My Love for You, Dear Stoma…

My Love for You, Dear Stoma…

Today we celebrate love. A single day devoting to telling whomever we love, that we love them. We shower them with gifts, affection and kind words.

I am doing that today too.

But for my stoma.

Yes, you read that correctly; my stoma.

My stoma used to be that elephant in the room, the alien living under my top, a living and breathing weird little thing. 

These days, whilst she is still living under my clothes, covered by my ostomy bag; she is a living and breathing embodiment of my disease.

I have Crohn’s disease and she saved me. She gave me back life. She gave me back everything.

I learnt a hell of a lot – about myself, about life, about goals and aspirations, about determination and grit – since being diagnosed six years ago, but the last eighteen months; I’ve been able to grow. I’ve been able to see my life beside my disease, instead of my disease controlling and being all encompassing.

Without my stoma, I wouldn’t have the freedom to live. 

Without my stoma, I wouldn’t have moved away from home, taken a new job and lived on my own.

Without my stoma, I wouldn’t have been able to advocate for myself. 

Without my stoma, I wouldn’t have been able to have this in depth, personal knowledge of ostomy.

Without my stoma, I wouldn’t have been able to relate to my fellow ostomates.

With my stoma, I am able to travel, drink, eat and function as normal as the next person.

With my stoma, I am able to find beauty in the small things in life.

With my stoma, I am able to help raise awareness and give a voice. 

With my stoma, I am headstrong, strong willed and determined.

With my stoma, I am appreciative of my good days. 

With my stoma, I understand the fundamentals of my digestive system.

With my stoma, I better manage my IBD and my body. 

With my stoma, I am able to give myself the time I need to rest and recovery. 

With my stoma, I am unstoppable. 

 

With my stoma, I know myself better, deeper and I am in tune, in a way I’ve never been before.

 

My stoma is a big thing but it is also small too. It was the moment that I took control of my unpredictable disease and made a huge decision. It was the moment that I realised that I do have the final say in my life, in my body, in my health. It was the moment that life restarted. Life with a stoma is completely different to those days without it. The pain – gone. The lengthly bathroom trips – gone. The need for painkillers – gone. The invisibility  of my disease – gone.

My stoma and I have had many ups and downs, highs and lows in the last couple months. And I could quite easily let those lows be my overall feeling towards my stoma, but I chose not. I chose to let the incredible strength I have push me forward. Going through stoma surgery – tough. Recovering from surgery – also tough. Dealing with stoma issues – tough too. Managing that / those whilst trying to just feel happy with your stoma – INCREDIBLY TOUGH.

I sit here on Valentines Day, a fresh bag on my belly, my stoma happily farting away, like she’s the most content thing in the world; relieved that this is life. This is my new life and I embrace it. I embrace the good, the bad, the ugly. I embrace the bag too, all the good it brings me and the mishaps too. Because – literally – shit happens and you deal with it. You build up for your courage and your strength; it isn’t just given to you.

But that feeling of being content and happy with your lot in life; that shouldn’t be underestimated. It is glorious.

I hope everyone who has a stoma feels like this at some point. I really do, but I appreciate it’s a long and tough road for some. Be good to yourself, be kind and love yourself. Even the inside of yourself.

All my love, stoma, I truly am grateful for all the good you’ve given me.

 

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