Today, I have received numerous anonymous comments telling me that my blog posts annoy them, asking me what “makes me so special?” Telling me, “woe is me, you just have an ostomy bag, like hundreds of other people – suck it up!”
I wouldn’t normally justify these sorts of negative comments with a response. But I feel the need to write to these people, out of respect for the awareness I am trying to raise.
So to these anonymous people, this is my response to you:
To the people telling me to “suck up” the fact I have an ostomy bag,
I must firstly apologize for the fact you are obviously so deeply offended by my blog. The blog that has helped me deal with the indescribable amount of emotions that attempt to eat you up after ostomy surgery. The words I write aren’t even half able to explain how I feel inside. My blog is pretty much an open diary. I’m not a journalist. I’m not writing for thousands of people wanting to read news, gossip or any other genre. I write about my life. I don’t write to please people, I don’t write to spark controversy, I write for me. I write to raise awareness. What I write is real, it’s truth.
On 26th January 2015 I was rushed into hospital, in pain you couldn’t even imagine. After countless operations, scans and colonscopies, I was finally admitted to theatre for emergency surgery. After a four hour surgery for a stoma, I did nothing but scream in pain, shake in fear and cry myself to sleep. I couldn’t even look at my stomach. I cried every time somebody tried to talk to me about it. I lost my job, I struggled to keep my flat and I nearly lost me. It is an extremely hard time to talk about, even now the situation fills me with nothing but sadness.
The only thing that has kept me going these past few months is my blog. I am lucky to have a loving, supportive family, friends and a great boyfriend. But this blog is the only thing that has helped me deal mentally with what has happened. So it has hurt me that you feel the need to write to me such nasty comments. Would you be able to “suck up” something that could scar you mentally for the rest of your life? That does scar you physically?
Let me just ask you. If somebody’s family member had passed away, and they decided to write to deal with their grief – would you tell them to “suck it up, because hundreds of people die every day”? No. You would not. So why do you feel the need to do it to me?
And you know what, hundreds of people do have ostomy’s, you’re right. More, even. And a huge percentage of them deal with it privately. Another percentage of people do it privately because they feel too scared to speak out. Some people struggle to even deal with it at all. So what about them? How will they have the courage to speak out if they feel doing so will cause them a backlash of negativity. People are always saying “talk about it, it’ll make you feel better”, convincing us that “we’re not alone” – but how can we freely talk about it when we’re classed as attention seeking, and being told to “suck it up”?
Keeping my surgery a secret for the first few weeks, were the worst weeks of my life. I lived in fear of embarrassment, I felt ashamed of myself. The situation in itself was not only confusing, mentally draining and heart wrenching for me. It was the darkest place I feel I’ve ever been. It was an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. What happened to me was emotionally, physically and mentally devastating. And I have every right to talk about it. To FEEL something about that.
Speaking out was the best thing I’ve ever decided to do. It has helped me come to terms with what has happened. It has helped me embrace my body for what it is. It has taught me to appreciate the life I am given. I’ve turned my life around in just four short months. Tell me, could you do the same? Did you stop to put yourself in my shoes before telling me I should just “suck it up”?
I nearly lost my life, but my surgery saved me. It’s saved so many other people too, and for those people, the people that feel too scared to do so themselves, the people that want to learn, the people that want to understand – I write about it. I write about a huge part of my life that I haven’t let ruin my mindset. And theoretically, I have done nothing BUT suck it up since. I’ve sucked it up so much that I’m confident enough to wear a bikini in public, to go to places like Thorpe Park, to wear skin tight clothing an to abseil off the f***ing tallest building in the UK. And that’s what makes me special. The fact I haven’t let it absorb the life style I’ve always maintained.
So, to the people who took the time to send me these lovely anonymous messages: let this annoy you instead: I have a fantastic life now, and it’s all through the help of my blog. Suck that up.