Looking at your Ileostomy Bag can be a hard thing in itself, but what about what’s underneath?
Today I’m going to be brave and write about my stoma. It’s a hard thing for me, because although I feel confident with my bag, I don’t feel completely the same about my stoma. I’m not totally sure what to make of it.
I remember that it saved my life, and I know that with my stoma, I am in no pain. But at only 19 years old, when I’m still growing up and accepting my body as it is, I find it hard to convince myself that it’s okay all the time. That it doesn’t matter to me that my body is somewhat different to so many girls my age.
In this post, I’m going to take a huge step and reveal what sits under my ileostomy bag, day in day out. I’m fully aware that some people aren’t so accepting. I understand that my stoma is not going to be so pleasing to the eye for some people, and I get it, some people are just down right squeamish.
I was the same at first, I hated it. I looked at it and wanted to cry. In fact, it took me a good 3 weeks to even look at my stoma. I insisted my mum help me change my stoma bag just so that I didn’t have to look at it. I’d place my hands over my eyes and try not to cry whilst she did it, apologising frantically for the fact that she had to look at it herself.
But, this is me. This is my body. You don’t have to accept it, but I do. And it’s important that I do, in some way. It’s so easy posting pictures with my bag, but this? Not so much. This is personal, and this is intimate, and this is a big change to my body.
I’ve envied girls with beautiful, flat stomachs the whole of my life. And my belly is beautiful too, just a little different. I think it’s important to remember that everyone is different in some way. Everyone has something that makes them unique. And I guess for me, this is one of those things.
So, here it is, here’s my little stoma. Here’s the thing that makes me unique. Here’s the thing that has impacted my living. Here’s the thing that thrusts upon me so much emotion. Here’s the thing that has saved my life.
I cried before I decided to write this, because I still felt like I hadn’t been completely honest to myself about my situation. And I’m shaking as I write this post, and in two minds of whether to publish or not, as I can’t determine the reactions this piece is going to receive.
But, it’s important that I do this, to continue my journey of recovery.
I’m not asking you to tell me I’m beautiful, and I’m not going to argue the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
But in my opinion? I’m still beautiful. My body is still beautiful. And I hope others with a stoma can feel beautiful too. No matter how long it takes to get there.