So today is – hopefully – the last day of having an ostomy bag. With my operation coming up unexpectedly fast (it’s tomorrow?!), it’s the day I’ll be saying goodbye to the late nights up changing my bag, trying out different coping methods whilst also looking for the most fashionable way to stay comfortable. Though I’m sure I’ll be looking for extra comfort over the next couple of weeks, but for a different scar this time! So with saying goodbye to the bag that saved my life, it’s also time to say goodbye to the blog that saved my mental health.
Today is the last day that I will officially be running this blog. From here on in, my blog will be managed by my wonderful sponsors SecuriCare Medical & CliniMed.
It’s been a wonderful year being able to write and embark on my journey with you guys but I feel the blogging comes to an end for me, here. I know that after my operation, I will have a great support network of people around me, and I’m quite excited to begin a new journey privately.
My blog helped me in a number of ways – more so than I’d ever imagined. It kept me strong, it kept me sane. It allowed me to speak openly on my experiences whilst introducing me to wonderful people with wonderful stories. I couldn’t be more grateful for everything it has given me.
I can’t believe this little online diary turned into something so positive. It all started from this one picture.
My hands trembling as it uploaded, I never expected a hundred people to see it, let alone 14,000.
My blog allowed me to do what I love best – write. I just can’t believe how quickly it blew up to such a huge audience.
Over the past year www.morethanyourbag.com has been viewed by over 420,000 people. So many of youhave consistently returned to offer me your support and share your stories. And I couldn’t be more appreciative to those that have done so. It’s such a lovely feeling to know people have trusted me with their scariest, yet most emotional life saving experiences. And it’s also been an amazing feeling to know I can relate.
Although this blog was initially made to help me get through this, it’s done so much more. It’s shown me I’m not alone. And a wise person once said (my best friend) that the greatest feeling you can ever receive is the feeling of not being alone. And he was right. I couldn’t have gotten through this without you all.
But not only this, my blog has made me a stronger person. It has shown me I can get through absolutely anything, with the right attitude. It has changed me as a person. I depsise the person I was before my surgery. All I cared about was my image and what people thought of me. Now, it couldn’t be more different. I have accepted my scars, I accepted my bags. But most importantly, I have accepted who I am as a person.
This blog has been a huge leap into a career I’d only ever dreamed of. I can’t believe that at 20 years old I am now able to say I created an international blog. I filmed a pilot for ITV with Davina McCall, I was interviewed by The Kyle & Jackie O Show, I’ve freelanced for The Huffington Post and The Debrief, I was featured in several of the UK’s biggest publications and now I’m actually writing for one. I’m so proud of all of my acheivements, and can only look forward to what the future has to offer from here on.
Now, for the most important part.
I want to say thank you, to all of those who have stuck by me throughout this past year.
To my gorgeous boyfriend, thank you for continuing to love and support me through what has been the toughest part of our relationship so far. Thank you for making me believe in myself and believe that I can still be attractive with a disability. Thank you for sticking by my side, throughout everything.
To my loving family, thank you for being the most loving people I know. You have done nothing but remain strong for me throughout this entire experience, and I couldn’t have gotten through those first couple of months without you. We are such a close family, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have been surrounded by such amazing people. I love you all so much.
To DJ, thank you for making some of the most amazing things possible. You have helped me in so many ways, you’ve taught me so many things. You made it possible to create some beautiful films. Films that I’ll look back on in years to come, to look back on this experience. To remember how far I’ve come. Thank you.
To Hollie, the only girl in the world that I know I can trust. You have been the best friend I could have ever wished for. You’ve given me back that sense of normality. You never once judged me, nor questioned me. You never allowed me to feel different. You are the best friend I could ever wish for, I’m so grateful to have you in my life.
To Sarah & Loretta, before I thank the companies, I’d like to thank you. For not just being amazing sponsors, but amazing friends. You’ve done nothing but look out for me and support my work. Thank you for making all of this possible.
To CliniMed & SecuriCare – thank you for being the best sponsors in the world! You made it possible for me to live a normal working life. You helped me support myself financially and you supported every piece of writing – no matter how revealing! Thank you for making sure i’ve been comfortable with every product and for making this experience as easy as possible.
To #GetYourBellyOut – this was the first group that I was able to meet others like me. You showed me that normal is not what meets the eye. You have continued to comfort and support me and advise me when it was most needed. I have made friends through this group that I hope will be friendships that last forever. You’ve all done such amazing work to make sure people know they are not alone. You are all true inspirations.
And to all of my readers – thank you for taking the time to follow me throughout this journey. To open up to me and to compliment my work. Thank you for helping me raise awareness, and for being loyal to my writing. Thank you for listening and helping me grow. Thank you for being my online family!
I’ll be posting up something after my operation, to let you all know how it went. Fingers crossed everything goes to plan!
Take care everyone.
Thank you, really, all so much.
Hattie – www.morethanyourbag.com xo