“So much of the profound dissatisfaction in modern life arises because we live in increasingly disconnected ways. It is time for us to regain our connection to life”
For almost three years I was fighting a battle against my own body and mind. For anyone who is reading this that suffers with a chronic disease or illness you may be able to relate: it feels like an endless battle. If you have an argument with a friend or a member of your family it feels awful, but there is always a chance to talk things over and sit down to understand what it was that caused the fight in the first place. However, when it is an internal battle you feel an agony that is indescribable. When I first presented with the symptoms of Crohns Disease I had no idea what was happening to my body. I was being told it was IBS but I knew it was more. I diagnosed myself with polycystic ovaries, ectopic pregnancy, cancer, anorexia and I even began to believe that I was borderline psychotic. I started to believe that I caused my stomach cramps by thinking about them, then I wondered if it was the stomach cramps that caused me to think about it, I would spiral into this never-ending routine, beating myself for causing such violent bouts of pain. As I rapidly lost weight I wondered if this was what an eating disorder was like: a constant voice in your head telling you that food was the enemy, that food was the reason I was in this hell. That is why a part of me is thankful that my bowel decided to rupture. I finally caught sight of the end of this horrific internal war. Over the past few weeks as I’ve been recovering from my reversal, my mind has had time to relax. At first I struggled with waking up and not being in pain, it sounds odd but the pain had become part of my life, it completely and utterly consumed me. It was all I thought about during the day, at work, out with friends, at home and it was all that I dreamt about when I finally took enough pain relief to numb myself into a dull, chemically induced sleep. Now that I’ve had time to stop and realise how important my health is, life has become incredibly vivid. When I look outside I no longer see the hills I’ve looked at since I was 5 but I see life in every form of the word. In the movement of the tree’s, in the smell of freshly cut grass, in the sound of the birds, in everything I look at, smell, taste, touch and hear I notice life. I also notice how precious it is, how quickly it can be taken away and how much it is taken for granted. For the first time in a very, very long time, my body feels completely and utterly calm. Do something for me: sit down, close your eyes and hold your breathe. Sooner or later you will begin to feel your body pulsating, beating a constant rhythm. No, this isn’t the bass from your deafening loud music; this is a heartbeat. A constant reminder that you are alive. don’t ever forget how important that feeling is, because it can stop in an instant. Trust your body to let you know when something is wrong, and listen to it. It took my body two years of screaming out at me, three and a half stone in weight, endless sleepless nights and countless tablets, pills and medicines before I had this realisation thrust upon me. Realise it now and save yourself a life time worth of pointless worrying, stressing and agonising.
As for anyone who is reading this and wondering how I am doing health wise, I’d have to say I’m doing great. I was on anti-biotics after my surgery and my stoma site scar popped open a little. My stitch snapped and had to be fished out and I had a very swollen, bloated stomach for about a month but I’m doing fantastic. I’m going to the loo anything from once to five times a day, and I’m still yet to eat a curry for the fear of the dreaded squirty-bum and ring sting afterwards. My stomach looks like I have two belly buttons and if I stand naked it looks like I have a massive squinty face drawn on my stomach. But it’s all good because I’m breathing, I’m smiling and I’m living. What could be better?
For anyone who reads this who is having a stoma formed, or having an ileostomy reversal, feel free to drop me any questions on here or privately on firstname.lastname@example.org I’m happy to answer any question!