Welcome aboard, Morgan! : )
I'm an ileostomate, too. Had Ulcerative Colitis 9 years before my colon gave up the proverbial ghost. Just prayed I would live long enough to make it to my surgery date three months away. I was in pretty bad shape, physically, and stuck in fear. I had no sense of control, no bearings. Felt completely inept during my initial post-surgery WOCN appointments, being shown how to change my appliance, etc. The person who first walked into wound care after surgery was NOT who I had been 3 months before.
Then, the complication 32 days after surgery... Well, that's another story for another time, Morgan.
One thing that helped me take back control was educating myself, and having faith in the medical solutions presented to me. Feeling, once again, that I have choices. Now, "educating myself" means asking questions. I've always done that - wanting to know more in order to effectively deal with any situation. But...the fear... I was terrified, and a stranger, even to myself. That fear - so overwhelming - kept me frozen, kept me from thinking rationally. Kept me from moving forward.
For some of us, these dramatic changes are difficult to deal with, Morgan. You say you had emergency surgery... Whether the reason for your surgery was an acute or chronic disease, or some sort of accident/injury that took you to surgery...it can be a very hard series of adjustments to make. More so because of so little time prior to your surgery, if any, to try to wrap your head around the situation.
You say you've been active in sports, music and your work, but that "it's all gone away"? You may not be able to be as involved as you once were in these, but try starting somewhere small. Even if it's just talking to your friends who are fans of the same sports, watching competitions on the tele... How are you involved in music? Ease back into it, and if that means in the simplest terms...? Give some thought to how you can keep abreast of the latest news, events involving the music you love. Do you play an instrument? I'm sure other ostomates have similar concerns. Keep reaching out. Ask detailed questions so you can receive detailed answers and tips.
Work. It can be such a large part of our lives, our identities. I was fortunate that I had an understanding employer when I needed to be out because I was so ill, and for recovery. However, I was ill in 2017, which was "P.C." - Pre-COVID. Many people are losing their jobs now, through no fault of their own, due to the pandemic. Once again, your best resource is people. Pick their brains for ideas on how to pick up where you left off. Or, if picking up where you left off isn't possible, consider how you can adapt your knowledge, skills & abilities (KSAs) into another job or career. If you can hold a video meeting with a career counselor, take advantage of it.
Dip a toe back into those pools on the shallow end. To continue with this line of thinking: you've been shoved into the deep end of the pool, blindsided, and you don't swim. But, you know other people who swim. You know that there are people who TEACH people to swim. Granted, this knowledge doesn't keep you from sucking some water into your lungs, but you, Morgan, reached out and found...us! : )
Again, the thing that got me grounded again, restored my sense of strength and Self, was research, asking questions and digging for answers. Part of that was joining my local ostomy support group. See if there's one near you in Britain. With the pandemic, meetings are still being held, just via Zoom or other video chats. One of your best resources will be people, Morgan. The fact that you're reaching out to the MeetAnOstomate.org (MAO) membership shows that you already know this. And, another wonderful ostomate resource is:
Eric Polsinelli is a long-time ostomate who created and runs this website. And, no, you don't have to be a vegan to partake and contribute on Eric's site...just like here. : )
Morgan, you will find so many gracious souls on both websites willing to help answer questions, offer guidance, tips and - best of all! - HOPE.
You're only 3 months into your "new & improved" plumbing changes. And no one handed us a Life & Your Ostomy User Manual. : ) However, realize that you don't have to reinvent the proverbial wheel, Morgan - so many before us have been through this change, too, and are happy, thriving...somewhat-well-adjusted...individuals. ; )
The first thing you did in your post today is so very important, Morgan: Remember To Breathe. In... Out... Repeat.
I know this is a lengthy post, Morgan, and I have offered quite a bit to digest. Now, heaven knows that I don't know everything, or everything about your situation, but I DO know this: YOU REACHED OUT. You know your situation can be better, or you wouldn't have asked how you might go about improving it. : ) And, often, that can be a very good place to start.
Morgan, do your best to make it an amazing day. Remember: Breathe. Keep your perspective. Smile when you can. Laugh when you're able. Count your blessings daily. Stay in touch with people, and continue asking questions.
And, let us know how you're getting along when you can! : )