Tag Archives: self-esteem

Feeling dumb

There are two kinds of embarrassment in my mind: the kind that makes you feel clumsy and the kind that makes you feel stupid. Actually, according to Wikipedia, there are several more, but these are the ones that affect me most often. And this week, I actually experienced both.

It doesn’t bother me too much being clumsy. Sure, I don’t like tripping over things or running into something. And when I do, I feel embarrassed and probably blush, but I also will most likely laugh. Even with what happened this week, whenever I think about it, I can’t help but smile and shake my head and laugh at the whole situation. And I no longer feel embarrassed about it. A little silly, maybe, but not embarrassed.

stephanie hughes stolen colon crohn's disease ulcerative colitis feeling stupid dumb inflammatory bowel disease ibd ostomy blogBut feeling stupid… that really gets to me. There are few things worse, in my opinion, than feeling stupid. And when I do, I shut down, I get defensive, and then I start obsessing and after I while I have a hard time thinking about anything else.

I think these feelings are especially apparent this week as I head back for my second semester of grad school. (Even though that’s not where anything happened.) But I do have a fear of not being good enough and not being as smart as the other people in my program. I feel like everyone else in my class understands how to speak “academically” and I have completely forgotten how to be in that frame of mind.

I don’t get it. Why do I let these little things, that other people likely don’t remember an hour later, get to me so much?

There’s actually a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that says, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” And it’s really true. So why do I feel this way? This isn’t how it is supposed to be. You should never let other people dictate how you feel and how you see yourself. I know this. I just don’t always live by it.

We never want to give ourselves a break. Everyone else is allowed to mess up, but any time that we do, it’s unforgivable. At least that how I feel about myself a lot of the time. And it’s so unfair. That’s something I hope to change this year. Giving myself a break every now and then.

You are braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think.
-A.A. Milne

Breaking down the ostomy barrier

stephanie hughes out of the bag colostomy ileostomy crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd ostomy blog stolen colon

Ostomies get a really bad rap. Most people you ask about an ostomy will likely not even know what you’re talking about, and those that do will probably say something like “gross” or else feel sorry for you. I remember going to a doctor one time and was going through my medical history with the nurse and when I said I had an ostomy, she said, “Oh I’m sorry. ” And I was like, “I’m not!”

I hear people all of the time with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, myself included, complain about the stigma that comes along with having an inflammatory bowel disease. You have to deal with comments like, “You don’t look sick” or “Isn’t that where you have to go to the bathroom a lot?” And it’s true, there are a lot misconceptions that IBD is just a bad stomach ache or that it isn’t that bad just because you don’t match most people’s definition of “being sick.” But what frustrates me is that the same people who complain about being stigmatized for their bowel disease are the ones who are passing judgement on having an ostomy.
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What inspires you?

I’ve been feeling a little stuck lately. A little uninspired. Even as I’m writing this post I keep changing and deleting and rewriting because it’s all sounding… wrong.

I’m at a point in my life where I’m not exactly where I want to be. And that’s not to say that I’m not happy. I have a wonderful husband and family; I have a great community of friends, both in everyday life and online, that mean a lot to me; I have more blessings than I can count and I’m very thankful for them.

I think I’ve had a hard time finding my “place.” Where do I fit in? What was I put here to do? I think having the Stolen Colon has been the one thing that has really gotten me through because it’s something that I feel I can contribute to and possibly make a difference with. It’s something that brings together everything I love into one place: writing, helping others with Crohn’s/IBD/ostomies, creativity. And if I could spend all of my time working on all of those things then I don’t think I’d feel this way.
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