellor to deal with your emotions. So I guess it’s up to me to keep finding ways to keep you calm, in a way where you don’t have to participate but simply reap the benefits. That’s okay though. I don’t mind doing all the hard work. Because when you’re happy, I’m happy too.
In return though, could you do me one teensy little thing? Could you try not to hurt me so much when you do get annoyed or want a time out? I’m sure there’s a way for you to express your emotions without it destroying my day.
My dearest dodgy gut, I know you do good things. I really do. But sometimes you make life so hard for me. All I want is for us to be friends. Can we do that? Please?