Over the past month, I have been taking part in a Self-esteem Challenge, put on by someone I’ve had the privilege of getting to know a little over the past months. Charis put forth the challenge on her blog, Full Frontal Ostomy, as an opportunity to move past the stereotypes inherent in having a gastrointestinal disease and emerge as a more confident person.
I wanted to take the challenge because living with Crohn’s disease and with an ostomy can take a toll on how you view yourself. When you’re standing in front of the mirror, it’s no longer just you: it’s you and your bag, or you and your stoma. It feels like you’ll never be able to look at yourself the same way you used to.
And that’s what I felt was so important about this challenge. It was a great reminder that I’m still Stephanie. I’m no different than I was before the surgery. Except for the fact that I no longer feel horrible all the time and I actually have the energy to do all of the things that I want to do.
I’m proud of who I am and how I’ve handled these challenges. And I’m blessed to have amazing people standing behind me.