Hi Ashleigh, although I have not been struggling with this issue for nearly as long as you, I totally feel your pain. I took my first laxative around 3 years back but it became a daily habitual abusive act around 10 months ago. (**Eek, I get the shivers when thinking its been 10 months, I can only imagine how you feel!!**) The little devils ran my entire life- I would take about 20-30 a day at the peak of my abuse. However, I am FINALLY on the right track - week 3 of NO laxatives and have been producing BMs daily! I've tried to quit them several times between last June and now, but the reason I have never been successful is because I was so used to the laxatives just COMPLETELY flushing out my stomach of any waste. so when I would decide to try stopping the laxatives I would get frustrated with how bloated I always felt. I would lose my mind after not eliminating after 4 days or so and just fall back to taking them. Now I took stimulant laxatives, which are the worst for your body, so I was extremely doubtful of ever being able to successfully quit. But, here I am- having regular bowel movements daily and maintaining the weight I was before, and just all around feeling the greatest I have in a while! So, here is what you need to do.
First and foremost, you need remember PATIENCE. The first few days to a week you will feel bloated, you will gain WATER weight but this is weight that will go away once your body re-hydrates. Picture your colon being the drain in your bathtub sink. If you don't take proper care of it or clean it out every now and then, it's going to get clogged up with all types of icky waste and filth. That's your colon right now, all clogged up.
Next, cut the laxatives COLD TURKEY! Whatever pills left you have in your house, toss them, and don't look back! TRUST me with this. It'll be difficult but if you follow the instructions I'm giving you it'll be well over worth it.
I decided I needed an ultimate cleansing for my Colon, otherwise it'd take forever for it to wash out all those toxins because of how badly I abused them. So, I did the research and stumbled upon a Colon Detox
called Dr Natura Colonix- Advanced Internal Cleansing Program. I was doubtful but I can't complain with the everyday bowel movements I've been producing. I can almost feel the toxins and waste being pushed out of my body with this stuff. Use it EXACTLY as directed- I have the 30 day cleanse but it's been so effective I think I'm going to do the master cleanse and go for 90 days.
Eat lots of fruits and veggies. Prunes, dates and dried figs will REALLY give you the runs big time, but don't use these long term because they have the same laxative-type effect on your body. I used those until I found Colonix and since starting the Detox I haven't needed to put a single date or fig in my mouth. Buy Flaxseed Oil pills & Metamucil psyllium fiber capsules, and take those as directed as well. Be active! Your colon is probably at the peak of its laziness from having pills push it to do all the work. Yoga is a fantastic exercise to keep you active, sweating, & some positions even focus on the colon specifically. I like to do Hot Yoga, it helped me with the body-image issue I was always afraid of having from quitting laxatives. It keeps you sweating and you burn lots of calories. Stay away from the junk food, that'll only clog up your Colon even more. Each and every step I've listed, the Metamucil, Flaxseeds, hydration (LOTS and LOTS of water), the Colonix program, the exercise (seriously try hot yoga), it's all conducive to rebuilding a healthy colon.
Remember, your colon WANTS to be able to naturally produce BMs- that's its purpose afterall. It doesn't want to have to rely on laxatives. If you take the right steps, your body will work WITH you. So if you just relax, be patient, be confident, and trust your body to do the rest, you'll realize that the solution is actually quite simple.
Just remember you are NOT alone on this one! You can do it, throw your laxatives out today and don't look back! It's the best decision I've ever made