Sometimes I wish I’d started this blog 6 years ago when I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s. If I had, it would be a very different blog to the current Stoma-licious. I find it easier writing about the present than in retrospect. What I’m going through and how I’m feeling now. And right now, things are great!
When I was initially told I had Crohn’s disease, the years that followed were filled with a whirlwind of doctors, medications and emotions. I really wish I’d blogged, or at least written a journal on a more regular basis. At the time though, I wasn’t in the right headspace.
Sometimes I feel I don’t have enough going on at present (IBD and ostomy related) to be of interest to others. I don’t have active disease. I’m not having a flare. I won’t be getting a reversal. I don’t have any post op surgery or ostomy issues. Would I be offering more assistance to others if I was? I almost feel guilty that I don’t have more going on and therefore am not worthy of being an advocate!
Just because I don’t have any major issues going on right now doesn’t mean I can’t still write meaningful posts! I know that, and I am grateful that I DON’T have any complications or major medical concerns to worry about at present. I still have plenty of other things to say and past experiences to share.
Would it be helping others more if I focused on the awful stuff? If I went back 3-4 years and wrote about the excruciating physical and mental pain that at times I was going through then? I’ve been through all of that, and like many others out there, have come through on the other side. For now, I am healthy and in remission. So that’s what I choose to (mostly) focus on.
I’ve noticed most of my posts end on a positive note. Yes, I try to keep things uplifting. But of course things are not always positive. They are not all ‘rainbows, lollipops and sunshine’! Anyone with IBD or an ostomy knows that. For me though, right now, life (my health) is good. It wasn’t before and it may not be again, but right now it is, so I can write about the good stuff.
I really want to help other people, and I am grateful my story has reached this point and become a positive experience. I am hopefully an example people can turn to and know that you can get through this. Ostomy surgery can be a relatively complication free process. My story developed from a nightmare into almost a fairy-tale. Whilst it might not always feel like it, there is hope!
I don’t want to sugar-coat things either. There have been some very low and negative times in my life over the last few years, and whilst things are awesome now, they weren’t always. I’ve had my fair share of days in despair, worrying, telling myself I may never get better. But what good did this do?
Like everyone, I still have some days that are better than others. It’s important for me to acknowledge the good stuff, but I need to be honest with myself and with all of you too. I always look for the good and try to make the best of any situation, but let’s be realistic…. life with an IBD isn’t always rosy. Life with an ostomy isn’t always rosy. I take my role as an activist for spreading IBD and ostomy awareness very seriously, and to do that I have to be honest. I hope I’m doing justice to both sides of the disease.
It’s important to find the balance between being positive and not terrifying someone who is newly diagnosed or new to or contemplating an Ostomy, but also being honest and acknowledging the realities. Not being disrespectful to those who are going through a particularly bad time. There is a lot of bad, but also a lot of good, and something to be said about keeping a positive outlook. Hope and positivity can be a powerful thing and helps me on some of my darkest days.
What’s your take? Is there such a thing as being too positive? What should we focus on? How do we find that balance?