September is my New Year.
When I went through surgery in August 2016, I’d completely overlooked the fact that five year previous I was going through the early stages of living with undiagnosed Crohn’s Disease. I suppose I did have bigger things to worry about at the time – a incision that would spilt open at a family gathering, an infection of that wound, sore peristomal skin, phantom rectum pains, passing mucous from my redundant butt hole, along with just the physical act of recovering from major abdominal surgery. And while those things were very specific incidents to that month of September 2016, they took up my time and thus I forgot about what September has meant to me. This was not a bad thing, in hindsight.
Since having my stoma created, it has taken away the majority of my pain and inability to function like I wanted to, I began to see September more and more like my new year. My new start. A new section in this book that is called chronic illness.
So, while September 7th will always be my diagnosis day in 2011, I take September 2016 as the start of Part Two. And last year I spoke about the mental impact diagnosis has on me, this year I want to reflect on how it helped me ‘change’ – both having a chronic illness in general and the gifts that have life changing surgery had on me.
- Appreciation of who is around you.
- Appreciating kindness
- Don’t take good health for granted.
- Love and make the most of your good days
- But don’t let the bad days take away from the good days.
- Say I love you to those you really love; more often.
- Make decisions based on what makes you happy not what you think you should be doing.
- Take risks.
- Go on adventures, even if they are only up the road.
- Learn to accept what you have and love what it brings you.
- Find light in the darkest of times. Even if its just a torch!
- Time is a great healer – of wounds, of hearts, of minds.
- REST like there is no tomorrow.
- Try to not compare your own journey to others.
- Respect those around you, for they might be battling more than they show.
- Be courageous enough to speak your mind.
- Take stock of what you have, even if they are small.
- Throw caution to the wind and take a chance.
- Embrace the chaos.
I can think of lots of things I despite about having a chronic illness – from not being able to work full time, not keeping up with others, being in hospitals, needing to understand medical procedures and concepts, living with anxiety and depression, explaining my condition and symptoms to eejits. But I spent September’s looking at the fact that it’s been another year, in a beautiful messed up way. I spent time thinking about what September means to me when I want to ground myself and connect myself to improving those who live like I do – with IBD.
Its interesting to see my anger I once had for my defunct body morph into gratitude.
Do you have any questions or queries? Or just want to share your own experiences? You can leave me a reply here or leave comments via my social media accounts – on Twitter, find my blog page on Facebook and over on Instagram