remove toxic relationships

Are Toxic Relationships Fucking Up Your IBD?

Posted on Posted in Mind-Body Healing, Treatments

Toxic Relationships

This post is about removing toxic relationships from your life so that you can reduce stress. This will help you better manage your Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

About the 5R Blog Posts

These posts are intended for those of you who have watched the documentary and are interested in building your personalized 5R Healing IBD Plan.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, it’s the best place to start to understand what the framework is. In the movie you’ll see how other patients have used it to take control of their health.

The framework has a strategy to

  • Seal leaky gut
  • Heal gut damage
  • Cultivate gut microbiota diversity


In order to do that, you need to use a wide variety of tools that plug into the various components of the 5R Healing IBD Framework. There are 5 components and each one will be covered once per week:


Each week you will learn one specific tool that fits into that week’s component. Come back each week for a new tool and build your personalized 5R Healing IBD Plan.

If you don’t want to wait for more of these blog posts to trickle down to you weekly, you can get the Best of the Blogs Package, which includes an extensive document on the 5R Healing IBD Framework that goes into much more detail. After reading that, you will have a good idea of how to start building your personalized plan.

This Week’s Healing Tool

Here is this week’s tool for you to consider for your customized plan.

REMOVE: Toxic Relationships

During production of the movie, I started dating a woman. Long story short, three months in she became increasingly abusive towards me. When she fought with me or tried to control me, the stress was so bad my gut would hurt, and my Crohn’s symptoms would return. My confidence was wrecked, my health was deteriorating, and I had to get out.

Somehow, I was able to muster the strength to do that. It took months of reconnecting with myself through therapy, and then a couple of years of self-care to heal from the abuse.

We all know stress can be a big factor in our IBD symptoms. Matt Robinson was told by his doctor who had just diagnosed him with colitis to reduce his stress. Matt needed to do much more than simply reduce stress, but every little bit that we can do adds up to big changes in our health.

Look at your relationships in your family, friends, lovers, work associates, and even pets. Does anyone in your family frequently piss you off? Is your romantic partner abusive towards you, questioning your intelligence and abilities? Does your boss disregard your basic needs, and make you feel undervalued?

What about your relationship to yourself? Do you look at your scars in the mirror and think, “No one will love me. I’m damaged goods.”?

Stop that shitstain of self-hate right now. That is abusive self-talk and it does you no good. You need to accept yourself wholly, unconditionally, and all that lovey mushy stuff.

Your body will have an easier time healing itself, if you aren’t constantly attacking it from within with your negative self-talk.

I know it’s not easy. I deal with body issues too. I have acne all over my back and chest. I still struggle to accept and appreciate that I have it, but I’m working on it.

When I do hot yoga to reconnect with myself, I am forced to get over my insecurities because I don’t wear a shirt in the class. I stare at myself in the mirror and half way through the class, I realize I can’t even see my acne.

I begin to understand that I have a unique perspective that no one else has. I am closer to my acne than anyone else. To me, from my vantage point it looks and feels painful. However, no one else really sees that.

Also, most probably don’t even give a fuck. Each time I start having sex with a new partner, I am afraid she will reject me for my acne, but that never happens. In fact, a couple of times women have said they found it sexy, because it meant I was human, a real person with flaws and vulnerabilities that we could both connect on. Nearly all women have deep pain around body issues because of how abusive our superficial society is.

Anyway, if you answered yes to any of these situations, then you are dealing with a toxic relationship that you need to remove from your life. You may even have several.

You can remove these toxic relationships by

  • Setting boundaries
  • Leaving the situation
  • Therapy


Seek help if your challenging toxic relationship is not easily resolved through boundary setting, or too difficult to leave. You can get help from support groups, friends, or a therapist.

There is nothing wrong with therapy. I think everyone should try it! It’s gym for the mind, and we all know that people who work out are attractive, right?

Another toxic relationship to consider is social media. Often social media leaves us feeling depressed when we compare our lives to other people’s carefully crafted representations of their lives. We compare our real life with their filtered life, and it ends up making us feel like shit. You may need to replace social media with actual social time, or reading in order to properly remove it.

Check back next week for a info on a healing tool you can use for the REPAIR component of the 5R Healing IBD Framework.

Stay colonized,

Reid B. Kimball

  • Alybeth Harris

    Hi Reid. This is fantastic. I love this. I need to say that I am 29 years old. Since I am a kid I was dealing with being underweight, small (my height is 4″10), bulling, etc.. But just right before I got my first flare up, I was dealing with lots of stress and toxic people around me. Having a boyfriend was always a bad experience. I feel identified with your story, because is very similar to mine. But I have been trying to be better every day. I moved from the place I was, I continue reading, learning and trying to connect more with myself. Thanks for sharing this guide to eliminate those relationships that affect us so much. Nothing better than love ourselves and overcome all the things that doesn’t help us.

    Alybeth ~

    • Thanks Alybeth! Completely agree, just take it one day at a time while accepting where you are and working towards where you want to be. You’ll get there.