I had the wonderful privilege of meeting a fellow ostomate a few weeks ago. Her name is Charis and I had found her blog, Full Frontal Ostomy, around the time that I made to decision to have my surgery. I found her blog very inspiring and I saw that I wasn’t alone and she helped me realize that having this surgery was not going to ruin my life.
Much to my surprise, after my surgery and I found out that she lives in the same area as me and I met her last month at the ostomy support group. Then last week we go together for coffee and just to talk a bit. I have a lot of respect for her and what she’s done with her blog.
This month, Charis issued a 30-day Self-esteem Challenge for herself and encouraged others to join in. I think it’s a great idea because living with IBD can be quite a blow to your self-esteem. You often feel gross and unattractive and like you don’t have what it takes. It’s hard to always remember that this disease doesn’t define you and that you are stronger than it is.
Her first prompt: The prompt has several facets. First, acknowledge your less desirable personal qualities. Second, reflect on how these qualities may have aided in your fight against IBD (no need to get too deep into this yet). And third, begin to consider how these qualities can be used to help raise your self-esteem and allow you to regain control of your life – or at the very least, learn how to control your reactions to the bad things that may come your way.
I would say one of my worst qualities is the I get easily frustrated. When someone cuts me off when I’m driving, I get frustrated; when something doesn’t go my way, I get frustrated; and when things aren’t perfect, I get frustrated. The major downside of this is that I often take out my frustration on other people. I try my best not to do that and I always apologize when I do. But it’s also led me to get frustrated with being sick and dealing with all that I have with Crohn’s. It’s made me a fighter and made me push myself to get better. It keeps me from sitting back and letting how I feel consume me. When you feel bad, it’s easy to just say that you don’t to do anything and let life pass you by. But I’ve always tried my best to not say no to anything because of my Crohn’s. It hasn’t always happened, but I’m glad for the things I haven’t missed out on just because I wasn’t feeling good. Frustration is what led me to having surgery and now I’m excited about a future of feeling better and getting to do even more than I wasn’t able to do before.