That First Week or So…

Feeling all those emotions

Most of them good; still some of them are ‘bad’.

I started at my new job last week. I have six weeks of training to complete until I am a fully fledge member of the team but already I really enjoy what I am learning and am eager to put it into practice.

It has been 15 months since I last worked or was employed. Employment for me had always been something I did; instead of enjoying it, having a passion for. Don’t get me wrong, I know I needed to work and feel normal when illness took all the ‘normal’ things away from me, but it was hard. I mostly stayed in my roles because I enjoyed the people I worked with, not the actual work itself. I hope I am not alone in feeling like that.

But feeling like that again is something I did not want to experience again. I took my surgery – or as it became to be, surgeries – to be the thing that saved more than just my body, it saved my mind too. I took it as a sign to go and find something I truly felt passionate about. And I have.

One week into these six weeks and I feel grateful.

I also feel incredibly proud.

Last year I was a week away from my Right Hemicolectomy and struggling all the time. I was hopeful of so much then, and even knowing what I know now, I still would have gone ahead. I would still roll the dice. Because, where I am now is so damn good!

I’ve had the luxury of time; to carefully consider, planned out and finally execute my routine for work.

I know I have to take care of my ostomy and eat well. I have to keep hydrated and mindful of clothing. But in reality, it has been easy because work do not see my ostomy as a barrier, as what makes me different. It is what makes me the person I am, it is a one of many reasons why I wanted to work for them.

I am still exploring – on a daily basis – to find the right routine for me. I am choosing to spend a little flex time to find out when my timing lies in order to get ready, have breakfast, even walking into town to get my bus, to dress differently, to feel comfortable, to make myself feel and look good. I have been feeling uncomfortable on a couple occasions as I try out a couple new outfits and seeing what suits my abdomen. I don’t feel afraid to try, because it is just that, trying. There is the flexibility to change, the opportunity to change.

In time, things will settle and I will get so comfortable, that my ostomy isn’t even a consideration as I once was. That is happening, slowly but surely, and it feels confusingly wonderful that my ostomy can fade into the background, somewhat.

My point here is that my ostomy isn’t holding me back like I once thought it might do.

I’ve embraced my ostomy and the life it’s given me because I am not living another life. I am embracing all that I am because I have battled with my illness for long enough. I have scars, I have courage and I have bravery. If it came to it and I needed to fight again, I would. I know that the other side of pain and suffering is this, this life as it now. And I really am starting to truly enjoy it.

Returning to Work…?

Today I attended a work coach appointment at our local Job Centre. NB: I currently receive ESA because I’m unemployed and recovering from surgery.  I’m still yet to my surgeon for my post op check, but so far things have been going well with my stoma and my Crohn’s; I haven’t been left without any help or care! So today was about seeing what will happen next. Usually, a person on ESA gets assessed but due to the situation at the DWP and my own circumstances due to surgeries, this has been halted for the foreseeable future. But it does […]

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