Bon and Sally Start Kicking Insecurities in the Ass.

I’ve been adjusting to my new normal (and newly found insecurities) for roughly 6 months now, and let me tell you, it has been challenging. I have received a lot of love and support from family, friends, and complete strangers. All of which I greatly appreciate.

The Struggle Has Been Real

I was feeling really confident when I left the hospital in early December. I felt like I was unstoppable and had just overcome the biggest obstacle of my life. Nope, I was wrong, once I was back to my regular daily routine I was not nearly as confident as I had imagined I’d be.

The first two weeks out of the hospital I was recovering at home and I barely left the house. I wore pajama pants and oversized t-shirts all day long, I didn’t have to put make up on, and my showers varied depending on my energy. Then all of a sudden it was time to go back to work. This meant I had to wake up and shower, put make up on, and put on appropriate business attire. I was exhausted after taking a 10 minute shower, I barely had the energy for anything else. Then, I walked into my closet and had to try and find clothes that actually fit!

Swollen Tummies, Ignorant People, Insecurities Arise

Once I got out of the hospital, my stomach was swollen for about a month and a half. It wasn’t until about mid January that I noticed a lack of swelling and tenderness. Which meant that my clothes didn’t fit properly. My dress pants were too tight, my jeans didn’t accommodate Sally‘s needs, and my ostomy bag showed through most of my clothes. I was 23 when I had surgery, which means I have the closet of a 23 year old. Tight shirts, high waisted jeans, crop tops, etc. So, imagine my frustration when all of my clothes outlined my bag perfectly and it was very obvious something was attached to my stomach.

At first I didn’t think this was going to be an issue, I was so used to it that I felt like it was hardly noticeable. Turns out, it was totally noticeable. I was out one day in February and someone asked me what I was hiding under my shirt, as if my bag resembled a weapon or something! *gasp* After that interaction I was very insecure. I got home that evening and immediately purchased new, loose tops. I started throwing little fits while trying to get dressed for work every morning; constantly replaying what that woman said to me over and over in my head. Each time becoming more and more insecure about Sally and how the world viewed us.

Diminishing Negativity

It wasn’t until the end of March until I had the realization that most people hardly even notice there’s something different about me or my appearance. Not only that, if they did notice they didn’t care. I was the only one that cared, I was creating my own pointless insecurities. I was the only one that thought twice about having an ostomy and being different from everyone else. So, why did I care so much?

I must give credit where credit is due. My girlfriends were a huge part of this revolution. At my bachelorette party my friends were very curious about Sally and how exactly everything worked. Some of them were very curious about what the bag emptying process looked like, how changing my bag worked, how alcohol and food affect Sally’s output. There was nothing but genuine curiosity, encouragement, and support all focused around Sally. After my bachelorette party I realized that I needed to change my mentality when it comes to having an ostomy and how others might view me.

Why I don’t care anymore….

Ever since then I’ve decided that I need to squash every insecurity the second that it pops into my mind. One insecurity will lead to more insecurities, and we do not want that type of negativity in our lives. Whenever I start to feel uncertain about myself, Sally, or the way my stomach looks I try to refocus. When I refocus I think of what my life was like before having surgery and how miserable I was all of the time. I was taking med after med, I was always going to the bathroom, I couldn’t eat yummy fried food, I was suffering from various side effects, the list goes on and on….

When I had Ulcerative Colitis I wasn’t able to focus on myself, I was always focused on poop. Poop was the center of my entire life. Bathrooms always had to be close by, I was never sure when my stomach was going to flip, and I was hesitant about going out and having fun. But, Sally has completely changed my life.

Bon’s World 2.0

Getting my colon removed brought so much positivity, confidence, and normalcy back into my life. I was able to experience things I wasn’t able to experience with my UC. For instance, I was able to eat a cheeseburger without worry of rushing to a bathroom and getting sick. I can go on trips and not worry about dirty airport bathrooms or walking on a beach then trying to run to find a bathroom because an urge hits me.

Sally gave me the chance to view my life in a way that makes all other insecurities disappear. I don’t have to worry about colon cancer, dangerous side effects to medications, pooping my pants like a toddler, or no longer finding the joy in life because my UC has taken over. I might not look “normal or ordinary” underneath all of the clothes and parts of my physiology might function differently than the mass majority… but that’s what makes me, mostly Sally, extraordinary.

#FindBeautyInEverything #SallyStrong #OstomyLife

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